Review Revue: Billy Bragg - Workers Playtime

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.

I was just scrolling through my archived images, and when I stopped on this one I thought "Sure, I've posted a lot of Billy Bragg albums in this series over the years, but it's my birthday, and I just watched the first Democratic presidential debate, and goddamnit, I'm gonna post another!" Then I looked, and the last Billy album I posted was exactly a year ago. So maybe this is my new birthday tradition? Anyway, I don't need to introduce Mr. Bragg to you, but I will note that he's just about to kick off the next leg of his One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Tour (and yes, I'm still kicking myself for not catching the Seattle gigs earlier this year). And which album does this title come from? You got it. You East Coasters get your shot this fall, don't mess it up like I did!

For what it's worth, I devoured this album, at the tender age of 12, when it came out, and it touched me deeply, both emotionally and politically. Listening now, I am taken right back to that feeling. Kudos to (most of) the grown-up, jaded DJs at KCMU for getting it.

"More love songs than ever. Nothing too unexpected. A little more C + W influences ex: 'Life with the Lions.' And even drums on 3 or 4 tracks! 1st single guess, 'Must I Paint You a Picture.' Lots of good songs of course!"

"Playing the Moore Sept. 25th w/Beatnigs."

"Really great LP . . . Whatta talent."

"My friend Billy asked me last time he was in town what he could do to spruce up his next record. He's beginning to listen to reason, at least on a few cuts. Now if would just cut all the damn socialist propaganda, he might have something."


"If he would just beef up the socialist propaganda!"

"'Great Leap Forward' makes me shiver + tear up every time I hear it." [Me too, Robert. Me too.]


Related News & Reviews

Review Revue

Review Revue: Beat Pagodas - s/t EP

This week's Review Revue spotlights the self-titled EP by Beat Pagodas. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.

Read More
Review Revue

Review Revue: Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt Pussyhorse

This week's Review Revue spotlights the Butthole Surfers album Rembrandt Pussyhorse. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.

Read More
Review Revue

Review Revue: Wipers - Follow Blind

This week's Review Revue spotlights the Wipers album album Follow Blind. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.

Read More
Click anywhere to return to the site