Billy Bragg

This week, Billy Bragg will be 60.

Affectionately known as the Bard of Barking, Stephen Bragg, as he was born, was in a punk group in 1977 called Riff Raff before carving out a solo career as a folk/protest singer and also began busking on the London Underground.

He signed a deal with the Go! Discs label and he released his debut album Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy in 1983 at a pre-agreed price of £2.99 and unusually played at 45rpm rather than the standard 33 1/3 rpm.

The album reached number 30 and was full of protest song, but the stand-out track is A New England which became a hit for Kirsty MacColl in 1985.

Let’s enjoy his version of it.

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