Born Bruce Robert Howard on May 2nd 1961 in Haddington, Scotland, Dr Robert first came to international fame as a singer/songwriter with eighties pop band The Blow Monkeys. He misspent his teenage years in Australia. In the late 1970s Roberts’s first musical experiences were as a busker at Sydney Harbours Circular Quay. He escaped from there to Darwin, joining a local punk band Exhibit A. He returned to Britain in 1981 and saw the formation of The Blow Monkeys. The band made their recorded debut on the independent imprint, Parasol, in January 1982 and supported it with extensive gigging in London, securing a citizenship at the dearly departed Moonlight Club in Hampstead. The bands distinctive pop songs saved a record deal with RCA, inked in July 1983.
Their debut LP Limping For A Generation was released the next year, produced by Jam/Style Council sound manicurist Pete Wilson. Animal Magic was their second album, released in May 1986, and achieved much; also due to the worldwide hit Digging Your Scene, bursting into the top ten singles listings both Europe and the USA. Amongst the albums many gems was a duet with bizarre Jamaican toaster Eek-A-Mouse, entitled Sweet Murder. By January 1987, the band considerably consolidated their status with the irresistible single, It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way, peaked at the number five position in the UK top ten. March of that year saw the release of the bands third album, She Was Only A Grocers Daughter, and achieved silver sales status on release. Produced by American Michael Baker, it featured Celebrate, a duet with Chicago soul/funk legend Curtis Mayfield. However, the BBC banned the single from broadcast because of an apparent anti-Conservative lyrical theme. The band further underscored their political affiliations by joining the Red Wedge tour later that year.
Unreleased nuggets and hard to get gems – including the extravagant Realms of Gold (original version) with its crazy beat and Abbey Rd string section plus the unreleased Walt Whitman From the beginnings of his solo career, the rush of the early hard to find singles like Ive Learned To Live With Love, right up to outtakes from his last LP 2001s critically lauded Birds Gotta Fly. Check out the acid folk of The Big Come Down or soulfully seductive What In The World later a hit for UK soul outfit Nu-Colors. His huge track record and great critical praise has certainly placed Dr Robert firmly in the league of great songwriters.