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Baker's Dozen

Too Good To Be True: Tom Robinson's Favourite Albums
Lisa Jenkins , August 7th, 2013 07:52

The erstwhile punk frontman and now radio presenter and all-round man of music distils his sprawling record collection down to his 13 finest albums


TV Smith - March Of The Giants
He was constantly productive. His discography goes on and on and he was making music for its own sake rather than chasing a commercial dream necessarily. He had a renaissance in the early 90s when he signed to Cooking Vinyl, and he also shared a publishing deal with me. We were both signed to Notting Hill Music and we got put on the road together to tour. We found we were kindred spirits immediately. Both of us were playing on each other’s songs, and his album at the time in 1992, March Of The Giants, was a gentler side to him. The lyrics were still angry, but musically it was more sophisticated and nuanced. There were songs on there like ‘Straight And Narrow’ about young offenders and the justice system and everything like that.

The opening track is as beautiful a song as I have heard from anyone, anywhere. It’s not overtly political or punky, but it’s almost mystical. It’s just a wonderful song and he regularly comes and guests with my band. We always play ‘Lion And The Lamb’ when we can. ‘Runaway Train Driver’ is another great song. ‘Free World’, ‘Haves And Have-Nots’, ‘Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’ - I just used to hear those songs night after night, they’re so great and most of the world doesn’t know about them. I wanted to include this in our choice because I think Quietus readers would so enjoy some of his stuff. Maybe a case of Bob Dylan - you don’t really realise what a good songwriter Bob Dylan is until somebody else covers his songs. People hear the voice and the delivery first, and that gives them a certain preconception of what it’s going to be like. And because people perceive punk in a certain way, they don’t realise that there is great depth in some of these songs.

To get listen to the album, head to Grooveshark