A Very Best of Billy Bragg and More on the Moon

There has always been a lot more to Mr Bragg than his general image as a socialist protest singer. To me, he is simply a great songwriter who has produced brilliant songs for the last 30odd years. Many of his best are just great love songs with brilliant and often emotionally raw lyrics, or some that are just very funny. I don't think all his protest songs work, but when they do they are brilliant -  such as the barnstorming live version of To Have and to Have Not in the playlist below, and the more recent We're Following the Wrong Star. To me these songs are just as, or more relevant now, then when they were first released. Then there is the likes of Must I Paint you a Picture which one of the greatest fans of Dame Shirley Bassey declared, on first listen, that it could be one for the Dame.

Below the playlist there are links to a number of other playlists charting what I think are the essential Billy Bragg, along with a best of the Mermaid Avenue albums he did with Wilco, for which they wrote the music to go with lyrics left by the great Woody Guthrie. For non-subscribers, much of the material can be purchased for very little cost by downloading the Vol 1&2 box sets along with the complete Mermaid Avenue sessions. For subscribers to other streaming services check out soundiiz

His music is also far more diverse than what I would think is the general perception. Many might well have been surprised he got involved with Wilco for Mermaid Avenue, but fans should not have been so surprised as they would have known about the likes of Wishing the Days Away from back in 86, and his work with Peter Buck and Michael Stripe of REM on the Johnny Marr produced Don't Try this at Home from 1991. Don't Try this at Home in it's extended form is my favourite, and his most diverse with likes of Cindy of a Thousand Lives sounding like Wilco circa 1999 at their most adventurous. Tooth & Nail, his album from this year is one of his most consistent, with track like Do Onto Others and Tommorrow's Going to be be a Better day are up there with his very best.

Moon advert: Check out  A Best of the Wind-Up Birds from Spotify On the Moon 
As it is as powerful and lyrically great as Mr Bragg at his protesting best.

Billy Bragg Vol 1 83-85

Billy Bragg Vol 2 86-90

Billy Bragg Vol 3 Don't Try This at Home Extended Moon Mix

Billy Bragg & Wilco A Best of Mermaid Avenue

Billy Bragg Vol 4 97-2002

Billy Bragg Vol 5 2003-2013

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