Billy Bragg | Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg picks eight that rate.
It started with 'the question' and ended with 'the list'. If you were about to go on tour and had to choose just eight tracks to put on your Walkman, what would they be and why?
The Smiths (B-side)
"Obviously this list would change from week to week but this is probably my favourite song of the moment. I don't like all their songs, but this can make me cry."
John Lee Hooker
"Captured! The best records are captured, not made. It's off the NME cassette — we play that in the car a lot."
"For the sheer drum sound. That Motown drum sound makes you want to go home and make great records... and play live."
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
"I think everyone should have this on their tape and the lyrics tattooed across their heart. I wallow in thoughts of Motown."
"I don't know if it's available on record yet, but when it is I hope it's a very big hit. They deserve it, and the record-buying public deserve it and stuff like it on Radio 1 all day. The Mike Read backlash beginneth here."
"One of those songs like 'Back To The Old House' where you get the impression that they're actually singing about you, and that there's someone out there who could, if they were asked, sing you the story of your life. And it makes you scared."
"For sheer power, for sheer heavy-metal over-the-top power. My favourite Ramones song."
"Another song from your past that you forget for years and years and then you happen to be working in a petrol station at half past five in the morning when it comes on Radio 2; like sometimes when you smelt something and it takes you back in time."
The personable Mr Bragg got heavily into the whole desert island syndrome by actually naming his required luxury: "The only surviving Shangri-La. Find her and bring her to me." Things got totally out of hand when old Bill then chucked out the already supplied Bible and Compleat Shakespeare and opted for "Blood and Guts in High School" by Kathy Acker.
So what's he slipping into the jaws of the in-car stereo as he speeds up and down the motorways of this septic isle? None other than "Highway 61 Revisited" by Bob Dylan, along with the "Cruisin'" LPs which have led him to some apparently accurate impersonations of American DJs. Watch out.
Bragg's recording career should accelerate with the imminent release of an EP, which, he reliably informs us, may or may not include a version of the "Island Of No Return" Falklands saga. That's all.
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