Review Revue: Billy Bragg - Help Save the Youth of America (Live and Dubious)

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.

"Another Billy Bragg album?" I can hear you asking indignantly, "Didn't you just post a Billy Bragg album a few months ago?" Well, yes, I did, and I may post another one in another few months, and our country and the world being what they are right now, consider yourself lucky I don't post one every week, and then move onto the Dead Kennedys when I run out of Billy. Just sit back and enjoy the Billy Bragg, okay? It's good, and good for you, despite what one out of three commenters at KCMU circa 1989 might have thought.

"W/the Young Fresh Fellows & Beat Happening, Thurs, July 13, 1989. The Moore."

"1.1 [title track] recorded in Moscow, complete w/interpretated [sic] intro. 1.2 ["Think Again"] by Dick Gaughan, who appears on a WOMAD comp. A brilliant song. 1.3 ["Chile Your Waters Run Red through Soweto"] by Sweet Honey in the Rock. 2.1 is an updated version, again, quite brilliant. 2.2 ["To Have and to Have Not"] is pure, raw Bragg. 2.3 ["There Is Power in a Union"] w/the Pattersons and nicely done at that. Don't miss the show."

"Thanks, Bonehead, for mentioning Sweet Honey in the Rock on 1.3, song written by Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder of same + with solo releases as well, incl. traditional Southern Black hymns she's rearranged. The posters B. Bragg stands before are a common selection of cultural/entertainment: classical concerts, movies, and scientific exhibitions advertised to the Soviet public. The country sports plenty of images of the great one, too - you know, Lenin. A symbol not unlike that of our own George Washington who stands facing 15th Ave."

"He's just too simplistic. If he was at least loud, maybe I could forget his pathetic political background, but I guess that's what he's all about." [I don't even know where to start with this, so I'm just not going to. Good day sir!]

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