Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Victim Of Geography

Do you expect me to sing songs of Love and Politics with a slightly condescending tone with ideals that aren’t based in reality? No I expect you to die Mr Bragg.
Commute CD was Bragg, yes Bragg, Victim of Geography, a compilation of Talking with the Taxman About Poetry and Workers Playtime.
Released in 92 or 93 I think this was the first album that I ever bought of Billy Braggs, this and Back to Basics, both compilations were a fiver, actually it may have been Don’t Try This At Home, the 7” boxset, its all neither here nor there though.
This album has a fine mix of bandless Bragg and banded up Bragg, the bandless Bragg deals with the political stuff and the banded up Bragg deals with the love stuff. Not exclusively but on the whole.
The love element being represented is amongst his very best work, Life With The Lions, Must I Paint You A Picture, She's Got A New Spell, The Price I Pay, and the Politics element is none too shoddy either, There Is A Power In A Union, Rotting On Remand, Tender Comrade, Help Save The Youth Of America. As well as all of that 3 of Billy Braggs most well known songs in Levi Stubbs Tears, Greetings To The New Brunette and Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards, lyrically 3 of the best songs I have ever heard.
But as I have said before familiarity breeds contempt and these songs have become extremely familiar over the past few months as they have appeared on bootlegs, original albums and compilations and the tedium has been turned up to 11.
What I will say about this album is that this and Back To Basics are the very best introduction to his work, you only really need to hear those albums and I think the resissue of Victim Of Geography includes a cover of The Count Bishops Train Train, which is a fantastic song. So on that note. Victim Of Geography, 8 out of 10.

The Only One by Billy Bragg

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