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4.7 out of 5 stars68
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 December 2013
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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on 11 October 2003
If you don't own a Billy Bragg CD ==> go and buy this one. You get all the great songs on a double CD. GREAT STUFF!
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2005
Like so many politically committed acts (the Pink Fairies,Edgar Broughton,The Crass), Billy Bragg is sometimes better imagined than heard. Of course, when he's good he's fabulous - Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards is one of the finest songs ever - but it really does stand out from some of this excessive collection.

Bragg made his name in the era of vinyl, and this collection is the equivalent of four vinyl albums. That's not a 'Best Of'; it's the 'Collected Works', slightly edited.

CD1 opens with another classic: New England, which is followed by a fine selection of minimalist busks. The hand of a producer would have improved some of them but they're still pretty good, from gentle personal paeans (Man In The Iron Mask) to sharp political anthems (Between The Wars).

There's nothing really wrong with any of them (except of course the unlistenable spoken-word love song 'Walk Away Renee'), but there is just too little variation to sustain a whole 60 minutes of listening.

The second CD starts with 'Sexuality', which has the hallmark of a song written to please the right-ons. And as the music grows in maturity, the naivety and awkwardness of some of the lyrics seems less forgiveable (notably 'Boy Done Good'). As he becomes more and more a member of the establishment, Bragg is less and less dangerous and so less interesting. But he can still move you with the beautiful 'Tank Park Salute' and 'Brickbat', while his versions of Woody Guthrie's unrecorded songs are among his (and Guthrie's!) best.

The real criticism here is that anyone who wants over two hours of Billy Bragg probably has it already. This should have been a single CD, because it simply goes on too long. Rather like this review.
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on 29 April 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this album - but then I like Billy Bragg. I'm sure all fans of the man will like and appreciate. Well worth acquiring.
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on 11 January 2014
Absolutely brillant collection of songs from one of Englands greatest singer song writers. Should be in every ones record collection.
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on 13 December 2013
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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on 19 May 2014
.... so this is good for me.

all good.

ta. yes, thanks, a lot. really, yes, i am a happy
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on 28 November 2013
great stuff I'd ofhim , obviously but never followed it up. Nice t find some one new, witty and entertaining.
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on 7 May 2014
As good as ever. He composes, and sings what I think... Billy just gets better with age, for me anyway.
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on 20 August 2013
All my favourites and well produced. I can listen to this album over and over again. Great stuff A +
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