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Sunday, 25 October 2015

45RPM: #55 Between The Wars EP - Billy Bragg (1985)

I was thinking about the song Between the Wars this morning and thought why not share it as part of the 45RPM Series.

What I loved about it was the simplicity of it, just one bloke and his guitar rattling of his heart about the state of world as he saw it. There's no glitz and glamour, no great thrills, just the Bard of Barking and no guitar hero histronics.

This was his debut EP. He had previously released two projects prior to this, 1983's Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy and 1984's Brewing Up With Billy Bragg. Spy Vs Spy could have actually been considered an EP with it's 7 tracks, 15mins and 57secs of music and it's 45RPM speed but strangely enough it qualified as an album (I have no idea how this was differentiated).

Between the Wars was inspired by the UK miners' strike (1984–1985). The choice of other songs on the record was also relevant to the dispute - "Which Side Are You On?" is an American pro-trade union song from the 1930s, whilst Bragg's own composition "It Says Here" is critical of the political bias of British newspapers, most of which opposed the strike.

The proceeds from sales of the record were donated to the striking miners' fund.

It's quite incredible to think that this record is over 30 years old and yet there is still a relevancy about the lyrical content.

Between the Wars EP
Go Discs
Produced by Kenny Jones
Februay 1985
UK Chart #15

Top of the Pops Performance
Between the Wars
A-Side: 1. Between The Wars.
B-Side: 1. World Turned Upside Down.
B-Side: 2. It Says Here.

Between the Wars
Rockpalast 1985

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