Library Rock's Backpages

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg

39 articles

Free articles

Billy Bragg's Brave New England

Report and Interview by Mark Sinker, The Observer, 27 November 1988

2005 comment: Neil Spencer didn’t rate me or want to use me, according to Jon Savage – who told him (Sav told me) not to ...

Audio interviews

Billy Bragg (1990)

Interview by Larry Jaffee, Rock's Backpages audio, May 1990

The Bard of Barking talks about being politicised, the Miners' Strike, experiences of racism in the Army, his new album The Internationale... and rather a lot about Margaret Thatcher.

File format: mp3; file size: 30.1mb, interview length: 32' 54" sound quality: ****

Billy Bragg (1987)

Interview by Mat Snow, Rock's Backpages audio, November 1987

Art vs. commerce; pop and politics; materialism; the Second World War – the Bard of Barking on all of that and more.

File format: mp3; file size: 59.8mb, interview length: 1h 02' 14" sound quality: ***

List of articles in the library

By date | By writer | Most recently added

Billy Bragg: Malcolm Essex

Report and Interview by David Quantick, New Musical Express, 7 March 1992

OH DEAR. I am going to marry Billy Bragg. It's like this; Billy and I are in a tacky sort of '50s retro gift shop ...

R.E.M., U2, The Ramones etal: Milton Keynes Bowl, Buckinghamshire

Live Review by Garry Bushell, Sounds, 29 June 1985


Billy Bragg: England, Half English (Cooking Vinyl)****

Review by Gavin Martin, Uncut, April 2002

FIRST ORIGINAL album in six years from Bard of Barking, celebrating joys of collaboration and national diversity ...

Billy Bragg: Big Ben vs Little Billy

Interview by Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, 14 January 1984

AFTER NEARLY two years of playing the relentless troubadour all around this curious, fragmented isle, Billy Bragg and his guitar are starting to get noticed. ...

SXSW: Billy Bragg plays songs from new album, plus one inspired by the Bible

Report and Interview by Geoffrey Himes, Baltimore City Paper, 15 March 2013

"THE PROBLEM with most protest songs," Billy Bragg said Wednesday afternoon, "is people spend all their time on the protest and not enough on the ...

I Smell the Blood of a Half-Englishman: Billy Bragg

Interview by Geoffrey Himes, Harp, May 2002

What does it mean to be an Englishman? Billy Bragg explains it to Geoffrey Himes. ...

Billy Bragg interview: "I can't watch Question Time anymore — it's like the Coliseum"

Interview by Ian Winwood, Daily Telegraph, 18 September 2019

ON THE SONG 'Old Clash Fan Fight Song', a bash-em-out deep cut from the Fight Songs album of 2011, Billy Bragg sings of "a mate ...

Echo & The Bunnymen, Ian Dury et al: Glastonbury CND Festival, Pilton, Somerset

Live Review by Jack Barron, Sounds, 29 June 1985

"JESUS WEPT," from St Mark's Gospel is, I'm assured, the shortest verse in The Bible. That his Divinity did so over this event when 40,000 people decamped ...

Peter Jenner Journeys Through The Minefields Of The Rock World

Interview by Jim Sullivan, The Boston Globe, 9 January 1990

IN HIS 46 years, Peter Jenner has seen a lot of rock 'n' roll, and a lot of rock 'n' rollers, come and go. He's ...

Billy Bragg: Barking's Woody Guthrie on 30 years of songs and activism

Interview by John Harris, The Guardian, 26 March 2013

From agitpop to love songs, Bragg has brought his audience through life with him, creating a soundtrack to thousands of lives ...

Britain in song

Essay by John Lewis, Do Not Disturb, Summer 2011

How do the British address their cities in song? With bathos, pathos and a large helping of silliness, says John Lewis ...

Red Wedge

Retrospective and Interview by Johnny Black, Q, March 1996

Only one thing could possibly save us from vicious '80s Conservatism: the assembly of pop pinkos that made up the Labour-supporting Red Wedge organisation. Johnny ...

Billy Bragg: "Boris was trolling me the whole time. We've got a wind-up merchant as PM."

Interview by Jude Rogers, The Guardian, 29 October 2021

As the bard of Barking tours a new album, he reflects on modern politics, his scraps with the Daily Mail and why he could do ...

Billy Bragg's record collection

Interview by Len Brown, New Musical Express, 14 February 1987

A HARE-BRAINED afternoon in the warmest room and things are not quite what they seem. The bookshelves may be burdened with Mayakovsky and miner's lamps; ...

Is Billy Bragg Pissing In The Wind Or What?

Interview by Len Brown, New Musical Express, 4 November 1989

Highway Through Hellas: a Greek tragicomedy in sex acts and three comic benefits. Starring Billy Bragg as Flash Gordon (protest singer, planet saviour and aspiring ...

Billy Bragg: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry

Review by Lucy O'Brien, New Musical Express, 27 September 1986

SUBTITLED 'THE difficult third album', this is Billy growing into a Big Boy. Decorating the sleeve with Mayakovsky's poem, Bragg takes seriously his role as ...

Billy Bragg Comes to Tea

Memoir by Martin Colyer, Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week, 19 May 2017

IN THE LATE summer of last year, I received an email out of the blue from Billy Bragg. ...

Billy Bragg: Captain’s Cabin, London

Live Review by Mary Harron, The Guardian, 1983

PLACING a heavy burden on a small but genuine talent, Billy Bragg has been hailed as the next big thing. ...

Billy Bragg: Don't Try This At Home

Review by Mat Snow, Q, October 1991

"WHAT DO they know of England who only England know?" enquires Billy Bragg, Bard of Barking. He is quoting, with a tiny adjustment, Rudyard Kipling, ...

Billy Bragg: Don't Try This At Home

Review by Michele Kirsch, Select, November 1991

ON 1988's Worker's Playtime LP, Billy Bragg was "Waiting for the great leap forwards". It's been a long time coming, but he's made that leap, ...

The Style Council, the Questions, Billy Bragg: Dominion Theatre, London

Live Review by Neil Tennant, Smash Hits, 29 March 1984

OUTSIDE, COPIES of Socialist Youth are on sale and touts are trying to buy tickets because they can resell them for twenty quid to those ...

Billy Bragg: Bill of Rights

Interview by Paolo Hewitt, New Musical Express, 18 January 1986

Can RED WEDGE kick new life into old Labour? Will our lovable lefty pop heroes transform Kinnock's party into a stylish outfit prepared for government? ...

The Redskins, Billy Bragg, Bronski Beat: Institute of Contemporary Art, London

Live Review by Paul Bradshaw, New Musical Express, 14 January 1984


English national anthem: Is 'Jerusalem' the hymn we've been looking for?

Comment by Peter Silverton, The Independent, 10 March 2016

In its 100 years, the hymn 'Jerusalem' has been sung with feeling by those of all political colours, says Peter Silverton. ...

Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue (Elektra)

Review by Richard Cromelin, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 1998

IF HE WERE around today, it figures that Woody Guthrie would make music that sounds like Dylan and Springsteen, Costello and the Clash. In this ...

Songs For Woody: Billy Bragg & Wilco's Mermaid Avenue

Review by RJ Smith, The Village Voice, 7 July 1998

WOODY GUTHRIE bequeathed us his jumble. Willing in life to play straight man for many right causes, in death he left a tangle of words ...

Billy Bragg: Life's a Riot With Spy vs. Spy (CD Presents)

Review by RJ Smith, Spin, September 1985

IT'S ABOUT time to write a deconstructionist regulation sheet to be posted in the halls of rockcritdom. I mean, surely it is so when a ...

Billy Bragg: Don't Try This at Home (Elektra)

Review by Rob Tannenbaum, Rolling Stone, 31 October 1991

ALTHOUGH BILLY Bragg is often a great songwriter, it's no surprise that his socialist-propaganda ditties haven't converted young Americans to the teachings of Marx and ...

The ICA Season: Rock Bands Find The Human Touch

Live Review by Simon Frith, The Observer, 1984

Billy Bragg/Prefab Sprout: The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London ...

South by Southwest: Where The Weird Get Going

Report by Stephen Dalton, The Times, 26 March 2010

The freaks were out in force in Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest festival. Stephen Dalton revels in the music ...

Billy Bragg: Workers Playtime (Go! Discs LP/Cassette/ CD)

Review by Stuart Maconie, New Musical Express, 17 September 1988


Mandela's Day — The Journey To Freedom

Report and Interview by Ted Mico, Melody Maker, 28 April 1990


Billy Bragg: Patriot Games

Interview by Terry Staunton, Record Collector, January 2008

As BILLY BRAGG blows out 50 candles on his birthday cake, TERRY STAUNTON sharpens his pencil for a musical history lesson ...

Who The Hell Does Billy Bragg Think He Is?

Interview by Tom Hibbert, Q, October 1991

Here he comes again: "pop's political conscience" in his dilapidated trousers and sensible shoes, worthily correcting the unenlightened and uplifting the downtrodden with his unsubtle ...

Billy Bragg: Best Of Billy Bragg at the BBC, 1983–2019

Review by Tony Burke, Morning Star, 24 October 2019

The radical pedigree of Billy Bragg's latest compilation release shows why he's in danger of becoming a national treasure, says Tony Burke. ...

Red Wedge

Report and Interview by William Shaw, Smash Hits, 12 February 1986

"It's no good just complaining in your beer about things — you've got to come out and say it..." So says Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp. ...


back to LIBRARY