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48 Reviews
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 (39)
4 star:
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who aren't sure if they'll like this....
When I saw Billy Bragg on tour recently he described himself as a 'Marmite artist', ie, you either love him or hate him. I don't know that is necessarily true. My husband somewhat reluctantly bought this for me for Christmas a few years ago after I'd requested it on the strength of the handful of Bragg songs that I knew from my teens (Sexuality, New England, Waiting for...
Published on 31 May 2008 by Queen of the High Teas

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best of Bragg? - No way Jose!!
This purports to be the Essential - presumably meaning the best of Billy Bragg. It's a great record - I have all his albums and I love his work - but I don't think it collects his best.
There are only three tracks from his best record, "Brewing Up" and the other earlier albums are also given short shrift: no "life With the Lions " or "The Short Answer". And no...
Published on 14 Feb 2004 by Geoff Batchelor


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5.0 out of 5 stars Agree with big stevie, 8 Feb 2007
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20 years ago I can remember going to The Stirling Miners Welfare to watch Billy Bragg , with Mr Dalrymple and still listen to his stuff all the time.

Overtly political though most of his songs are written from the heart Billy Bragg has been going for over 2 decades and these CDs sum up his career well. Essential addition to anyones CD collection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Condense the Bragg, Confuse the Enemy, 22 Mar 2008
Released in 2003 to mark Billy's twentieth year as a solo performer `Must I Paint You a Picture?' try's to be, as it sub-title says, `The Essential Billy Bragg'. Generally compilations are least successful when arranged chronologically however this suits Billy's career progression as it shows his progression from Urban Folk Troubadour through the introduction of subtle arrangements to backing bands leading up to full on collaborations. Billy's concerts often take on a chronological feel with as he starts as a solo performer being joined by additional musicians until the full band is assembled on stage.

With a career spanning collection what is generally more pertinent is what is missed, and their are some glaring omissions here, nothing from `The Internationale' album, no single `Days Like These' and although The Beatles cover `She's Leaving Home' possibly only made number one due to being released c/w Wet Wet Wet's `A Little Help' it should perhaps still have been included.

However, what is included is priceless from four of the greatest songs from `Spy vs. Spy', three from `Brewing Up' and the priceless b-side of Levi Stubb's Tears', `Walk Away Renee'. The songs from `Workers Playtime' bring the first disc to a suitable conclusion. The second disc takes us through `Don't Try This at Home' and includes the Red Stars single `Accident Waiting to Happen' b/w `Sulk'. The songs from `William Bloke' could possibly have been represented better without `The Boy Done Good' and the original solo `Take Down The Union Jack' is better than the included band version. The choices from `Mermaid Avenue' again are not entirely representative however as a compilation it although possibly not `The Essential Billy Bragg' but certainly `The Perfect Introduction to Billy Bragg'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something there for us all, 16 Nov 2007
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A. Henderson "Alistair" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As well as the politcal stuff, there are some great, grounded love songs that are so real.

Great diction, lovely accent that you have to imitate when you sing along. Dont view it as a best of, but a great range of BB's work

I may be a bit of a hippy, but where have all the protest singers gone, or is everything ok?

Alistair
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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Opened my ears great
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4.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to Billy Bragg, 15 Jun 2014
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I have always liked some of his songs so this was a good collection of his more well known tunes. Thought the 2nd CD was better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars i like billy...., 19 May 2014
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.... so this is good for me.

all good.

ta. yes, thanks, a lot. really, yes, i am a happy
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5.0 out of 5 stars you must listen, 7 May 2014
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As good as ever. He composes, and sings what I think... Billy just gets better with age, for me anyway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, 11 Jan 2014
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Absolutely brillant collection of songs from one of Englands greatest singer song writers. Should be in every ones record collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas present, 13 Dec 2013
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One of my favourite CD's and went to see Billy recently with a friend so decided to buy her this CD for Christmas.
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4.0 out of 5 stars PRJL, 8 Dec 2013
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An interesting collection of work by the U.K.'s leading or only active musician whose work comments on life as it is experienced by most people. It covers national, community and more personal topics.
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