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Billy Bragg — The Man in the Iron Mask
Album: Back to Basics
Avg rating:
6.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 163









Released: 1987
Length: 2:10
Plays (last 30 days): 0
(no lyrics available)
Comments (36)add comment
I must admit the, eh, humble accent fell a bit raw on my ears in what is otherwise a nice soft ballad, especially after Neil Youngs ultra-smooth Canadian in "Harvest moon".

Is this an Essex accent?

 fredriley wrote:

I'll second that. I saw Billy at a Jail Guitar Doors fundraiser in Nottingham, and there is absolutely no doubt about his continuing activism and commitment to practical and political causes, often unpopular causes - helping prisoners learn instruments is pretty unfashionable in these days of lock 'em up and throw away the keys. He's a decent guy, and I'd happily share a pint or four with him. To their credit, the surviving members of The Clash are also committed to Jail Guitar Doors. Not all stars sell out.

As for David's accusation:
Billy Bragg is now a landowner in Dorset, playing the country squire
I think a bit of qualification on this is required - what do you mean by "landowner"? Are we talking a back garden or a country estate? Does he employ hired labour, or work it himself? And do you have evidence of him "playing the country squire", or is that just a snide snipe? If he's being a squire, it sure doesn't show in his accent, opinions or attitudes. The time I saw him he was still a plain Barking boy, and I doubt that he's made enough money in his career to be any sort of squire - know what I mean, squire?

 

What is a squire?  Must be an class thing . . .
 Poacher wrote:

Actually, Billy is still as active as ever. I follow him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Billy-Bragg/44905697470) and apart from touring he is still very politically active. 

Just because he has a house in Dorset does not mean he has sold out. 
 
I'll second that. I saw Billy at a Jail Guitar Doors fundraiser in Nottingham, and there is absolutely no doubt about his continuing activism and commitment to practical and political causes, often unpopular causes - helping prisoners learn instruments is pretty unfashionable in these days of lock 'em up and throw away the keys. He's a decent guy, and I'd happily share a pint or four with him. To their credit, the surviving members of The Clash are also committed to Jail Guitar Doors. Not all stars sell out.

As for David's accusation:
Billy Bragg is now a landowner in Dorset, playing the country squire
I think a bit of qualification on this is required - what do you mean by "landowner"? Are we talking a back garden or a country estate? Does he employ hired labour, or work it himself? And do you have evidence of him "playing the country squire", or is that just a snide snipe? If he's being a squire, it sure doesn't show in his accent, opinions or attitudes. The time I saw him he was still a plain Barking boy, and I doubt that he's made enough money in his career to be any sort of squire - know what I mean, squire?

 peter_james_bond wrote:
In that way he reminds me of John Lennon.  

Considering Lennon's surreptitious funding of the IRA that's not particularly complimentary to Bragg.

Young BB still sends chills up my spine sometimes and this is one of them. Complex combination of music and memory of a place in time...
 DavidS_UK wrote:

Maybe, because unlike John Major who had grown up in a small flat in South London and went to a normal school, Tony came from an enormously priveleged background, the sort that allowed him to play around with Socialism, knowing his personal fortune and way of life would always be excellent, so wasn't worried by the pain it might bring to normal people.

And of course Billy Bragg is now a landowner in Dorset, playing the country squire, so I don't think you'll be seeing him in any east end boozer soon.
 
Actually, Billy is still as active as ever. I follow him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Billy-Bragg/44905697470) and apart from touring he is still very politically active. 

Just because he has a house in Dorset does not mean he has sold out.  


 calypsus_1 wrote:

Billy Bragg by `contains-mild-peril
Adam ©2008-2010 `contains-mild-peril

An old archive shot, one of the first jobs I did at South West News. Quite intimidating meeting Mr Bragg, I'm a bit of a fan. Really nice guy, very friendly and approachable. Joked that he should be holding the Guardian in all the shots, just to wind up the Financial Times who I was shooting for.

Shoot was for the launch of The Imagined Village, a collective of world and folk musicians re-working old folk songs.

Image copyright SWNS.

.


 
I like this photo. I also like Billy Bragg, an artist with a political point of view that he's not afraid to share. In that way he reminds me of John Lennon.


Billy Bragg by `contains-mild-peril
Adam ©2008-2010 `contains-mild-peril

An old archive shot, one of the first jobs I did at South West News. Quite intimidating meeting Mr Bragg, I'm a bit of a fan. Really nice guy, very friendly and approachable. Joked that he should be holding the Guardian in all the shots, just to wind up the Financial Times who I was shooting for.

Shoot was for the launch of The Imagined Village, a collective of world and folk musicians re-working old folk songs.

Image copyright SWNS.

.


Seems like I'm losing my ear for what's an irish accent: at first, I thought it was Christy Moore.....

Thank you, Calypsus_1, for that really fun clip with Billy Bragg and KT Tunstall. Such a wonderful chemistry between them.  I just love Billy Bragg, no matter what he does (well, unless he commits an unforgiveable crime with no remorse.)

I really have to shut up now.

Billy Bragg & KT Tunstall on British Music

KT Tunstall and Billy Bragg discuss why David Bowie rules the roost and British music is the best.


 DavidS_UK wrote:

Maybe, because unlike John Major who had grown up in a small flat in South London and went to a normal school, Tony came from an enormously priveleged background, the sort that allowed him to play around with Socialism, knowing his personal fortune and way of life would always be excellent, so wasn't worried by the pain it might bring to normal people.

And of course Billy Bragg is now a landowner in Dorset, playing the country squire, so I don't think you'll be seeing him in any east end boozer soon.

 
The only reason Tony Blair ever played around with Socialism was to endear himself to "Old Labour". After he used them as a launching pad for his political aspirations, he gutted Labour  the same way Bill Clinton and the DLC did the Democrats in the USA.

Blair was a suck ass for Bush for the same reason he was for Clinton: money and power. F*ck all of them.

Billy Bragg walks the talk. I've seen him playing his music in the rain to raise money for striking workers in this country. That's good enough for me.

As for Billy being a "country squire": you ought to be happy he's living there and paying taxes in your God-forsaken postage stamp of a country, instead of hauling ass when he got a few quid, like the rest of your musical elite.

Not that I'm opinionated, or anything.

 peter_james_bond wrote:

I've always been impressed with Billy, he didn't just speak about change, he got down in the trenches and worked for it.

Ahhh, John Major....British politics post Thatcher. Tony Blair obliterated him in 1997 and ushered in Cool Britannia but then, for reasons that still puzzle most of us, became George Bush's lap dog and dragged Britain into the Iraq war.

 
Maybe, because unlike John Major who had grown up in a small flat in South London and went to a normal school, Tony came from an enormously priveleged background, the sort that allowed him to play around with Socialism, knowing his personal fortune and way of life would always be excellent, so wasn't worried by the pain it might bring to normal people.

And of course Billy Bragg is now a landowner in Dorset, playing the country squire, so I don't think you'll be seeing him in any east end boozer soon.

Billllleeeeeee!!!! {#Hearteyes}
Simply. Awesome.
 fredriley wrote:
Hmm. As a person, our Billy is a complete opposite to the egocentric, narcissistic, reclusive, misanthropist miserabilist that is Morissey. Bragg is sociable, likeable, politically-active, and as far as I can see quite likes people. I wouldn't mind sharing a few pints with him in an East End boozer :*). 8 from the Nottingham jury.

The title of the album, BTW, is an ironic reference to the Conservative Party slogan in the early 90s under the much-unlamented John "the grey man" Major, who coined "back to basics" as a rallying cry for the Tories only to be repeatedly embarrassed when one Tory MP after another was found with his pants down, often literally, in one business/sex scandal after another.
 
I've always been impressed with Billy, he didn't just speak about change, he got down in the trenches and worked for it.

Ahhh, John Major....British politics post Thatcher. Tony Blair obliterated him in 1997 and ushered in Cool Britannia but then, for reasons that still puzzle most of us, became George Bush's lap dog and dragged Britain into the Iraq war.

"Back to Basics" is a brilliant album. Just Billy and guitar mostly. If you like it stripped back and raw, definitely check it out.
agnes wrote:
Horrid, trivial, grating.

And what the hell was that Picardy third all about?!?!

{#No}

It's not the best song from his early albums (my vote for that would be the beautiful St Swithin's Day - another poignant tale of love gone awry), but it's as well fashioned and expressive as A New England which was successful for Kirsty MacColl. It's a solid 8 for me.

You award 10s to Janis Joplin, Tom Waits and Muddy Waters but you call Bragg "grating"?

{#No} indeed...

Horrid, trivial, grating.

And what the hell was that Picardy third all about?!?!

{#No}
Great to hear some Billy Bragg on RP - especially this hugely sad and powerless song from brokenhearted guy...

If you want a more upbeat take on heartbreak, try 'The Saturday Girl'

More Billy please! 
 babyjuice wrote:
Hey, its Billy Morrisey!
 
Hmm. As a person, our Billy is a complete opposite to the egocentric, narcissistic, reclusive, misanthropist miserabilist that is Morissey. Bragg is sociable, likeable, politically-active, and as far as I can see quite likes people. I wouldn't mind sharing a few pints with him in an East End boozer :*). 8 from the Nottingham jury.

The title of the album, BTW, is an ironic reference to the Conservative Party slogan in the early 90s under the much-unlamented John "the grey man" Major, who coined "back to basics" as a rallying cry for the Tories only to be repeatedly embarrassed when one Tory MP after another was found with his pants down, often literally, in one business/sex scandal after another.


trekhead wrote:



Brilliant!

Unfortunately I hear nothing else now. Thanks.


It would be great if you could play The World Turned Upside Down from this album. Billy does one of the best versions of the Diggers' Song I've ever heard...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK2ldle1kAk




Hey, its Billy Morrisey!
I'm having Davey Jones flashbacks.
I used to think Mr. Bragg was something of a one trick pony, playing the angry young man. But 'Mermaid Avenue' turned me around right quick. This further confirms he's got some real talent. c.
I think this was alright :)
I thought it might be a lost acoustic rendition by Nigel Tufnel. Though he looks more like David St. Hubbins.
What a great voice he has.
We need more Billy Bragg on RP!
:yes:
trekhead wrote:
WTF? He's a' right is our Billy - a true modern Lahndan troubadour. 8 from the Nottingham jury.
This reminds me a little of "Levi Stubbs' Tears". We need more Billy Bragg on RP!
Bill, thank you so much for playing Billy! Love love love him!
Haven't heard it yet but I love BB so I'm excited!
Thought it was ELP--Flashback, man.