RELEASE
October 28, 2003
LABEL
Festival Five Records
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, British Folk, Folk-Rock, Psychedelic, Urban Folk, College Rock, Anti-Folk, Alternative Folk

Album Review

In 1983, Billy Bragg was a guy with a cheap electric guitar, a rough but passionate voice, and a knack for writing and singing straight from the heart whether he was discussing leftist political concerns or the mysterious interactions between men and women. The guy has a band and the political issues that have caught his attention are trickier 20 years later, but he's still enchanted and puzzled by love, and hasn't stopped writing worthwhile songs about it. Must I Paint You a Picture? The Essential Billy Bragg is a two-disc, 40-song compilation that does an admirable job of capturing the hills and valleys of Bragg's recording career, opening up with "A New England" from his debut EP, Life's a Riot With Spy vs. Spy, and closing with a cut from 2002's England, Half English. A spin through this set suggests that Bragg's best (or at least most affecting) work arrived in the early stages of his career, as disc one (which follows Bragg through Worker's Playtime) is a decidedly more solid and absorbing listen than disc two (the material from the disappointing William Bloke in particular weighs down the collection's second act), and his love songs have stood the test of time a shade better than his political material (the miners' strike may be over, but broken hearts are timeless). But there are plenty of gems to be found throughout this collection, and Must I Paint You a Picture? serves as a potent reminder that in the grand tradition of Bob Dylan, even Bragg's lesser albums contain a handful of truly memorable songs worth hearing; if this isn't the ideal Billy Bragg collection, it's an excellent introduction, a solid career overview, and a lovely reminder of how much he has to say about the heart and the mind. Initial pressings come with a ten-song bonus disc that adds several hard to find selections, including Bragg's Anglophile rewrite of "Route 66," a telling duet with the late Ted Hawkins, and a bootleg remix that merges Bragg with the Hives.
Mark Deming, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. A New Englandhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  2. The Man in the Iron Maskhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  3. The Milkman of Human Kindnesshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  4. To Have and to Have Nothttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  5. A Lover Singshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  6. St. Swithin's Dayhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  7. The Saturday Boyhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  8. Between the Warshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  9. The World Turned Upside Downhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  10. Levi Stubbs' Tearshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  11. Walk Away Reneehttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  12. Greetings to the New Brunettehttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  13. There Is Power in a Unionhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  14. Help Save the Youth of Americahttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  15. The Warmest Roomhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  16. Must I Paint You a Picture?http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  17. She's Got a New Spellhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  18. The Price I Payhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  19. Valentine's Day Is Overhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  20. Waiting for the Great Leap Forwardshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  21. Sexualityhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  22. Cindy of a Thousand Liveshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  23. Moving the Goalpostshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  24. Tank Park Salutehttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  25. You Woke Up My Neighbourhoodhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  26. Accident Waiting to Happen (Red Stars Version)http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  27. Sulkhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  28. Upfieldhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  29. The Fourteenth of Februaryhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  30. Brickbathttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  31. The Space Race Is Overhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  32. The Boy Done Goodhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  33. Ingrid Bergmanhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  34. Way Over Yonder in the Minor Keyhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  35. My Flying Saucerhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  36. All You Fascists Bound to Lose (Blokes Version)http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  37. NPWAhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  38. St. Mondayhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  39. Some Days I See the Pointhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  40. Take Down the Union Jack (Band Version)http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  41. A13, Trunk Road to the Sea [#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  42. Fear Is a Man's Best Friend [*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  43. Cold and Bitter Tears [Live][#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  44. Seven and Seven Is [#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  45. When Will I See You Again? [#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  46. Rule nor Reason [Live][#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  47. Debris [Live][#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  48. Dry Bed [#][*][Demo Version]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  49. She Smiled Sweetly [#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  50. Take Down the Union Jack [King Normal & The Rug Remix][#][*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004070010074436&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum%252Fmust-i-paint-you-picture-essential%252Fid466223280%253Fuo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
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