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25 years since “Talking With The Taxman About Poetry” August 30, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Music.

Its 25 years since Billy Bragg released “Talking With The Taxman About Poetry”. I recall waiting for it to be released and buying it in the first few days. Having loved  “Lifes a Riot” and “Brewing up…” it was eagerly awaited.  The album was quite different but still brilliant.
Some Classics such as “There Is Power in a Union”, “Help Save the Youth of America” “Levi Stubbs’ Tears” and “Ideology”.

Anyway …. A recent radio documentary was dedicated to it.

The Blurb

In 1986, Billy Bragg’s third album “Talking With The Taxman About Poetry” became his first top ten release. Featuring the hits Levi Stubbs’ Tears and Greetings To The New Brunette, the record also included acclaimed musicians such as Johnny Marr and the late Kirsty MacColl.

To mark the album’s 25th anniversary Ian Camfield presents this special “25” feature, including an extensive interview with Billy himself, plus contributions from; Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly) producer Joe Boyd, music journalist Mark Sutherland, Prof. Tim Wall from Birmingham City University, Phil Maquire from the Prison Radio Asso. and REM’s Mike Mills.

The Radio Documentary


1. LeftAtTheCross - August 30, 2011

FYI, details of BBs upcoming Irish tour:

19/10/2011 SET Theatre – Kilkenny
20/10/2011 Image Arts Festival & Waterford Council of Trade Unions Present @ The Forum – Waterford
22/10/2011 Droichead Arts Centre – Drogheda
23/10/2011 Roisin Dubh – Galway
24/10/2011 Dolans Pub – Limerick
25/10/2011 Cyprus Avenue – Cork
27/10/2011 The Belfast Empire Music Hall – Belfast
28/10/2011 The Button Factory – Dublin



2. WorldbyStorm - August 30, 2011

25 years? Bloody hell.


3. skidmarx - August 30, 2011

The Sid James of Rock ‘n’ Roll


skidmarx - August 30, 2011

The link didn’t come out:


4. Dr. X - August 30, 2011

I saw him in Belfast about a decade ago and he put on a really good show. . . but a few years after that I dug out his ‘Don’t Try This at Home’ album, and it was. . . diabolical.

I still feel nostalgic about ‘Talking with the Taxman’, though.


5. irishelectionliterature - August 30, 2011

For me the first 3 albums are his best along with the Between The Wars EP. Funnily enough one of my favourite BB songs is “Tank Park Salute” on ‘Don’t Try This at Home’ .

Have seen him a number of times and always enjoyed his shows. Possibly the best one being in 1990 the night Thatcher resigned where we were treated to an extended “Goodbye Baby Blue” 🙂


6. ejh - September 7, 2011

Talking of Talking With The Taxman, the Guardian recently had a piece about Life’s A Riot. This reckons:

Of all the albums I had on repeat as a teenager, Billy Bragg’s Life’s a Riot With Spy Vs Spy was, undoubtedly, the one

Maybe. But surely not when it came out, in 1983?


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