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In 1987 Amiga released a self-titled album by English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, the contents of which were made up of the artist’s highly-acclaimed second record Talking With the Taxman About Poetry. This record is striking for the way in which it Bragg manages to wed the political to the personal without coming off as heavy handed.

Billy Bragg – S/T (Amiga release, 1987) – front cover – My copy is autographed and Billy added a “voice from the crowd” yelling “Go Away!”, a reference to his having been kicked out the GDR in 1989 for criticizing the Berlin Wall.

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The Amiga pressing of Bruce Springsteen‘s Born in the U.S.A. album appeared in 1986 and was one of the prime examples of the socialist regime’s attempts to court East German youth. Given Springsteen’s working class roots and image, it might seem that it would not have been a huge stretch for GDR authorities to approve him for presentation their impressionable youth. However, the context of this decision is remarkable for, at that time, Springsteen represented for many – rightly or wrongly – a nostalgic, apolitical image of the United States and its values.

Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. (Amiga release, 1986) – front cover

Given this, it is not surprising to read the essay found on the back of the Amiga pressing. Read More

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