|All Artists: Billy Bragg|
Title: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Elektra / Wea
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, International Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: British Alternative, New Wave & Post-Punk, Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Billy Bragg's third full-length album, 1986's Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, is an uncompromised refinement of his brash, anti-Thatcher, busking-bloke persona. Bragg's palette stretches beyond the jagged-rhythmic-guitar-plus-curious-voice approach of the first two albums: "Ideology" and "Marriage" see the addition of horns and piano, "Train Train" adds violin, and singer Kirsty MacColl and guitarist Johnny Marr make guest appearances. The slashing, lovely "Levi Stubbs' Tears," a sad slice-of-life number told from a woman's perspective, showcases the singer-songwriter's ability to write well beyond protest songs. And only Bragg could pen a love song such as "Greetings to the New Brunette" and pull it off. In an off-key yet warm warble, he almost croons, "Shirley, your sexual politics have left me all of a muddle / Shirley, we are joined in the ideological cuddle," one of pop's most delightfully awkward rhymes. And then of course there are the protest songs, such as bracing, simple, Woody Guthrie-ish "There Is Power in a Union." The record's title is taken from a 1926 poem by the poet of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Mayakovsky. --Mike McGonigal
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Must I also share my life
W. K. Miller | NC, USA | 10/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"TALKING WITH THE TAXMAN ABOUT POETRY is my favorite of Billy Bragg's albums. All the songs are strong, especially "Greetings to the New Brunette," and Billy's passion for his subjects has never seemed so strong as it does on "Ideology" and "Help Save the Youth of America." The lyrics are great too. Here's a sample: "If I share my bed with you / Must I also share my life / Love is just a moment of giving / And marriage is when we admit our parents were right"Bragg's political edge is only sharper on THE INTERNATIONALE. His personal songwriting excels on "The Marriage" and a few others, but it's no wonder why Billy lacks success on the USA pop charts. These intelligent, mature love songs and political anthems surely don't help to sell suntan lotion and diet colas, do they? I first heard this in 1988 or 1989, most likely, and it just sounded true and authentic. It was sincere without being sappy. I realized I was listening to something great, and I became a fan of the album. Only later did I discover other albums by Billy Bragg.
If I could thank Billy Bragg for one thing, it would be TALKING WITH THE TAXMAN ABOUT POETRY. If you've enjoyed other albums by Bragg, I recommend this to you wholeheartedly."
A good Socialist Folk CD
LANCE R LINDLEY | Yokosuka, Japan | 01/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's a rawness and honesty to avowed Socialist Billy Bragg's lyrics in this, his "difficult third album," that works well with his not-ready-for-prime-time vocals and makes songs like the haunting "Levi Stubbs Tears" and the clever "Marriage" and playful "Greetings to the New Brunette" worth listening to again and again. But those are offset somewhat by the annoyingly anthemic "There Is Power in a Union" and "Help Save the Youth of America," which render the last half of the CD far less listenable than the first. Of course, you've got to be somewhat of a Billy Bragg fan to even know this CD exists, in which case you probably already own it... but on the off chance someone just turned you on to Bragg and you've only heard some of his newer stuff, I recommend you give this CD a chance. IMHO it's his best album, with "Levi Stubb's Tears" his best song."
The Difficult Third Album?
Greg | MI | 03/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i bought this cd for Greetings To The New Brunnette and i must say that is one of the greatest love songs ever written...you should buy this...i gotta go, i'm going to listen to the rest of this cd. :)"