Freitag, 24. September 2021

Tom Robinson - Last Tango (Line, 1989)

Tom Robinson wasn’t the first openly gay recording artist, but the Tom Robinson Band was the first group led by a proudly uncloseted rocker to really make an impact on mainstream Anglo/American pop fans. 

Robinson’s saga began in Finchton Manor, a home for “maladjusted” boys, where he came out and met future lead guitarist Danny Kustow. Robinson’s first group, Cafe Society, was signed to the Kinks’ Konk label and released one forgettable album. After a long legal and personal battle with Ray Davies, the singing bassist was released from his contract and set about forming the Tom Robinson Band. Kustow resurfaced, and after recruiting young keyboard wizard Mark Ambler and drummer Brian “Dolphin” Taylor, they were ready to go. 

EMI, fresh from their debacle with the Sex Pistols, signed the band, whose leader’s avowed homosexuality and uncompromising left-wing political stance made him an extremely controversial figure. Luckily, a brilliant (and surprisingly non-topical) first single, “2-4-6-8 Motorway” became a Top 5 hit in Britain and a riveting debut album made the band internationally successful. That afforded the singing bassist the opportunity to be an activist — spearheading Rock Against Racism — rather than merely a complainer. But a myopic outlook and limited musical range drew Robinson into a morass of sloganeering and overbearing self-righteousness that forced a major career rethink after only two LPs.

"Last Tango" is a live album that's surfaced both as 'Last Tango' and 'Midnight At The Fringe' over the years. Original 1983 recordings from the Edinburgh Fringe have been restored and recompiled, with high quality recordings of the three best-known hits included for good measure


Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio
Tango An Der Wand
Surabaya Johnny
War Baby
2-4-6-8 Motorway
Back In The Old Country
The Night Tide
I Wanna Be Your Cabin Boy
Old Friend
Glad To Be Gay '87

Tom Robinson - Last Tango (Line, 1989)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

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