Don't Try This at Home (Billy Bragg album)

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Don't Try This at Home
Studio album by Billy Bragg
Released 17 September 1991 (1991-09-17)
Studio Pavillion Studios, London W10; Cathouse Studios, Streatham; Sonet Studio, London; Clear, Manchester; John Keane Studios; Jester House, Athens, Georgia
Genre Alternative rock, folk rock, folk punk
Length 56:37
Label Elektra, Go! Discs (UK), Cooking Vinyl (UK)
Producer Grant Showbiz
Billy Bragg chronology
The Peel Sessions Album
Don't Try This at Home
William Bloke
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[4]
The Philadelphia Inquirer3.5/4 stars[6]
Q4/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[9]

Don't Try This at Home is the sixth full-length album by urban folk artist Billy Bragg.

"Sexuality" was released as a single which reached #27 on the UK charts and #2 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. Johnny Marr of The Smiths co-wrote "Sexuality" and helped to produce two tracks.

The song "Cindy of a Thousand Lives" is about photographer Cindy Sherman.

"Tank Park Salute" is about his father, Dennis Bragg, who died of lung cancer when Bragg was 18. He said that for a show in Barking, where he grew up, he was so moved by the presence of his mother and brother in the audience that he kept a copy of the lyrics in case he forgot them while performing.[11]

R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Peter Buck contribute to "You Woke Up My Neighbourhood."

"Dolphins" is a cover of the Fred Neil song.

The song "God's Footballer" is about former professional football player Peter Knowles who spent his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers before voluntarily ending his football career to become a Jehovah's Witness.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Billy Bragg except where noted.

  1. "Accident Waiting to Happen"
  2. "Moving the Goalposts"
  3. "Everywhere" (Greg Trooper, Sid Griffin)
  4. "Cindy of a Thousand Lives"
  5. "You Woke Up My Neighbourhood" (Bragg, Peter Buck)
  6. "Trust"
  7. "God's Footballer"
  8. "The Few"
  9. "Sexuality" (Bragg, Johnny Marr)
  10. "Mother of the Bride"
  11. "Tank Park Salute"
  12. "Dolphins" (Fred Neil)
  13. "North Sea Bubble"
  14. "Rumours of War"
  15. "Wish You Were Her"
  16. "Body of Water" (Bragg, Philip Wigg aka "Wiggy")

Along with a remastered album, a second bonus disc was released by Yep Roc Records (in the U.S.) and Cooking Vinyl (in the U.K.) in 2006. The new tracks include demos of songs on the album, as well as several other songs, including a cover of The Beatles' "Revolution". Natalie Merchant sings on two tracks.

Bonus disc track listing[edit]

  1. "Party of God" (Lead vocals by Natalie Merchant)
  2. "North Sea Bubble" (demo)
  3. "Sexuality" (demo)
  4. "Just One Victory" (Todd Rundgren)
  5. "Everywhere"
  6. "Trust"
  7. "Bread & Circuses" (Natalie Merchant)
  8. "Cindy of a Thousand Lives"
  9. "The Few"
  10. "Revolution" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney)
  11. "Tighten up your Wig"
  12. "MBH"
  13. "This Gulf Between Us"
  14. "Picadilly Rambler"


  • Grant Showbiz – production
  • Johnny Marr – production
  • Danny Thompson - double bass
  • Peter Buck – mandolin
  • Jody Linscott – percussion
  • John Keane – pedal steel guitar, bass
  • Billy Bragg – vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards
  • Mary Ramsey – violin, viola
  • Dave Woodhead – flugelhorn
  • Steven Lewis - backing vocals
  • J.F.T. Hood – drums, percussion
  • Kirsty MacColl -- backing vocals
  • Cara Tivey – piano, background vocals on "Dolphins"
  • James Eller – bass
  • Wiggy – electric guitar, bass
  • Julia Palmer – cello
  • Amanda Vincent – keyboards
  • Andy Hobson - bass
  • Caroline Hall – trombone
  • Elliet Mackrell – violin
  • Lorraine Bowen – clarinet, background vocals on "Accident Waiting to Happen", "Trust", "God's Footballer", "Wish You Were Her"
  • Victoria Taylor Roberts – background vocals
  • Michael Stipe – background vocals on "You Woke Up My Neighbourhood"
  • Andy Szabo – background vocals on "Wish You Were Her"


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "Don't Try This at Home – Billy Bragg". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  2. ^ Rothschild, David (21 November 1991). "Billy Bragg: Don't Try This at Home (Elektra)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  4. ^ Arnold, Gina (20 September 1991). "Don't Try This at Home". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  5. ^ Quantick, David (14 September 1991). "Billy Bragg: Don't Try This at Home". NME.
  6. ^ Moon, Tom (20 October 1991). "Billy Bragg: Don't Try This at Home (Elektra)". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  7. ^ Snow, Mat (October 1991). "Billy Bragg: Don't Try This at Home". Q (61).
  8. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (31 October 1991). "Billy Bragg: Don't Try This At Home". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  9. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Billy Bragg". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 101. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  10. ^ Kirsch, Michele (November 1991). "Billy Bragg: Don't Try This at Home". Select (17): 68.
  11. ^ Ross.P (2006)"Best of British", The Herald, 2006-11-25. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
  12. ^ God's Footballer