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.
Released on 28th July 2014
"Us and Them" was at one time going to be called "Some More Recent Protest Songs", referencing Robb's highly acclaimed 2011 album, but that seemed a bit obvious and quite frankly a bit dull.and anyway, surely the point has already been made that songs that the media try to dismiss and sneer at with the term "protest song", songs engaging with the reality of contemporary society, are indeed alive and well and living in England.
So here's another collection of songs firmly engaged with the realities of contemporary society, getting up in the morning and getting on with it, food banks, yuppified pubs, the centenary of the outbreak of the disaster that was supposed to be the war to end all wars, the disaster that is supposed to be the Minister for Education Michael Gove, railway stations, Boris Johnson and UKIP, Terry French and the Miners Strike, and a celebration of the life of Bob Crow.and Robb's really pleased with the way it's been recorded - old-style stick a mike up in the middle of the room and record everything as live as possible, including Robb's son Arv on cajon, and a spot of overdubbed dobro for good measure, plus extract of speeches by Liz French from the Kent Miners, and Bob Crow himself.
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.
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:
From Robb and the Irregulars. Released on 23rd April 2012. Read all about it! The track list is as follows.
From Robb and the Irregulars. Released on 7th November 2011. The track list is as follows. Read all about it!
IRR080: SOME RECENT PROTEST SONGS
Released on 18th July 2011. The track list is as follows:
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 | firstname.lastname@example.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)
Released 30th November 2009, "The Ghost of Love" is by Robb Johnson with the Irregulars, and the track list as as follows:
IRR075: MARGARET THATCHER: MY PART IN HER DOWNFALL - DELUXE"
4-CD set from Robb and the Irregulars, which includes:
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.
IRR068: LOVE & DEATH & POLITICS - ROBB JOHNSON & THE IRREGULARS (2008)
See the lyrics and chords, listen to MP3s, and read the backstory for "Peanuts" here.
IRR063: 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.
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.
IRR058: 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.
IRR054: 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.
UNLaBEL004: 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.
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.
IRR047: 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.
IRR045: 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.
IRR043: 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)
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)
IRR036: 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)
IRR032: 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)
IRR030: 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)
IRR029: 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)
IRR027: 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)
IRR026: 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)
IRR025: THE NIGHT CAFÉ - ROBB JOHNSON
13 songs, solo voice and acoustic guitar, from the long dark night-café of the soul… (1995)
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”.
www.robbjohnson.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.