Anniversary, Reissues, Tracklist — September 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

Billy Bragg’s ‘Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy’ to receive expanded 30th anniversary reissue

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his debut album Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy — featuring the singer-songwriter’s classic “A New England” — next month with a new reissue that features a newly remastered version of the original record plus a live solo version of the full album recorded in London earlier this summer.

The reissue, expanded from the original seven tracks to 15, will be released Oct. 21 in the U.K. and Oct. 29 in the U.S. on Cooking Vinyl on CD, 180-gram vinyl and digital download.

Bragg, in announcing the project, writes:

Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy has a very special place in my heart, being the first step on a 30-year journey that has seen me travel to places that I could never have imagined back in ’83. Also, as it’s only 17 minutes long, I can knock the whole album out as an encore if the fancy takes me — no need to book the Royal Albert Hall and the London Symphony Orchestra”

The live set included on the reissue — performed out of sequence — was, in fact, recorded during the encore at Bragg’s concert at London’s Union Chapel on June 5.

Additionally, in keeping with the original “Pay No More Than £2.99” sticker on the original record sleeve, the newly remastered version of Life’s a Riot will be available on iTunes for £2.49, with the full 30th anniversary edition (including the live set), priced at £3.49, for anyone who pre-orders through the first week of release. No word yet if similar pricing will be in place via the U.S. iTunes store.

See full tracklist and a video preview below:


Tracklist: Billy Bragg, Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy: 30th Anniversary Edition

Original Album
1. “The Milkman of Human Kindness”
2. “To Have and to Have Not”
3. “Richard”
4. “A New England”
5. “The Man in the Iron Mask”
6. “The Busy Girl Buys Beauty”
7. “Lovers Town Revisited”

Live at Union Chapel
8. Intro
9. “Lovers Town Revisited”
10. “To Have and to Have Not”
11. “The Busy Girl Buys Beauty”
12. “The Man in the Iron Mask”
13. “Richard”
14. “The Milkman of Human Kindness”
15. “A New England”







  1. The U.S. iTunes preorder is $4.99, which seems comparable to the U.K. preorder.

  2. They filmed this entire show. Hopefully will release in the future. Heard it was cracking. Life’s a Riot was the second encore.

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