Saturday, May 17, 2008

571. Billy Bragg - Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (1986)

Track Listing

1. Greetings To The New Brunette
2. Train Train
3. Marriage
4. Ideology
5. Levi Stubbs' Tears
6. Honey I'm A Big Boy Now
7. There Is Power In A Union
8. Help Save The Youth Of America
9. Wishing The Days Away
10. Passion
11. Warmest Room
12. Home Front


Billy Bragg is more famous these days as a talking head on TV than really a musician, but he is a talking head because of his strong political views and those come across strongly in this album.

Unfortunately many of those more political songs come across has ham-fisted and not subtle enough to pass as an integral part of the album. Where he saves his face is definitely in the more romantic songs, although he never abandons the politics completely.

I do agree with his politics in most of the songs, being the commie that I am, but they do seem to be overtaking the album rather than enhancing it. Some of them sound just like stuff you'd sing out at a rally, like There Is Power In A Union and others grate.

Track Highlights

1. Greetings To The New Brunette
2. Levi Stubbs Tears
3. The Marriage
4. The Home Front

Final Grade



With production by John Porter and Kenny Jones, Talking with the Taxman about Poetry featured more musicians than Bragg's previous works, which were generally little more than Bragg himself and a guitar. There were two singles released from the album. While "Levi Stubbs' Tears" peaked at #29 in the UK, the follow-up "Greetings To The New Brunette" fell short, only managing #58 a few months later.

The song "Ideology" is based on Bob Dylan's song "Chimes of Freedom".

The song "There Is Power in a Union" is based on the song "Battle Cry of Freedom".

Greetings to the New Brunette:

No comments: