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Billy Bragg: Still Suitable for Miners Paperback – 8 Feb 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; New Ed edition (8 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753512459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753512456
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

'Love me or hate me. It's a great read' - Billy Bragg

From the Author

Amazon is a godsend to Bragg fans around the globe.
Just a quick note to say that I have received many e-mails from Billy Bragg fans around the globe since this book was published in September 98 who are unable to buy it in Canada, Australia, wherever, and I always say to them, 'Try Amazon' (it's a godsend to readers everywhere). This is an authorised biog, and Billy gave generously of his time and private archive to help make it a definite story (we hope). If you're a Bragg fan, you might just like it! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A worthwhile read for Bragg fans but not without its flaws.

The overall flow and content mirror the ebb and flow of Bragg's career. The initial chapters on Riff Raff and the army are good, and provide previously unknown insight into these periods of Bragg's life. Then it all begins to gather pace with the excitement of Life's A Riot, Brewing Up and Taxman. The book provides an absorbing insight into Billy's commitment to making his music career work for him, and is packed with anecdotes from the likes of Bragg, Jenner, Kershaw and McDonald. It flows entertainingly through Bragg's musical evolution into Workers Playtime and Don't Try This At Home, and then into parenthood, middle age and his ongoing activism. And it's interesting seeing how the former punk firebrand himself has evolved as a person.

The music at this stage begins to take a little bit of a back seat, which is a reflection of my own perspective on Bragg's career. I first saw him supporting the Style Council in 83 or so, found Life's A Riot for just GBP 2.99, and was blown away by the immediacy of it all. The lo-fi production made it sound like he was in the same room, and the lyrics made it sound like he was in the same life. "How many cans is it going to take to change the way I think?" The adoration and respect continued through to Don't Try This At Home, but with William Bloke my enthusiasm waned and never really recovered.

And so the interest in this book follows a similar trajectory, and diminishes towards the end.

The writing is generally good and certainly very easy to read, although Collins allows too much of his own politics to enter the storyline. And the puns are tedious.
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Format: Paperback
I first became aware of Billy Bragg on hearing `Between the Wars' during the miners strike and his brand of Urban Folk music fitted the times we were living in completely. Originally politicised from the records of the Two Tone label and Weller's bands The Jam and The Style Council the songs Billy Bragg was singing seemed to me, with a then complete lack of knowledge of folk music, to be more immediate and resonated more. I soon needed more of what was screaming out of the dansette from the `Between the Wars EP' and soon complimented this with `Life's a Riot' and `Brewing Up'.

Following Billy through `Taxman' his difficult Smith's influenced third album and the fantastic pop folk records of `Workers Playtime' and `Don't Try this at Home' as well as my own favourite `The Internationale' convinced me he was the greatest songwriter I'd followed and with a limited range that meant my shout along accompaniment wasn't too jarring. Billy Bragg concerts were events with or without a band due to his between song banter that joined the dots between the songs with his own back-story.

After a absence `in the bathroom with the baby' that Billy could return with an album as strong as `Bloke on Bloke' was an achievement in its own right but to follow this with the Woody Guthrie album `Mermaid Avenue' was almost beyond belief.

With no drugs busts and his personnel life laid bare in songs such as `Saturdays Boy' and `The Short Answer' the question remained, what kind of a biography can be made out of this? Well Andrew Collins gave us a long answer, well worth the reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a Billy Bragg fan since seeing him on TOTPs singing between the wars in 1985, bought all the records and seen him loads if times but I've never been a big one for biographies etc. I'd noted some time ago that Andrew Collins was the author and have read his books before and enjoyed them. So when the new edition came ours I thought I would give it a go ... It's fantastic , really well written, loads of background that I had no idea about and just a great read.
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Format: Paperback
For anybody who ahs followed Billy's career through the last 15 years this book should bring back some good and some sad memories. Everything Billy has done is recorded here in thorough detail bu this is not just a sad book for anoraks. A great insight into the man and his music
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By A Customer on 15 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Andrew Collins combines both personal insights and a fascinating history of Billy's career. Very easy to read and never dull, the book should be an inspiration to any aspiring singer-songwriter.
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