47 Songs, 2 Hours 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As its title implies, this is the Complete set of tunes recorded by Billy Bragg and Wilco, featuring their music and Woody Guthrie's lyrics. It includes the two previously issued volumes of Mermaid Avenue (named for the street of the Guthrie family's Coney Island home) and a third vault-clearing volume where the tunes are a bit sparser and less fully orchestrated in spots. It makes sense, these being the songs that the musicians decided not to further pursue. Despite that caveat, there's still plenty to recommend. The gloomy beauty of "Bugeye Jim" and "Where the Roses Bloom Again" (best known in a heartbreaking version by classic retro-country's Laura Cantrell and previously available on the now out-of-print Chelsea Walls soundtrack), the full-band pulse of "Be Kind to the Boy on the Road," and the shuffling sway of "Ain't a Gonna Grieve" are sweet counterparts to the already-known "California Stars," "Ingrid Bergman," and "Remember the Mountain Bed." Guthrie's daughter Nora couldn't have asked for better from these musicians in bringing new life to a man whose legacy deserves to live and breathe in the contemporary air. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

As its title implies, this is the Complete set of tunes recorded by Billy Bragg and Wilco, featuring their music and Woody Guthrie's lyrics. It includes the two previously issued volumes of Mermaid Avenue (named for the street of the Guthrie family's Coney Island home) and a third vault-clearing volume where the tunes are a bit sparser and less fully orchestrated in spots. It makes sense, these being the songs that the musicians decided not to further pursue. Despite that caveat, there's still plenty to recommend. The gloomy beauty of "Bugeye Jim" and "Where the Roses Bloom Again" (best known in a heartbreaking version by classic retro-country's Laura Cantrell and previously available on the now out-of-print Chelsea Walls soundtrack), the full-band pulse of "Be Kind to the Boy on the Road," and the shuffling sway of "Ain't a Gonna Grieve" are sweet counterparts to the already-known "California Stars," "Ingrid Bergman," and "Remember the Mountain Bed." Guthrie's daughter Nora couldn't have asked for better from these musicians in bringing new life to a man whose legacy deserves to live and breathe in the contemporary air. 

TITLE TIME

More By Billy Bragg

You May Also Like