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What Can Political Rock Do? A Discussion Based on the Example of the Tom Robinson Band 1976-1979

Abstract : Left wing rock1 musicians and fans tend to believe that rock music changes the world; left wing journalists believe that the media change the world, and left-wing teachers believe it is education. So far, so human. But is it possible to analyse the political effects of rock processes and products? This article will explore this topic with reference to one rock group, the Tom Robinson Band, which came to promine nce briefly in the late nineteen seventies. 2 The Tom Robinson Band proposed fast-paced mainstre am rock music, not in any real sense “underground” but mixed it with very clear stances, both in lyrics and in activism, on political issues such as racism, abort ion rights, unemployment, and fables about evolutionary insurrections. They released two albums - Power in the Darkness and TRB Two, before disbanding to move onto other projects. In this analysis, I will be looking not only at the “message” conveyed in the repertoire, if indeed such vocabulary is appropriate, but also at the experiences proposed by the song.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 5:35:50 PM
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John Mullen. What Can Political Rock Do? A Discussion Based on the Example of the Tom Robinson Band 1976-1979. Revue française de civilisation britannique, 2017, Forms of Activism in the United Kingdom (Grassroots Activism, Culture, Media), 22 (3), ⟨10.4000/rfcb.1406⟩. ⟨hal-01789134⟩



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