Tom Robinson Band – 2,4,6,8 Motorway (Starters for Ten #168) 8/10 (17)

Starters for Ten 2019 – #168: Top Ten Driving tracks: 190617

Tom Robinson Band – 2,4,6,8, Motorway (1977)

Throughout 2019 Jem of Jemtunes is taking you through 36 top tens and one top five. Tunes for a whole gamut of reasons including genre, mood, time of year or simply time itself. Sometimes there’s be words but mostly it’ll simply be the music. Because music always speaks for itself.

Continuing the 17th – featuring my top ten driving tracks, and running between 10 and 19 June – here’s the first single from the Tom Robinson Band – 2 -4 – 6 – 8 Motorway – released in 1977 with ‘I shall be released’ on the B-side.


Tom Robinson Band – Power in the Darkness (Epic #331)

The Epic 2017 Project #331: 171127

Tom Robinson Band – Power in the Darkness (1978)

Power in the Darkness was the debut studio album from the Tom Robinson Band, released in early 1978. The UK LP had ten tracks. It included inside the album cover a stencil similar to the cover art, but with the album title replaced by “Tom Robinson Band”; it held the warning, “This stencil is not meant for spraying on public property!!!”. The US release was packaged with a seven-track bonus LP. The 1993 CD re-release included all 17 tracks. Two more tracks were included on a 2004 re-release.

Tom Robinson Band – 2,4,6,8 Motorway (Leaping Ahead #99)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #99: 160408

[A song for the 1970’s (4)]

Written by Tom Robinson, this was the first single released by the Tom Robinson Band, who had formed in January 1977 and were signed to EMI in August 1977. Robinson wrote the song between leaving Café Society in 1976, and forming the Tom Robinson Band in 1977, when he was performing with whichever friends were available on the night, so the song had to be simple enough to learn in a few minutes.

He apparently came up with the tune whilst trying to work out the chords to Climax Blues Band’s “Couldn’t Get It Right”” which he couldn’t really remember. This led to the simple three chord repeat of 2-4-6-8. The verse came from Robinson’s memories of driving back to London through the night after gigs with Café Society…

By the time our van hit the last stretch of M1 into London the motorway sun really was coming up with the morning light.