Saturday, 13 September 2014

Top 50 Debut Albums - No.30 "Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy" Billy Bragg (1983)

Yet another album that makes me regret making such a big fuss about the full length album thing.

Seven songs in less than 16 minutes but it officially qualified for the UK Album chart on release so fits my slightly erratic internal rule set. I first encountered Billy Bragg thanks to an Andy Kershaw report on the mid-eighties relaunch of Whistle. Kershaw had been roadie come tour manager for Billy Bragg early on and was an enthusiastic promoter of the Bard of Barking. That TV piece certainly captured my imagination and I soon picked up a copy of Life’s a Riot ... on tape from the library.

I loved the raw guitar sound and passionate tone of Billy's vocals. He's a great songwriter too and Kirsty MacColl's version of A New England became a proper hit the year after Life’s a Riot ... came out reaching number seven in the UK Singles chart.


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