Billy Bragg

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

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This single from Workers' Playtime is another instant gem from Bragg, who aside from his good friends the Smiths, could lay claim to the title of most consistent pop song hitmaker in all of Britain (he's six for six to date, apart from his sparkling albums). This one is particularly ambitious, with a set of clever, funny, self-referential lyrics that even Dylan might feel proud of. It comes with -- typical for Bragg, bless him -- two essential B-sides, too, in the winsome, forlorn, moving "Wishing the Days Away" and a fine cover of Gram Parsons' crying country-rock waltz classic of the Flying Burrito Brothers vintage, "Sin City."