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Robb Johnson, A Break in the Clouds

Robb Johnson - Catalogue

All Robb's earlier recordings, before IRR048, are now deleted. Proper Music have a few left, but, apart from the ones in the occasional Oxfam shop, that's it. All the recordings are listed here, the most recent first - along with the biography of Yoko Ono of which Robb is a co-author. Where items are offered on Amazon.co.uk, we provide an affiliate link. Some albums may also be available from private sellers in Amazon Marketplace.

IRR090: Sweet Jane / Wine and Roses

A vinyl single, one song on each side. Released on Record Store Day, 20th April 2014. Read all about this record!

Track list:

  • Sweet Jane (written by Lou Reed)
  • Bay of Angels (Robb Johnson)

 

IRR088 and IRR089: Gentle Men

Released on Remembrance Day, 11th November 2013.

Robb's highly acclaimed "family history of the First World War and its consequences" will be available both in a double CD digipack version and as part of a 120-page book version. Robb has revisited and revised the song suite, originally commissioned in 1997 for the Passendale Peace Concert, to take into account the experience both of subsequent performances and of recent historical events.

This new re-recording now includes several new songs, and is performed by a new cast of superb singers and musicians. Roy Bailey reprises his role as Robb's grandfathers, while Barb Jungr sings the female voices, and accompaniment is provided by Robb, Jude Abbott, Jenny Carr and John Forrester.

Buy the double CD - in digipack version, or with 120-page book, from the Gentle Men web site!

 

IRR087V: WEST PIER SERENADE

Issued as a vinyl album with free CD, and released on 20th April 2013 which was Record Store Day. Read all about this album!

Track list:

  • West Pier Serenade
  • Noni and the Golden Serenaders
  • J Johnnie
  • Gliders for Tim
  • The German Exchange
  • Down the Town and Over the Moon
  • Cauliflower Curry
  • Sunday Morning St Denis
  • When's it Gonna Snow?
  • Here Comes That Miracle Again
  • Whitton High Street

Buy the CD version of "West Pier Serenade" by mail order from Robb Johnson!

 

IRR085: BRING DOWN THE MOON

From Robb and the Acoustic Irregulars, released 1st April 2013.

Robb says: "It has been a bit of a bugger, dogged by all manner of bad luck and hindrance; originally it was supposed to be recorded in Gent with Belgian friends, but that all fell through, so it was relocated to Hove; it then suffered from a variety of delays and difficulties, including food poisoning, christmas, bouncing checks, Skype and snow. But it is I think extraordinarily beautiful." Read all about it!

The track list is as follows:

  • Bring Down the Moon
  • On the Road from Babylon
  • African Roses
  • Welcome to Mugsborough
  • The Rotweiler Man
  • Alice Annie Wheeldon
  • Franz Has Got a Plan
  • All the Angels Miss You, George
  • Different for Al
  • Looking for Blue Sky
  • Karl Marx City Blues
  • Downhearted
  • Call Me Tonight

Buy "Bring Down The Moon" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

IRR083 or IRRV083V (Vinyl): HAPPILY EVER AFTER

From Robb and the Irregulars. Released on 23rd April 2012. Read all about it! The track list is as follows.

  • Roll This Stone
  • Hey Abbie
  • When Tottenham Burned
  • Rupert Says
  • Dreams
  • Cinderella
  • All I Wanna Do
  • Takeaway Girl
  • The Rendezvous Des Artistes
  • Happily Ever After

Buy "Happily Ever After" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

IRR082 or IRRV082V (Vinyl): ONCE UPON A TIME

From Robb and the Irregulars. Released on 7th November 2011. The track list is as follows. Read all about it!

  • Once Upon a Time
  • Euroville
  • Prince Charming
  • Magdeburg These Days
  • Feast of Fools
  • Second Division Life
  • Patterns
  • Long Road Home
  • Falling Down with You

Buy "Once Upon A Time" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

IRR080: SOME RECENT PROTEST SONGS

Released on 18th July 2011. The track list is as follows:

  • The Cream of the Nation
  • Goodnight Jerusalem
  • Goodnight Noddy
  • Deep Down Underground
  • Inexcusable
  • The North West Frontier
  • No Fly Zone
  • On Maiden Castle
  • Little Vinnie Jones
  • The Man Who Poked Camilla
  • Everybody Loves (A Royal Wedding)
  • When I Look Up
  • Our Lives, Not Yours

Buy "Some Recent Protest Songs" from Amazon with free postage!

 

THE LIBERTY TREE

A recording of the acclaimed "Liberty Tree" song-and-spoken-word story of the life and times of Tom Paine, written by Leon Rosselson and performed by Robb and Leon. A superb two-CD set of radical thinking, topped off with Leon and Robb's songs and some of Tom Paine's favourite jokes. Released by PM Press, and available at gigs or through PM Press, PO Box 23912, Oakland, CA 94623 | 510-658-3906 | info@pmpress.org, or buy "The Liberty Tree" from Amazon with free postage!

 

IRR077: MAN WALKS INTO A PUB

Released in September 2010, this is a solo acoustic album, and the track list is as follows. Read all about it! (Updated 4th August 2010)

  1. Man Walks into a Pub
  2. A True History of Couscous
  3. Les Deux Magots
  4. Dark Star
  5. A Bracelet from Paris
  6. A Very Small Piece of thev Real World
  7. Charlie
  8. The Wrong Train
  9. Thomas Among the Dandelions
  10. Someone Else Can Save the World
  11. Stay Free
  12. A Place in the Country
  13. The Justice Bus
  14. Pennypot Lane

Buy "Man Walks Into a Pub" from Amazon with free postage!

 

IRR076: THE GHOST OF LOVE

Released 30th November 2009, "The Ghost of Love" is by Robb Johnson with the Irregulars, and the track list as as follows:

  1. Fairytales In Feltham
  2. Rehoused In Hounslow
  3. Jubilee Gardens
  4. Father Christmas Down Hounslow High Street
  5. Wooden Snowmen
  6. Meanwhile, On Planet Earth
  7. Crisis
  8. Poundshop Christmas
  9. Magic Pockets?
  10. The Ghost Of Love
  11. Motorcycle Diary
  12. The Midnight Clear

Buy "The Ghost of Love" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

IRR075: MARGARET THATCHER: MY PART IN HER DOWNFALL - DELUXE"

4-CD set from Robb and the Irregulars, which includes:

  • the first two vinyl albums ("Skewed, Slewed, Stewed & Awkward" and "Small Town World"), plus bonus tracks;
  • a collection of band/group recordings;
  • and a collection of solo recordings.

Some of the tracks on CDs 3 & 4 appeared on the deleted "This is the UK Talking" CD and the first "Margaret Thatcher - My Part in Her Downfall" CD; but there's also a lot of tracks previously unreleased, including some very rare Ministry of Humour stuff! You also get a 24 page booklet with pretty comprehensive notes, & some great photos too.

Buy "Margaret Thatcher: My Part in Her Downfall" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

IRR068: LOVE & DEATH & POLITICS - ROBB JOHNSON & THE IRREGULARS (2008)

14-track studio album from Robb and the Irregulars, released in October 2008. See the tracklist here and the backstories to the tracks here.

"Robb Johnson and The Irregulars albums are always something  pretty special, but with Love & Death & Politics the UK’s most consistently strong songwriter has excelled with a collection that offers a fascinating, absorbing and essential insight into the Britain of today."
- Sean McGhee, Rock'n'Reel

Buy "Love & Death & Politics" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

 All That Way For This  IRR066: All That Way for This - Robb Johnson & The Irregulars (2007)

See the lyrics and chords, listen to MP3s, and read the backstory for "Peanuts" here.

Buy "All That Way for This" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

Saturday Night at the Fire StationIRR063: SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE FIRE STATION - ROBB JOHNSON & THE IRREGULARS

This is a live recording of Robb’s 50th birthday gig. The 14 songs include current favourites, old favourites and 3 unreleased songs. The Irregulars on this recording are John Forrester on bass, Andi Tuck on drums, with Saskia Tomkins on fabulous electric violin. There are guest appearances from Maggie Holland, Graham Larkbey and Roger Watson, plus two songs where Robb duets with his sons Hari and Arvin, aged 8 and 7 respectively. It's a noisy, warts'n'all record of a splendid night out.

 

MetroIRR059: METRO - ROBB JOHNSON

The album features 15 songs and one spoken word piece. Robb is accompanied by the brilliant piano playing of Russel Churney. It's very much an English Chanson album (Jacques Brel meets Bertolt Brecht down at the Old Bull and Bush), with songs about London, Paris, New York, men, bars, death, loss, love and Berkhamstead. Listen to tracks from Metro here. Read the lyrics from Metro here.

 

A Beginner's GuideIRR058: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE - ROBB JOHNSON

18 tracks, voice and guitar, recorded “live” in the studio, a collection of new versions of current live favourites, rarities and 6 new songs.

“Most of the gigs I do are just me and the acoustic guitar. Afterwards people often ask “Which CD sounds most like what you did tonight?” It's this one.”
Robb Johnson, March 2005.

Buy "A Beginner's Guide" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

Tony Blair: My Part in his DownfallIRR054: TONY BLAIR: MY PART IN HIS DOWNFALL - ROBB JOHNSON

This is a double album and contains 29 songs, written since 1997 in response to the Blair regime, and all its attendant farces and farragoes, presenting a dissenting view of cool Britannia, the Jubilee, and more wars than any other Prime Minister has presided over.

 

Friday Night in BrentfordUNLaBEL004: FRIDAY NIGHT IN BRENTFORD - ROBB JOHNSON

12 songs about football, life and west London recorded live at Stripes Bar, July 2003, available from www.beesunited.org.uk.

Buy "Friday Night in Brentford" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

Clockwork MusicIRR048: CLOCKWORK MUSIC - ROBB JOHNSON

All 12 of the songs were written by Robb whilst touring in the former DDR over the last three years, although there is the usual diversity of subject matter that characterises his songwriting.

“An immaculately recorded album of rich textures and subtle harmonic surprises - achieved with deceptive simplicity by Robb Johnson's impeccable guitar technique and some thoughtful chamber string arrangements by Saskia Tomkins and Miranda Sykes. The lyrics are pan-European in flavour – no surprise given Robb's prominent status in Britain's growing chanson movement - and fans of his brand of wry social observation and acid political comment will be bowled over by tracks like the poignant “Over The Hills” and (my own favourite from this collection) “Lost In The Woods”.
Tom Robinson, July 2003

Buy "Clockwork Music" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!

 

Maximum RespectIRR047: MAXIMUM RESPECT - ROBB JOHNSON

Co-produced by Ethical Wares, this 14 song album collects together all of Johnson’s songs about animal and related issues, ranging from the angry “Daybreak” to the humorous “Buster”, a song about Johnson's ex-tom cat. 7 tracks have never been released or appeared on CD before, and the album is only available at gigs or direct from Ethical Wares at www.ethicalwares.com.

 

The Triumph of Hope over ExperienceIRR045: THE TRIUMPH OF HOPE OVER EXPERIENCE - ROBB JOHNSON

The album features songs set in Soho, Broadstairs, Brighton (“London-On-Sea”), Paris, Brentford Football ground, and songs dealing with weddings, paternity, General Pinochet and the delights of supporting Chumbawamba in Whitehaven. With contributions from cabaret diva Barb Jungr, pianist Russell Churney, Quimantu’s Mauricio Venegas, drummer Paul Mullineux, and with RJ3 members Miranda Sykes on bass and vocals and Saskia Tomkins on violin it is also one of the most ambitious and exciting albums musically that Robb has recorded.

 

21st Century BluesIRR043: 21st CENTURY BLUES - ROBB JOHNSON WITH MIRANDA SYKES and SASKIA TOMKINS

15 tracks by “one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary songwriters, working with two of Britain’s finest acoustic musicians”. The 14 original songs deal with a diverse range of subjects, from the death of a biker friend, to the general state of the planet, taking in murder, old age, childhood, anarchists, and the Balkan wars along the way, plus a rare cover version, Johnson’s translation of “Voir Un Ami Pleurer” from the last recordings of Jacques Brel. (2001)

 

Margaret Thatcher: My Part in her DownfallIRR042: MARGARET THATCHER: MY PART IN HER DOWNFALL - ROBB  JOHNSON

A new recording of 20 of Johnson’s older songs, including “The Herald Of Free Enterprise”, “Rosa’s Lovely Daughters”, “Captain Swing”, “Boxing Day”, and the agit-prop kiddies singalong “The Animals Song” (the original single was nearly an NME Single Of The Week!) for which he first became well-known, or notorious, depending on your political point of view. (2000)

 

The Big WheelIRR036: THE BIG WHEEL - ROBB JOHNSON

14 songs, acoustic guitar-based, about everything from Cirio’s in Brussels to Paradise Street in Liverpool, from Hillsborough to the mother of god rehoused in Hounslow, from songs for a new baby to songs for the barricades, including the anthemic “Be Reasonable”, and “Au Depart”, covered by Barb Jungr on her album BARE. All enhanced by excellent contributions from Philip Hoessen (accordion), Leon Rosselson (2nd guitar), Miranda Sykes (double bass) and Saskia Tomkins (violin and cello). (1999)

 

Yeah Yeah YeahIRR032: YEAH YEAH YEAH - THE ROBB JOHNSON BAND

17 songs recorded between 91 and 98, chronicling the “commercially suicidal” life ’n’ times of the electric band, including “The Bells Of Freedom” and “We Hate The Tories”. (1998)

 

Gentle MenIRR030: GENTLE MEN (double CD) - ROBB JOHNSON

A family history of the First World War, and the long shadows it cast over the rest of the century. Performed by Roy Bailey, Vera Coomans, Robb Johnson, and Koen De Cauter and The Golden Serenaders. (1997)

 

Invisible PeopleIRR029: INVISIBLE PEOPLE - ROBB JOHNSON

13 songs, some solo and some seriously noisy, with longtime electric RJB rhythm section Huggy Harewood and Paul Mullineux plus rootsbanders Larcombe and Mann. (1997)

 

OvernightIRR027: OVERNIGHT - ROBB JOHNSON

14 songs, solo voice and acoustic guitar, a re-recording of most of the songs from the original ’91 “Overnight” album recorded with Pip Collings, (IRR 011-not so much deleted as run out of, and long overdue for reissue) but with additional songs – unreleased, unrecorded or from demos cassettes- also included. (1996)

 

Hell's KitchenIRR026: HELL’S KITCHEN - ROBB JOHNSON ROOTS BAND

13 songs aided and abetted by Steafan Hannigan, Maggie Holland, Fiona Larcombe, Terry Mann and Rory McLeod, and produced by Steafan Hannigan. (1996)

 

The Night CafeIRR025: THE NIGHT CAFÉ - ROBB JOHNSON

13 songs, solo voice and acoustic guitar, from the long dark night-café of the soul… (1995)

 

YOKO ONO BIOGRAPHY

Robb has contributed to a new biography of Yoko Ono, co-written with Alan Clayson and Barb Jungr. “Woman: The Incredible Life Of Yoko Ono” is published by Chrome Dreams, ISBN 184240 220 X. Robb’s section of the narrative concerns the Lennon years. Robb had always thought that Lennon was at his most interesting when influenced by Yoko Ono’s creativity, and his research into this period of Yoko’s life confirmed his admiration for her as an artist and for her enduring commitment to peace and feminist politics. Alan Clayson narrates Yoko’s life before and after Lennon, and Barb Jungr analyses Yoko’s creative work in a series of focussed essays. Although Robb is a little unhappy with the way the book was edited, it’s nonetheless the first sympathetic biography of Yoko Ono that presents her as an important and influential 20th century artist. She did, after all, more or less write Lennon’s greatest hit “Imagine”.

Buy "Woman: The Incredible Life of Yoko Ono" from Amazon.co.uk with free postage!


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