Songs You May Have Missed #59

bragg

Billy Bragg: “Walk Away Renee” (1986)

“…and then one day it happened: she cut her hair and I stopped loving her.”

Not a cover exactly, this version of the Left Banke’s 1966 baroque pop hit borrows the song’s melody to underlay for Bragg’s whimsically sad musings on a doomed love affair.

As a yet-undiscovered artist, Bragg got creative about finding ways to break through. According to his Wikipedia page:

His demo tape initially got no response from the record industry, but by pretending to be a television repair man, he got into the office of Charisma RecordsA&R man Peter Jenner. Jenner liked the tape, but the company was near bankruptcy and had no budget to sign new artists. Bragg got an offer to record more demos for music publisher Chappell & Co., so Jenner agreed to release them as a record. Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs. Spy (credited to Billy Bragg) was released in July 1983 by Charisma’s new imprint, Utility. Hearing DJ John Peel mention on-air that he was hungry, Bragg rushed to the BBC with a mushroom biryani, so Peel played a song from Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs. Spy albeit at the wrong speed (since the 12″ LP was, unconventionally, cut to play at 45rpm). Peel insisted he would have played the song even without the biryani and later played it at the correct speed.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/03/05/songs-you-may-have-missed-350/

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Songs You May Have Missed #350 | Ed Cyphers

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