Album review: Tom Robinson Band – Anthology 1977-1979

Tom Robinson Band - The Anthology 1977-1979

Tom Robinson Band - The Anthology 1977-1979 - Credit: Archant

A three-CD, one-DVD revue of TRB’s short but bright career acts as a reminder of their ballsy posturing and driving tunes, and offers casual fans and punk-rock purists all they could ever want or need.

Some 35 years after singer, songwriter and bassist Tom Robinson’s gutsy, clever punk-rock gang released Power In The Darkness, an album still admired by many which reached number 4 in the UK, comes this exhaustive trawl through TRB’s brief career.

For a band who released just two studio albums and seven singles and EPs before infighting and line-up changes tore them apart, a three-CD, 1-DVD set might seem a bit much.

Both albums are remastered and still sound prickly, feisty and fresh, abetted by singles and b-sides including the fist-pumping stomp of 2-4-6-8 Motorway and live sessions with John Peel, a concert and documentary.

Powered more by ‘70s US-style rock than coruscating punk, the defiant socio-political commentary from Law & Order to (Sing If You’re) Glad To Be Gay hasn’t dated as you might think.

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Indeed, the likes of the pumping, establishment-baiting Up Against The Wall makes you wonder what may have been for this politico pop-rock powerhouse.

3 stars

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