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Billy Bragg at the 1985 launch of the musicians' collective Red Wedge (left), and more recently. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Billy Bragg, In a Retrospective Mood

Oct 14, 2006 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

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Rocker Billy Bragg has long mixed jokes, pop and politics into his songs about life, work, love, football thugs and the changing face of his beloved England.

In the past year, he has released a two-volume box set of recordings. Volume one was out in February, with material from the 1980s. This month comes volume two, which includes four albums he turned out between 1988 and 2002 and four bonus CDs of new material, including previously unreleased live performances and demos.

And in case you like to read while listening to music, he has published a memoir: The Progressive Patriot: A Search for Belonging.

Bragg looks back at his career in a conversation with Scott Simon, and offers some advice to younger artists, too.

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