Samstag, 23. April 2022

Tom Robinson – War Baby (1983, 12´´)

"War Baby" is a song by Tom Robinson, released as a single in 1983. It reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart, and was included on Robinson's 1984 album "Hope and Glory".

After the break-up of his band Sector 27, Robinson was "massively into debt, particularly with the British tax authorities", was "technically bankrupt", and depressed, so in 1982 he went to stay with a friend in Hamburg, Germany. He learnt German and started playing in Germany, including in East Berlin (seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall), with East German band NO 55.

Robinson describes writing the song, whilst stoned, after a bad experience at a gay sauna, he "...wrote straight down "only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof." And the rest of it poured out onto the page, eight, ten pages of the stuff, just hand-written, stream of consciousness stuff. And it took about a year to get those ten pages down to something that you could actually sing in four minutes."

The song has been described as being about his experiences of the divisions between East and West Germany. However, it has also been said that "As to what it's actually about, Tom Robinson himself couldn't tell you – he just wrote what "sounded right."" 

He returned to the UK, recorded and released the song, promoting it in a series of late night cabaret performances at the Edinburgh Fringe and, once it had charted, also appearing on Top of the Pops.

"War Baby" later appeared on Robinson's 1984 album "Hope and Glory" and revived his career.

Robinson has said that although "My flip answer to the question of what song am I the most proud is "(Wish I Had a) Grey Cortina" ... the true answer is "War Baby" is the song that I'm most proud of. ... I think it's the most truthful song that I've written, because I didn't think about it at all."

Robert Christgau described it as "a wrenching triumph", whilst Adam Smith said "War Baby, with its cryptic, elliptical lyrics, could have been written in 1974, 1984, 1994, or just about any time. It's one of those magical songs which seems to sit like an anchor while times and styles just flow around it."

The song was blacklisted by the BBC during the first Gulf War (1990–91), but later featured in the TV series "Ashes to Ashes", appearing on the "Ashes to Ashes – Series 3 (Original Soundtrack)" album.


A War Baby (Re-Recorded Extended Version) 7:54
B1 War Baby (A Live Duo Version) 5:27
B2 Hell Yes 3:54

Tom Robinson – War Baby (1983, 12´´)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

2 Kommentare:

Rhodb hat gesagt…

Thanks for the Tom Robinson share Great work


zero hat gesagt…

You are welcome!

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