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Tooth & Nail

Billy Bragg

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Recorded live with no overdubs in five days at producer Joe Henry's basement studio in Pasadena, Calif., Tooth & Nail is the most musical album in Billy Bragg's long and impressive catalog. Politics, for the most part, lose their capital P for the more intimate human aspects of the heart. Woody Guthrie gets his obligatory nod for "I Ain't Got No Home." "No One Knows Nothing Anymore" sounds more resigned about world situations, but the album's true strengths lie with pedal steel/dobro man Greg Leisz and first-rate session drummer Jay Bellerose; together they ensure Bragg keeps his sights on the music. "Swallow My Pride" captures the feel of a classic soul ballad. "Goodbye, Goodbye" plays like a letter to Bragg's fans for sticking with him all these years. There's something sweet about this premature chance to acknowledge that there'll come a time when Bragg won't be making records anymore. But for now, songs like "Chasing Rainbows" and "Your Name on My Tongue" sound like he has plenty yet to say.

Customer Reviews

An Englishman in Texas

Love this record! A bit more Texas twang than I'd expect from an Englishman, but it's a wonderful record with thoughtful lyrics. Mr. Bragg continues to evolve with this release.

Such a Pleasant Surprise

What a sweet, sweet record. Joe Henry's production and the support from his usual cohorts provide a setting for Mr. Bragg that lets him shine and really shows him at his best...


This album is fantastic. Long time Bragg fans will enjoy it as well as those unfamiliar with Bragg's extensive back catalogue.


Born: December 20, 1957 in Barking Town Hall, London, Englan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the '80s. For most of the decade, Bragg bashed out songs alone on his electric guitar, singing about politics and love. While his lyrics were bitingly intelligent and clever, they were also warm and humane, filled with detail and wit. Even though his lyrics were carefully considered, Bragg never neglected...
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