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Billy Bragg

Biography

Finding inspiration within the righteous anger of punk rock and roll as well as the socially conscious folk custom of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the best figure from the anti-folk motion from the ’80s. For some from the 10 years, Bragg bashed out tracks only on his guitar, performing about politics and like. While his lyrics had been bitingly smart and clever, these were also warm and humane, filled up with fine detail and wit. Despite the fact that his lyrics had been carefully regarded as, Bragg under no circumstances neglected to create melodies for tracks that were solid and memorable. Through the entire ’80s, he were able to graph regularly in Britain, however he just collected a cult pursuing in America, that could be because of the fact that he sang about distinctly English subject material, both politically and socially. Bragg started carrying out in the past due ’70s using the punk group Riff Raff, which lasted just a matter of weeks. He then became a member of the English Army, however he quickly bought himself from his sojourn with £175. After departing the Military, he began operating at an archive shop; while he was operating, he was composing tracks that were securely within the folk and punk protest custom. Bragg started a English tour, playing whenever he previously the opportunity to perform. Regularly he would open up for rings with just a moment’s see; soon, he previously built a big following, mainly because evidenced by his first EP, Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy (1983), striking number 30 for the U.K. unbiased graphs. Making Up with Billy Bragg (1984), his initial full-length record, climbed to amount 16 within the graphs. During 1984, Bragg became a superstar in Britain, as he made an appearance at leftist politics rallies, hits, and benefits in the united states; he also helped type the “Crimson Wedge,” a socialist music artists’ collective that also highlighted Paul Weller. In 1985, Kirsty MacColl had taken one of is own music, “New Britain,” to amount seven over the United kingdom singles graph. Featuring some simple instrumental enhancements of piano and horns, 1986’s Speaking using the Taxman About Poetry reached the U.K. TOP. Bragg’s version from the Beatles’ “She’s Departing Home,” extracted from the Sgt. Pepper Knew MY DAD tribute record, became his just number one solitary in 1988 — because the dual A-side with Damp Damp Wet’s “With just a little Help from My Close friends.” That yr, he also released the EP ASSIST IN SAVING the Youngsters of America as well as the full-length Employees Playtime, that was made by Joe Boyd (Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, R.E.M.). Boyd helped increase Bragg’s sound, because the vocalist recorded with a complete band for the very first time. The following yr, Bragg restarted the Energy record label as a means of featuring noncommercial new performers. The Internationale, released in 1990, was a assortment of left-wing anthems, including a small number of Bragg originals. On 1991’s Don’t TRY OUT THIS in the home, he again caused a full music group, documenting his most pop-oriented and available set of tracks; the recording featured the strike solitary, “Sexuality.” Bragg got many years off after Don’t TRY OUT THIS at Home, selecting to focus on fatherhood. He came back in 1996 with William Bloke. In 1998, he teamed using the American alternate country music group Wilco to record Mermaid Avenue, a assortment of performances predicated on unreleased tracks originally compiled by Woody Guthrie. Achieving to the Transformed, a assortment of rarities, adopted a year later on, and in middle-2000 Bragg and Wilco reunited for another Mermaid Avenue established. While touring to get Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2, Bragg produced the Blokes in 1999 with Little Encounters keyboardist Ian McLagan. Lu Edmonds (electric guitar), Ben Mandelson (lap metal electric guitar), Martyn Barker (drums), and Simon Edwards (bass) solidified the group while Bragg transferred from London to rural Dorset in early 2001. Twelve months afterwards, the Blokes became a member of Bragg for Britain, Half British, his first single work since William Bloke. In 2004, Bragg collaborated with SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN Jake for “The Brightest Light bulb Has Burnt Out,” a monitor included on the Rock and roll Against Bush, Vol. 1 compilation. The two-CD SHOULD I Color You an image? THE FUNDAMENTAL Billy Bragg made an appearance in 2003 with preliminary copies having a third reward Compact disc of collectibles and rarities. The Yep Roc label released the container set Quantity 1 in 2006. The established included seven CDs and two Dvd videos of previously unavailable live video footage, as well as the label concurrently reissued four game titles from Bragg’s early back again catalog in extended editions. Billy Bragg spent another year documenting in London, Devon, and Lincolnshire, and 2008 noticed the discharge of Mr. Like & Justice, his initial solo work in six years. Even though Blokes offered as Bragg’s support band for the record, a limited-edition bundle also included another disc made up of close single recordings. The bare-bones Woody Guthrie-inspired Tooth & Toe nail found its way to early 2013 and the next season brought the Dvd movie & CD established, Live on the Union Chapel, including an encore efficiency of Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy in its entirety being a reward feature. Within the springtime of 2016, Bragg teamed up with American vocalist, songwriter, and manufacturer Joe Henry to create an recording of folk tunes inspired from the legacy from the American railroad program. Recorded having a portable documenting rig while Bragg and Henry rode an Amtrak collection from Chicago to LA, Sparkle a Light: Field Recordings from the fantastic American Railroad premiered in Sept 2016, and accompanied by a joint concert tour.

Quick Facts


Full Name Billy Bragg
Profession Author, Songwriter, Singer-songwriter, Activist
Education Barking Abbey School
Nationality British
Spouse Juliet Bragg
Children Jack Bragg
Parents Marie Victoria D'Urso, Dennis Frederick Austin Bragg
Music Groups The Imagined Village
Music Songs Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards, A New England, Levi Stubbs' Tears, Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key, California Stars, Help Save the Youth of America, Greetings to the New Brunette, There Is Power in a Union, Accident Waiting to Happen, Must I Paint You a Picture, Sexuality, Between the Wars, She's Got a New Spell, The Milkman of Human Kindness, It Says Here, Handyman Blues, I Keep Faith, To Have and to Have Not, Never Buy the Sun, The Boy Done Good, The Saturday Boy, She's Leaving Home, Take Down the Union Jack, Tank Park Salute, She Came Along to Me, All You Fascists, No One Knows Nothing Anymore, You Woke Up My Neighbourhood, St Swithin's Day, A Lover Sings, The Internationale, Thatcherites
Albums Mermaid Avenue, Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy, Workers Playtime, Tooth & Nail, Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, Don't Try This at Home, William Bloke, England, Half-English, Brewing Up with Billy Bragg, Mr Love & Justice, Volume 1, The Internationale, Shine a Light, The Peel Session Album, Between the Wars, Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, Back to Basics, Must I Paint You a Picture? The Essential Billy Bragg, Reaching to the Converted, Bloke on Bloke, Volume 2, Live At the Union Chapel London, Victim of Geography, Fight Songs, Mermaid Avenue Vol. III
Nominations Brit Award for British Video
Movies Walking and Talking, Man in the Sand, Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, The Internationale, Breaking Rocks, Death or Liberty, Tell Us the Truth: The Live Concert Recording, UK Freedom Festival, Strummerville, Chartered Streets


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Bragg publicly opposed Paul Simon's decision to record his album Graceland in Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. When Simon played the first of six nights at London's Royal Albert Hall on April 7 1987, Bragg joined Paul Weller and Jerry Dammers in protesting outside and delivered a letter demanding that Simon give a "complete and heartfelt apology to the UN General Assembly".
2 Supported the Liberal Democrats at the 2010 UK general election.
3 A founding member and a director of the Featured Artists' Coalition, a lobby group launched in 2009 with the aim of giving music artists a greater voice in big decisions in the music industry, from digital deals to copyright law.
4 Winner of the 2007 Q Classic Songwriter Award.
5 One of his albums was produced primarily to pay a large bill to British tax authorities. The album was entitled, appropriately, "Talking With The Taxman About Poetry".
6 West Ham Football club supporter.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Antonia Bird: From EastEnders to Hollywood 2016 TV Movie documentary performer: "Blake's Jerusalem"
Urban Hymn 2015 performer: "I Keep Faith"
Whatever Happened to Rock 'n' Roll? 2015 TV Movie performer: "Island of No Return" - uncredited / writer: "Island of No Return" - uncredited
Paper Towns 2015 performer: "WALT WHITMAN'S NIECE" / writer: "WALT WHITMAN'S NIECE"
The Gambler 2014/III performer: "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
Pride 2014/I performer: "There Is Power in a Union" / writer: "There Is Power in a Union"
Trophy Wife 2014 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Bad Words 2013 performer: "Feed of Man"
Thanks for Sharing 2012 performer: "TENDER COMRADE" / writer: "TENDER COMRADE"
Drink 'Em Dry 2012 Documentary performer: "There Is Power in a Union" / writer: "There Is Power in a Union"
Fringe 2012 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Elokuu 2011 performer: "A New England" / writer: "A New England"
Love & Other Drugs 2010 performer: "Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key" / writer: "Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key" - as Stephen William Bragg
Made in Dagenham 2010 writer: "Made In Dagenham"
House M.D. 2010 TV Series performer - 1 episode
180° South 2010 Documentary performer: "Remember the Mountain Bed"
Religulous 2008 Documentary performer: "Christ For President"
The Strangers 2008 performer: "At My Window, Sad and Lonely"
War, Inc. 2008 performer: "Blood of the Lamb"
Mama's Boy 2007 performer: "The Busy Girl Buys Beauty", "She's Got a New Spell" / writer: "The Busy Girl Buys Beauty", "She's Got a New Spell"
King of California 2007 performer: "California Stars"
Half Nelson 2006 performer: "A New England"
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train 2004 Documentary performer: "There Is Power In A Union" / writer: "There Is Power In A Union"
Monkey Dust 2003 TV Series 1 episode
Chelsea Walls 2001 performer: "When the Roses Bloom Again"
Gilmore Girls 2001 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Mumford 1999 performer: "Hoodoo Voodoo" / writer: "Hoodoo Voodoo"
A Room for Romeo Brass 1999 performer: "Everywhere"
Children of the Revolution 1996 performer: "Tender Comrade" / writer: "Tender Comrade"
Walking and Talking 1996 performer: "She's Got a New Spell", "Fourteenth of February", "Must I Paint You a Picture", "You Woke Up My Neighborhood" / writer: "She's Got a New Spell", "Fourteenth of February", "Must I Paint You a Picture", "You Woke Up My Neighborhood"
Mad Love 1995 writer: "As Long As You Hold Me"
Sirppi ja kitara 1988 Documentary performer: "Get Up, Stand Up"

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Walking and Talking 1996
Screenplay 1993 TV Series 1 episode

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Falling Out 2011 Short musician

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Call Me Lucky 2015 Documentary films clips & stills

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Cuckoo 2016 TV Series special thanks to - 1 episode
Way of the Morris 2011 Documentary special thanks
Made in Dagenham 2010 thanks
Fossil Detectives 2008 TV Series documentary thanks - 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Beyond Barricades 2016 Documentary post-production Himself
Man in the Camo Jacket 2016 Documentary post-production Himself
Trailblazers Of 2016 TV Series documentary Himself
The 80s: Ten Years That Changed Britain 2016 TV Movie documentary Himself - Musician & Left-wing activist
Question Time 1999-2015 TV Series Himself
Death or Liberty 2015 Documentary Himself
Urban Hymn 2015 Himself
Whatever Happened to Rock 'n' Roll? 2015 TV Movie Himself
Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery 2015 TV Series documentary Himself
Glastonbury 2015 2015 TV Series Himself
Panorama 2010-2015 TV Series documentary Himself - Panelist (Singer / Activist) / Himself
Call Me Lucky 2015 Documentary Himself
Walking Through History 2015 TV Series documentary Himself - Songwriter and Activist
The Life of Rock with Brian Pern 2014 TV Mini-Series Himself
Newsnight 2010-2014 TV Series Himself - Contributor / Himself
Billy Bragg Live at the Union Chapel London 2014 Himself
Austin City Limits 1999-2013 TV Series documentary Himself
Loose Women 2013 TV Series Himself
Q&A 2012 TV Series Himself - Panelist
Let Fury Have the Hour 2012 Documentary Himself
Last Shop Standing 2012 Documentary Himself
Democracy Now! 2011-2012 TV Series Himself
Punk Britannia 2012 TV Series documentary Himself
Evidently... John Cooper Clarke 2012 Documentary Himself - Singer / Songwriter
10 O'Clock Live 2012 TV Series Himself - Musician
This Week 2010-2011 TV Series Himself
Way of the Morris 2011 Documentary Himself
Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune 2010 Documentary Musician / Activist
Dispatches 2010 TV Series documentary Himself
Alan Davies' Teenage Revolution 2010 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
I'm in a Rock 'n' Roll Band 2010 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
Strummerville 2010 Documentary Himself
Late Review 2010 TV Series Himself - Panelist / Performer
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls 2009 Documentary Himself
Breaking Rocks 2009 Documentary
The One Show 2009 TV Series Himself
The Wright Stuff 2007-2008 TV Series Himself - Guest Panelist
Fossil Detectives 2008 TV Series documentary Himself
The Interface 2008 TV Series
Sunday AM 2008 TV Series Himself - Musician
Late Night with Conan O'Brien 2002-2008 TV Series Himself
Q with Jian Ghomeshi 2008 TV Series Himself - Guest
British Film Forever 2007 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
The Sunday Programme 2007 TV Series Himself
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 2006-2007 TV Series Himself - Guest / Himself - Musical Guest
Canada A.M. 2006 TV Series Himself
Folk Britannia 2006 TV Series documentary Himself
Glastonbury 2006 Documentary Himself
Breakfast 2005 TV Series Himself
If I Were Prime Minister 2005 TV Short Himself
This Machine Kills Fascists 2005 Video documentary Narrator
Channel 4 News 2004 TV Series Himself
Get Up, Stand Up 2003 TV Series documentary Himself - Interviewee
Enough Rope with Andrew Denton 2003 TV Series Himself
Never Mind the Buzzcocks 1996-2002 TV Series Himself
The Punk Years 2002 TV Series documentary Himself
Jonathan Dimbleby 1997-2002 TV Series Himself / Himself - Audience Member
Top of the Pops 1985-2002 TV Series Himself
Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song 2002 Documentary Himself
Freedom Highway: Songs that Shaped a Century 2001 Documentary Himself
Vote 2001 2001 TV Movie Himself
I Love 1980's 2001 TV Series documentary Himself
Kirsty: The Life and Songs of Kirsty MacColl 2001 TV Special documentary Himself
The Internationale 2000 Documentary short Himself
Late Show with David Letterman 1998-2000 TV Series Himself / Herself
Man in the Sand 1999 Video documentary Himself
Unzipped 1999 TV Series documentary Himself
The Panel 1999 TV Series Himself
The Great Hunger: The Life and Songs of Shane MacGowan 1997 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Radio One Story 1997 TV Movie documentary Himself
Sessions at West 54th 1997 TV Series documentary Himself
Harry Hill 1997 TV Series Himself
The Jack Docherty Show 1997 TV Series Himself - Guest
TFI Friday 1997 TV Series Himself
Later... With Jools Holland 1996 TV Series Himself
Garbage 1996 Documentary Himself
Without Walls 1994 TV Series documentary Himself
The All New Alexei Sayle Show 1994 TV Series Himself
Late Night with David Letterman 1989-1991 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest
Time Capsule 1990 Video documentary Himself
Great Journeys: Silver Tracks 1989 Documentary Himself - Presenter
Scoff 1988 TV Series Himself
Which Side Are You on Billy Bragg? 1988 Video documentary Himself
Forty Years at the I.C.A. 1987 TV Series Himself
Turn It Up: Days Like These 1986 Himself
TV Eye 1986 TV Series Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Moyers & Company 2013 TV Series Himself - Musician / Activist
Democracy Now! 2012 TV Series Himself

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#Quote
1 It's really a comment on the amount of information we get now; I mean, the ubiquity of the Internet of the 24-hour news cycle - it's constant information all the time, trying to make sense of it. What does it mean if they do find the Higgs Boson? I don't know, you know? They tell us it's incredibly important. Is it incredibly important? So it's really a response on that, talking about the hectoring of the hexperts you know, there's someone every night on telly telling you emphatically what their truth is, how do you weigh that up?
2 This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today. Of why ordinary working people are no longer able to earn enough from one job to support a family; of why there is a shortage of decent affordable housing... of why cynicism and greed became the hallmarks of our society. Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this. The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don't celebrate - organise!
3 Now I realize I was naive to think The Clash could change the world by singing about it. But it wasn't so much their lyrics as what they stood for and the actions they took. That became really important to me. Phil Collins might write a song about the homeless, but if he doesn't have the action to go with it he's just exploiting that for a subject. I got that from The Clash, and I try to remain true to that tradition as best I can.
4 [on Levon Helm] The greatest singing drummer that ever lived.
5 The Internet allows me to write a topical song on a Friday, debut it on a Saturday, record it on a Sunday and make available for a free download on a Monday.
6 This year I think I'll be voting Liberal Democrat because they've got the best manifesto. I like what they're saying about proportional representation, I like what they're saying about Europe... if I was a floating voter I'd be floating towards them. I think Labour have taken the white working class vote for granted. I think the idea of a three party race is more interesting than a two party race. (In 2010)
7 Everything that was cool about British rock in the '60s, everything from The Beatles, The Stones (The Rolling Stones), The Who, The Small Faces, Led Zeppelin, all those guys learned to play music by playing skiffle. It was open to everyone, it was utterly democratic, it was three chords and the truth.
8 One of the great things about the 1980s was that there was a return to lyrics. Bands like the Smiths were writing more literate pop. Sometimes too much emphasis is put on hook and melody. Some bands' songs are totally vacuous.
9 It is often the songs that have less meaning that people tend to attach their meaning to.
10 The first lyrical poetry that moved me was the final verse of Mr Tambourine Man. That is such a great line of poetry.
11 "Kiss me or would you rather live in a land where the soap won't lather" (lyric)


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