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Single Review: “War Baby” – Tom Robinson

As it’s Tom’s birthday today I decided to review one of his biggest hits. 

This song has so much soul, mixing jazzy rhythms with a beautiful Rhodes piano and a saxophone solo – oh don’t forget the crunchy guitars…

I got introduced to this song quite late in life, as I was discussing Fresh On The Net with an artist I’d just met – something I invariably do, to help them understand the need to get their music heard, and when I mentioned Tom’s name they lit up and said oh yeah, he wrote “War Baby”, and sang me a bit of the chorus. 

I had to search this song out.

I was rewarded with a song that was so gorgeous, especially in the chorus, which we will come back to but let’s break it down first…

The track starts off with the drums, kick, snare toms played with mallets. The saxophone comes in wailing mournfully, for the 80s this could sit comfortably next to “Careless Whisper” for its sheer simplicity. Everything comes in at 0:05 the bass playing triplets, over a simple progression, and there’s an acoustic and electric guitar keeping the rhythm and fleshing out that progression. In the chorus you have a tambourine coming in…

Now this is where it got me:

“War Baby – you were a 

War Baby – this means

War Baby – I’m scared, so scared,

Of whatever it is you’re putting me through.”

The soulfulness of this part of the song is just perfect. 

I could say so much about this song, and the time in which it was written in – pre collapse of the Berlin Wall Germany – where according to Wikipedia Tom wrote the song, and there are so many images that could be accorded with it, in fact the video for it is available on YouTube. Definitely worth checking out. 

Happy birthday Tom. 

Thanks for all you do. 



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