Reaching to the Converted

Reaching to the Converted

by Billy BraggBilly Bragg


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On the 1998 Woody Guthrie tribute MERMAID AVENUE, Billy Bragg and Wilco showed that the legendary folk-singer's songs could be reinterpreted in a number of different, often unexpected, fashions. Now Bragg is giving his own career a similar reconsideration. REACHING TO THE CONVERTED compiles U.K singles, covers, and various other tracks into a collection that sheds new light on one of alterna-folk's most distinctive voices. The 17-track set follows Bragg from his beginnings as a pissed-off, post-Clash folkie with a barbed electric guitar to his emergence as the talented pop-crafter of albums like 1991's DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME. From the essay on sexual politics and pregnancy "Shirley" (known to most as "Greetings to the New Brunette," from 1987's TALKING WITH THE TAXMAN ABOUT POETRY) to a gentle, spare cover of Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like a Wheel," this set fares much better than your average rarities roundup. Sure, Bragg's cockney croon has seen better moments than on his plod through the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home," and his restrained take on the Smiths' "Jeane" doesn't compare to his scathing version on 1991's THE PEEL SESSIONS, but an endearing run through his soulful live standard "Sulk" and the intimate 1985 B-side "Scholarship Is the Enemy of Romance" are touching and elevating snapshots of Bragg's continuing artistic development.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/31/1999
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227596224
catalogNumber: 75962
Rank: 110132

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Bragg   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Kirsty MacColl   Background Vocals
Lorraine Bowen   Background Vocals
Andy Hobson   Bass
J.F.T. Hood   Drums
Ken Jones   Guitar
Jody Linscott   Percussion
Johnny Marr   Acoustic Guitar,Multi Instruments
John Porter   Mandolin
Cara Tivey   Piano,Keyboards,Recorder,Vocals
Amanda Vincent   Piano
Wiggy   Guitar
Rob Allum   Drums
Nigel Frydman   Bass,Bass Guitar
Robert Handley   Vocals

Technical Credits

Billy Bragg   Liner Notes
Gary Smith   Producer
Michael Brown   Composer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Edward DeBono   Producer
Ken Jones   Producer
Johnny Marr   Producer
John Porter   Producer
Grant Showbiz   Producer
Rachel Gutek   Art Direction
Doug Erb   Illustrations
Tony Sansone   Composer
Bob Calilli   Composer

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