Each Friday, we bring you a piece from our archives to help propel you into the weekend.
One of Billy Bragg’s most overtly socialist albums is The Internationale, from 1990. It includes the title song as well as “Nicaragua Nicaraguita,” “The Red Flag,” and covers of Sam Cooke, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs. Bragg stuffed in live material from playing in the Soviet Union, too.
This is the kind of “redder than ever” material that gets you a Mother Jones interview in 1990.
Bragg would bristle at his obvious MoJo-fodder reputation in 2004, in another interview with us: “I am a writer of songs, and a lot of them are love songs and a few of them are political. But because so few people write political songs, I find myself being interviewed by Mother Jones.”
Well, sorry! Yeah, Billy Bragg is the kind of musician we like to interview. Check out the full one from 1990 here. And the one from 2004 here. Bragg also recommends an album from Smithsonian Folkways that I think deserves a shoutout as well: Don’t Mourn—Organize!