Billy Bragg

Essential Albums

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About Billy Bragg

Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the '80s. For most of the decade, Bragg bashed out songs solo with his electric guitar, singing about politics and love. While his lyrics were bitingly intelligent, they were also warm and humane, and he wrote melodies just as strong and memorable. Bragg's trailblazing early releases are collected on 1987's Back to Basics; 1991's Don't Try This at Home was a successful effort to balance politics and pop; 1998's Mermaid Avenue saw Bragg teaming with Wilco to set unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics to music; 2008's Mr. Love & Justice reflected a greater maturity without compromising his vision, and 2021's The Million Things That Never Happened was a country-influenced paean to resilience in hard times.

Barking, Essex, England
December 20, 1957

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