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Mr. Love & Justice Deluxe Edition

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Audio CD, Deluxe Edition, April 22, 2008
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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I Keep Faith 4:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Almost Killed You 2:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. M For Me 2:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Beach Is Free 2:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sing Their Souls Back Home 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. You Make Me Brave 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Something Happened 2:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mr. Love & Justice 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. If You Ever Leave 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. O Freedom 4:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Johnny Carcinogenic Show 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Farm Boy 3:37$1.29  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I Keep Faith (Solo Version) 4:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Almost Killed You (Solo Version) 2:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. M For Me (Solo Version) 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Beach Is Free (Solo Version) 3:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sing Their Souls Back Home (Solo Version) 3:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. You Make Me Brave (Solo Version) 2:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Something Happened (Solo Version) 1:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mr. Love & Justice (Solo Version) 3:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. If You Ever Leave (Solo Version) 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. O Freedom (Solo Version) 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Johnny Carcinogenic Show (Solo Version) 3:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Farm Boy (Solo Version) 3:09$1.29  Buy MP3 

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He was born Steven William Bragg in Essex around the time Tommy Steele was climbing the singles charts with Happy Guitar and the Soviet Union was launching Sputnik 2 into space. Today, on the verge of the release of his eleventh and best album, Mr. Love & Justice, he is known as Billy Bragg by his loyalists worldwide yet he is still called Steven by his Mother and still referred to as the ... Read more in Amazon's Billy Bragg Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Deluxe Edition
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B0014DBZSI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In his two and a half decades carrying the torch of social justice, Billy Bragg has melded the folksy populism of Woody Guthrie with the anger and indignation of The Clash. Both are perfectly encapsulated on his Anti debut. Despite the intense politics behind his songs, Billy has never lost sight of the power of personal relationships to hold us together and bring about the kind of redemption that outstrips even the greatest political movements. Musically, this record combines the loose, Stonesy groove Bragg found working with Wilco on the "Mermaid Ave." sessions, with the best parts of his punk and music hall roots. On his most mature record to date, the title says it all. This deluxe version features an extra CD with Billy performing the entirety of "Mr. Love & Justice" live in the studio - one man with a guitar, just like it was in the beginning.

You'll be hard pressed to find good reason to call Billy Bragg a singer. He was never one back in the day and you can't go teaching old socialists new tricks. His spirited holler was carried through in his heyday by sheer bravado and the fact that his poetic punk monologues had to find their way to your ears somehow. But why, over recent years--and especially on Mr Love and Justice--has he increasingly indulged himself with shameless attempts on melody, you might ask. There's no easy answer, other than the inevitable mellowing of age and indeed battered vocal chords. But as he also drifts away from the fiery Clash and Costello inspirations of his younger self and expands more singularly on his love for the likes of Woody Guthrie and Wilco (with whom he collaborated on interpretations of Guthrie's unfinished songs), his work has developed a real warmth and comfort that it's hard not to be strangely touched by. His backing band, The Blokes, gel spiritedly through a host of country stompers (see "The Beach Is Free") and folk meanderings (see: "If You Ever Leave"). And don't mistake comfort for complacency either. He may be more Mr Love than Mr Justice these days, but he still knows how to rally and on "O Freedom", "The Johnny Carcinogenic Show" and the Hammond-delicious title track he makes his point as poetically as ever. He still really can't sing, mind. --James Berry

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Donald S. Handy on July 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's been 6 years since Billy Bragg has released an album, and that one, "England, Half English," was a disappointment to me. However, "Mr. Love & Justice" is his best album, in my humble, since "Worker's Playtime."

Not only is the album well-balanced between romantic and protest songs - making for an apt title - but the distinction between the two genres are even blurred within the songs. For instance the song "Something Happened" contains a polemic bit of wisdom concerning the definition of love and lust, while "Sing Their Souls Back Home" and "Farm Boy" focus on humantic, personal concerns as a reason for ending a war. Significantly, Mr. Bragg doesn't specify which war, which insures their continuing relevance. (Hopefully there will never be a need for such relevance ever again.)

The deluxe version is worth the extra money, especially if you're a fan of his earlier work. "I Almost Killed You" sounds like it could be an outtake from the "Back To Basics" collection. There is a real distinction between the two different versions of the songs, and I play both equally as often.

This is a warm, wonderful collection of modern folk songs, and would be a welcome addition to the collection of any and all thoughtful and socially-conscious people.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Earl B on March 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I can pinpoint the time I first heard Billy Bragg's dulcet tones over the radio (thank you, BFM) and I swear I've stood on the same platform at times, known the same thrill of uncollected fares, felt the bathwater go cold around me (if you're reading this maybe you already know the songs).

And here at 50 Bill's turned in a collection of songs that take him further along the path of maturity (yeccchh, sorry Bill) that to my ears at least began with some of the songs on "William Bloke" about turning from red to blue (he hasn't, I haven't) and standing in the garden watching for satellites.

It's a thing of beauty, and bless'im, the bite's still there too. Keep on keeping the faith, Bill.
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By Alexander Haas on January 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I've only recently been introduced to Mr. Bragg's work. However, seeing as the only other album I've heard in its entirety is "Life's a Riot..." perhaps that doesn't matter much.

Taken on its own, this is a great recording. It somehow manages to comfortably mix the vibe of early Van Morrison (think Astral Weeks and Moondance), the songwriting chops of Ray Davies, and the social awareness and fun of Woodie Guthrie (though that last one shouldn't surprise anybody).

Of interest is the fact that Bragg spends more time quietly singing (or intoning, depending on who you ask) than he does barking out manifestos. While some may see this as a sign of softening with age, it actually speaks volumes about the truth behind just about every righteous lyric he's belted out to this point. Here he proves that you don't need to be angry to feel strongly about this stuff.

Highlights here include "M for Me," which is just a phenomenal lyric; and "Sing Their Souls Back Home," which is probably one of the few songs of the last several years that actually made me want to sing along on first hearing it.

Though the album proper stands well enough on its own, there's an interesting sense you get when you play both the band versions and the solo versions back to back. It's as if the first disc is the political rally, the party, or just a friendly musical gathering in the back yard. Then, for the second, it's the quiet, introspective night alone. Taken all together, it's a very powerful listening experience.
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