I finally got round to listening to the reissued TRB2 album in the car yesterday on the way to and from seeing the dogs at lunchtime. Considering that it was, as I understand it, widely slagged off at the time, and has even had the odd sarky comment by Tom Robinson himself, I thought it was rather good. Definitely less wincingly right-on than the first album, and quite a few good tunes, although Tom Robinson singing a disco number is somewhat disturbing (I quote from his website about the particular track:
"The 'A' side "Never Gonna Fall in Love (again)" was co-written by Tom with Elton John and the record released as a promo/benefit single for Pride 79 in London. Although TRB were playing on the record, its hamfisted disco style was so alien to what the band was about that at the other members' request it was released as a Tom Robinson solo single and the group split shortly afterwards. ")
Anyway, the best track to my mind is one of his apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic tracks 'Sorry Mr Harris'. But unfortunately, unbidden to me, the thought surfaced in my mind...
that I wondered whether his 'thing' about secret police, police states, fascist repression etc. was
a) something that he expected might be just round the corner at the time, this was the late 70s early 80s after all
b) something he just thought it cool to sing about
and beyond this whether as well as being a song writing theme it was also a sexual theme too i.e. did he play 'heroic young musician and voice of the resistance' and 'secret policeman/men' etc.?
See, I warned you not to open the cut, but the thought is quite funny somehow, as I find it hard to think of many people less sexy than Tom Robinson.
Which is somehow ironic, one feels somehow that the person that wrote the iconic gay rights song should have a sort of raw sexuality that gives up-tight homophobic fathers nightmares about him 'turning' their teenage sons, rather than, well, rather than being Tom Robinson.