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Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC

3LP or 2CD • Signed sets available • Exclusive white vinyl

Billy Bragg will release a new album Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC 1983-2019 next month.

The 38-track collection is ‘fully remastered’ and features 38 tracks compiled from the BBC archive spanning 1983 – 2019. It includes selected highlights from sessions for John Peel, David Jensen, Janice Long, Phill Jupitus, Bob Harris, Tom Robinson and more. Many are apparently previously unreleased.

Speaking about this set, Bragg says: “Work in progress. That’s how John Peel thought of his evening sessions, offering artists the opportunity to try out new songs in a studio environment. That’s how I looked at them too. …The songs were so new, you can hear I’m still feeling my way into them. Several were conceived and written the night before the session. In one case, I actually composed a song from scratch while the show was on air. That rawness was always a key component of my BBC sessions, the thrill of putting something out there for the very first time. And here I’ve collected all the best moments across 36 years of my ongoing work in progress.”

There are two main formats available – 3LP black vinyl and 2CD – although special variants, exclusives, signed editions and bundles are available via Billy’s official store. These include triple WHITE vinyl with a signed print, a 2CD set with a signed booklet and more. Most of the items come with a quite groovy looking 48mm enamel badge of Billy’s Burns Steer guitar.

The 2CD edition is released on 20 September 2019, while the vinyl aficionados amongst you will need to wait until 11 November for ‘your’ editions.

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Billy Bragg

Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC - 2CD edition

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Billy Bragg

Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC - 3LP vinyl

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Enamel ‘guitar’ badge


Signed print only via the official store

Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC 3LP vinyl

SIDE 1
1 A New England (John Peel session, 27th July 1983)
2 Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend [Cale] (John Peel session, 27th July 1983)
3 Love Gets Dangerous (John Peel session, 27thJuly 1983)
4 Like Soldiers Do (David Jensen session, 22ndDecember 1983)
5 The Man In The Iron Mask (w/ Dave Woodhead) (David Jensen session, 22ndDecember 1983)
6 The Saturday Boy (David Jensen session, 22ndDecember 1983)
7 A Lover Sings (John Peel session, 18thSeptember 1984)

SIDE 2
8 Between The Wars (John Peel session, 18thSeptember 1984)
9 A13, Trunk Road To The Sea [Troup/Bragg] (w/ Wiggy) (Saturday live, 13th October 1984)
10 There Is Power In A Union (John Peel session, 20th August 1985)
11 Days Like These (John Peel session, 20thAugust 1985)
12 Scholarship Is The Enemy Of Romance (Janice Long session, 18th December 1985)
13 Greetings To The New Brunette (John Peel session, 2nd September 1986)
14 Ideology (John Peel session, 2nd September 1986)
15 The Warmest Room (John Peel session, 2ndSeptember 1986)

SIDE 3
16 She’s Got a New Spell (John Peel session, 30th August 1988)
17 Valentine’s Day Is Over (John Peel session, 30th August 1988)
18 The Short Answer (John Peel session, 30th August 1988)
19 Rotting On Remand (John Peel session, 30th August 1988)
20 The Few (John Peel session, 12th May 1991)

SIDE 4
21 Accident Waiting To Happen (w/ Wiggy) (John Peel session, 12th May 1991)
22 Tank Park Salute (w/ Cara Tivey) (John Peel session, 12th May 1991)
23 Brickbat (John Peel session, 13th October 1995)
24 This Gulf Between Us (John Peel session, 13thOctober 1995)
25 Goal Hanger (London Music Week live, 1st May 1997)
26 The Boy Done Good [Bragg/Marr] (London Music Week live, 1st May 1997)

SIDE 5
27 From Red To Blue (London Music Week live, 1st May 1997)
28 The Busy Girl Buys Beauty (Janice Long Paris Theatre London Live, October 1999)
29 It Says Here (Janice Long Paris Theatre London Live, October 1999)
30 Lonesome Traveller [Hays] (John Peel session, 8thDecember 2004)
31 Goodbye, Goodbye (Phill Jupitus live, 30th March 2007)
32 Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key [Guthrie/Bragg] (Bob Harris live, 6th May 2012)
33 No-One Knows Nothing Anymore (Latitude Festival live, 18th July 2014)

SIDE 5
34 Levi Stubbs’ Tears (Glastonbury live, 26th June 2015)
35 Why We Build The Wall [Anais Mitchell] (Tom Robinson live Buxton Opera House, 21st January 2017)
36 I Ain’t Got No Home [Guthrie] (w/ CJ Hillman) (Radio 2 Folk Awards live, 5th April 2017)
37 The Space Race Is Over (Tom Robinson Now Playing 6Music ‘Billy Bragg Takeover’, 14th July 2019)
38 St. Swithin’s Day (Tom Robinson Now Playing 6Music ‘Billy Bragg Takeover’, 14th July 2019)

 


Signed CD booklet only via the official store

Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC 2CD edition

CD 1
1 A New England (John Peel session, 27th July 1983)
2 Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend [Cale] (John Peel session, 27th July 1983)
3 Love Gets Dangerous (John Peel session, 27thJuly 1983)
4 Like Soldiers Do (David Jensen session, 22ndDecember 1983)
5 The Man In The Iron Mask (w/ Dave Woodhead) (David Jensen session, 22ndDecember 1983)
6 The Saturday Boy (David Jensen session, 22ndDecember 1983)
7 A Lover Sings (John Peel session, 18th September 1984)
8 Between The Wars (John Peel session, 18th September 1984)
9 A13, Trunk Road To The Sea [Troup/Bragg] (w/ Wiggy) (Saturday live, 13th October 1984)
10 There Is Power In A Union (John Peel session, 20th August 1985)
11 Days Like These (John Peel session, 20thAugust 1985)
12 Scholarship Is The Enemy Of Romance (Janice Long session, 18th December 1985)
13 Greetings To The New Brunette (John Peel session, 2nd September 1986)
14 Ideology (John Peel session, 2nd September 1986)
15 The Warmest Room (John Peel session, 2ndSeptember 1986)
16 She’s Got a New Spell (John Peel session, 30thAugust 1988)
17 Valentine’s Day Is Over (John Peel session, 30th August 1988)
18 The Short Answer (John Peel session, 30thAugust 1988)
19 Rotting On Remand (John Peel session, 30thAugust 1988)

CD 2
1 The Few (John Peel session, 12th May 1991)
2 Accident Waiting To Happen (w/ Wiggy) (John Peel session, 12th May 1991)
3 Tank Park Salute (w/ Cara Tivey) (John Peel session, 12th May 1991)
4 Brickbat (John Peel session, 13th October 1995)
5 This Gulf Between Us (John Peel session, 13thOctober 1995)
6 Goal Hanger (London Music Week live, 1st May 1997)
7 The Boy Done Good [Bragg/Marr] (London Music Week live, 1st May 1997)
8 From Red To Blue (London Music Week live, 1st May 1997)
9 The Busy Girl Buys Beauty (Janice Long Paris Theatre London Live, October 1999)
10 It Says Here (Janice Long Paris Theatre London Live, October 1999)
11 Lonesome Traveller [Hays] (John Peel session, 8thDecember 2004)
12 Goodbye, Goodbye (Phill Jupitus live, 30th March 2007)
13 Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key [Guthrie/Bragg] (Bob Harris live, 6th May 2012)
14 No-One Knows Nothing Anymore (Latitude Festival live, 18th July 2014)
15 Levi Stubbs’ Tears (Glastonbury live, 26th June 2015)
16 Why We Build The Wall [Anais Mitchell] (Tom Robinson live Buxton Opera House, 21st January 2017)
17 I Ain’t Got No Home [Guthrie] (w/ CJ Hillman) (Radio 2 Folk Awards live, 5th April 2017)
18 The Space Race Is Over (Tom Robinson Now Playing 6Music ‘Billy Bragg Takeover’, 14th July 2019)
19 St. Swithin’s Day (Tom Robinson Now Playing 6Music ‘Billy Bragg Takeover’, 14th July 2019)

26 responses to Best of Billy Bragg at the BBC

  1. Minnesota Geoff says:

    About time! Jolly good this. Couldn’t afford a $15 ticket
    back in 2000 to see in concert in Minneapolis. Settled instead for a free
    4-5 song in-store appearance at local record shop. Got in the
    autograph line after: said to him ‘Don’t want an autograph, just want
    to shake the hand of a legend!’
    Always powerfully delivered, the 3 or 4 times I did see live.

  2. Mike the Fish says:

    Any word on who’s cut the vinyl and where it will be pressed? I asked BB via Twitter, but no response.

  3. Gareth Jones says:

    I know everyone is doing bundles now and trying to tempt you with various formats, but who would seriously want to own the triple LP set on BOTH black and white vinyl?! I get the logic of owning other formats (you might want the CDs for your car/kitchen stereo, or even cassette for the novelty), and I’d even get it if there was a picture disc (you might want to put it on the wall or just like looking at it!), but is there really any purpose to owning the same album on white and black?! ….I’m sure other SDE readers will shoot me down though and say they love having the same album on different coloured vinyl!!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I tend to agree, but I suppose if some people DO want both, then the offer is there to save a few quid via the bundle.

      • gary oliver says:

        you could swap the discs around and make a white / black / white variant

        • Klaus says:

          You could also melt down both sets and then let a record pressing plant near you make two super rare SDE’s (Special Dalmatian Editions) out of it.
          Granted, you can’t listen to them anymore afterwards but for that you can buy a spare copy or the CD-set.

  4. Paul Nesmith says:

    Absent from this collection:
    A13 Trunk Road To The Sea John Peel 27/7/1984
    Strange Things Happen John Peel 27/1983
    This Guitar Says Sorry John Peel 27/7/1983
    Lovers Town John Peel 21/2/1984
    Which Side Are You On? John Peel 18/9/1984
    The Marriage John Peel 20/8/1985
    Jeane John Peel 20/8/1985
    Chile Your Waters Run Red through Soweto John Peel 2/9/1986

    • Gary says:

      It is a ‘best of’…which is open to interpretation I guess…..

    • johnny says:

      I think all of those missing Peel tracks are on his 1991 Peel Sessions CD, so buying that will fill in those gaps.

      Here’s the corresponding track numbers on the Peel Sessions CD (which is OOP but should be easy to find)

      19. A13 Trunk Road To The Sea John Peel 27/7/1983
      15. Strange Things Happen John Peel 27/7/1983
      16. This Guitar Says Sorry John Peel 27/7/1983
      1. Lovers Town John Peel 21/2/1984
      3. Which Side Are You On? John Peel 18/9/1984
      6. The Marriage John Peel 20/8/1985
      7. Jeane John Peel 20/8/1985
      9. Chile Your Waters Run Red through Soweto John Peel 2/9/1986

      • Richard Bowden says:

        Thank you Johnny for taking the time to provide this.
        It is a “Best Of”, I realise, but knowing I have the other tracks elsewhere is really helpful.

  5. Ian Gair says:

    Decided to go for the signed CD edition as I have stopped buying Billy’s releases on vinyl, having obtained the excellent Volume 1 box set issued by cooking vinyl in 2006.

  6. Cosmo Castanza says:

    Very good value …..unlike other recent offers from others.

  7. Dave says:

    OK. But nothing to Bragg about !!!

  8. Liam Bastick says:

    What I don’t get is how the shipping to Australia GOES DOWN if you buy more copies from the official website… Perhaps if I bought 100 copies, the website would send me money as well? I like this new initiative – very refreshing!! :-)

  9. Muscum says:

    Shame the whole first John Peel session isn’t included; ‘A13, Trunk Road To The Sea’ was the real highlight of the 27 July 1983 session and, although a later live version is included, it seems like a missed opportunity.

  10. mike says:

    What happened to ‘Pay no more than £3.99’? A 1983 joke for the millenials :)

    • The Saturday Boy says:

      What about the “Bootleg The Bragg” tape cassette..? ;-)

    • Dogfacedboy says:

      Billy has been answering any questions about this release himself on FB – including one like this ‘ “‘Pay no more” seems to be many people’s attitude towards music these days’ he quipped

  11. Robert Laversuch says:

    White vinyl and CD with signed print etc. Perfect. Love the man – Talking to the taxman is still one of the top ten albums of all times for me.

  12. Quante says:

    Thanks Paul, this type of post is what makes SDE an indispensable resource for me. I’ve ordered the 3 X white vinyl and 2 X cd, signed print combo. Not bad for £40.

    I was at the right age for Billy Bragg’s Life’s A Riot With Spy vs Spy , which coincided with The Smiths debut. They felt like comrades in arms to a 16 / 17 year old with my home tapes of their albums.

    I can’t say I followed his career that well over the last 30 years, bar purchasing a couple of cds. His recent concert at The Sage far exceeded my expectations – Billy was highly engaging and entertaining.

    Billy Bragg’s 38 tracks from the BBC archives is a brilliant treasure trove of material to enjoy this winter. As a comparison of absurdity, Pink Floyd can recycle their big cardboard box – they may as well, they’re recycling their albums plenty of times. To build a £400 box set around three studio albums (if the Endless River is regarded as such) is a feat of marketing over common sense. For those waiting for Animals in 5.1 surround, go to the cinema on October 2nd or 6th to see The Roger Waters Us and Them tour film and listen to it in Dolby Atmos. His concerts were spectacular and featured pretty much all of Animals and Dark Side of the Moon.

    • Gary says:

      Perhaps the Floyd set should carry a sticker saying ‘pay no more than £400’. A great release from young William who’s come a long way since supporting Dave Gilmour at Hammersmith Odeon in the 80’s….

    • Tyrone says:

      Its not Animals in 5.1 though.
      Though I agree, Water’s sonic output is sensational.
      In The Flesh DVD is perhaps one of the best sounding DVD’s available.

  13. Mike the Fish says:

    I’m a casual fan, but I’m liking the idea of this a lot. This could be the release I’m most excited about this year so far!

  14. Richard says:

    Gone for the white vinyl and CD set. Lots on here which haven’t seen official release and always happy to support the big nosed bard, even if his newer music and I grow increasingly further apart.

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