Billy Bragg is releasing a new single next week,
May 15, 2002 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Billy Bragg is releasing a new single next week, and he'd like it to be number 1 in the charts just in time for the big celebration of the Queen's Jubilee. Profits go to charity, and a thumb in the eye goes to the royalists.
posted by geneablogy (13 comments total)
Classic Billy Bragg
"When did it fall apart? Sometime in the 80s
When the Great and the Good gave way to the greedy and the mean"

from the lyrics to his new song. That was about the same time it happened here wasn't it?
posted by onegoodmove at 10:48 PM on May 15, 2002

Three formats means three different copies from three different stores (so as not to get disqualified).
posted by vbfg at 11:44 PM on May 15, 2002

Personally I'm more in favour of the John Otway 50th Birthday Number One.
posted by Grangousier at 11:50 PM on May 15, 2002

Billy Bragg is a superkeen fellow, although I prefer when he's a little less hamhanded with his politics.

Which is rare, I know. I love him anyway.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:00 AM on May 16, 2002

Can I have a thumb in the eye for the republicans too Mr Bragg? I suppose this is a slightly more 'worthy' cause than buying 'God Save The Queen' [Sex Pistols version!] 20th Anniversary giftwrap.
posted by nedrichards at 1:58 AM on May 16, 2002

I prefer when he's a little less hamhanded with his politics.

Agreed. This is his first album that I don't completely love. In fact, I don't really like it. "In the war of circulation, it sells newspapers." So to speak.
posted by yerfatma at 4:58 AM on May 16, 2002

Billy Bragg googlebombs the UK charts...
posted by rory at 5:46 AM on May 16, 2002

Agreed, Stavros.

To be honest, Billy started losing it, in my opinion, on Don't Try This At Home, and I think he's been well aware of it. The singing in falsetto thing disturbs me no end. But I'll always be a fan of his, even when William Bloke had more skippers than play-ers.

The lyrics of this new song look pretty painful and facile. The "" thing particularly cringe-inducing...kind of like the "Don't offer me a place out in cyberspace cuz where the hell's that at?" line.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:04 AM on May 16, 2002

kind of like the "Don't offer me a place out in cyberspace cuz where the hell's that at?" line.

Really? "The Space Race is Over" is one of my favortie songs, precisely because it wasn't what I expected. I assumed from the title that it would be a tirade against spending on space projects; instead I got a wistful song about boyhood dreams. I think William Bloke, with an exception or two, is a terrific disc. Then again, I even like Bloke on Bloke.
posted by yerfatma at 9:37 AM on May 16, 2002

No, yerfatma, I agree with you. I like that song a lot. Just something about that line always puts me off.

I think "Brickbat" and "Space Race" are great songs, along the lones of "Tank Park Salute"... But I do probably skip half the songs on Bloke every listen. I appreciate that his music had to evolve...the Back to Basics - Workers Playtime discs are probably my favorite of his work... but I just prefer the old stuff.

Wasn't Space Race actually a cover, now that I think about it? Billy's done some great covers... Tim Buckley's Dolphins stands out and who was A World Turned Upside Down? I want to say Dick Gaughan. Always like A13 Trunk Road to The Sea too.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:46 AM on May 16, 2002

Space Race was an original: the Pict Song was from Kipling.

Billy's b-sides and rarities are worth investigating. "This Gulf Between Us" was left off Wiliiam Bloke, unfortunately. He also used Woody's lyrics to great effect on a song called "Bug-Eyed Jim", which you probably only heard if you got a copy of the single "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key".

Completists can investigate all kinds of obscure MP3s, including "This Gulf", at Braggtopia.

(Please don't look directly at the image of Billy as the Napster kitty: you'll burn your retinas out. Mark Warner, the Aussie who runs the site, is a wonderful guy, but he really shouldn't have done that).
posted by maudlin at 10:14 AM on May 16, 2002

"The Red Flag" still stands as my favorite (favourite, I suppose) Bragg cover. And "The Saturday Boy" as my favorite song. But I've been perfectly happy with Billy's maturation until now. He's been too long with the baby. In the bathroom. Listening to the sea.
posted by yerfatma at 11:13 AM on May 16, 2002

The World Turned Upside Down was written by Leon Rosselson. The Dick Gaughan song Billy covered (on the b-side of Levi Stubbs' Tears) was Think Again.

Personally I rather enjoy the new album, though I don't think it's his best.
posted by rbrwr at 2:28 PM on May 16, 2002

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