Collection includes: A Tonic for the Troops (1978); The Fine Art Of Surfacing (1979); Mondo Bongo (1981); V Deep (1982).
2005 remastered reissue of 1985 and 6th album from The Boomtown Rats featuring frontman Bob Geldof. Contains 4 bonus tracks 'Dave' (single version), 'Walking Down Town', 'Precious Time' & 'She's Not The Best'…
The Boomtown Rats were founded in Ireland in 1975. They moved to London in 1976 and came to the forefront of New Wave music. Their debut single, "Looking After No.1," reached No.11 on the UK singles chart and began a sequence of 10 Top 40 UK hits, including their two No.1's "Rat Trap" and "I Don't Like Mondays."
The Fine Art of Surfacing was The Boomtown Rats' third album and contained the hit-single releases, "I Don't Like Mondays", "Diamond Smiles" and "Someone's Looking at You." "I Don't Like Mondays" b/w "It's All the Rage" was released in June 1979, and hit #1 in late July in the UK in the same year (the song refers to Brenda Ann Spencer's killing spree on Monday, January 29, 1979 in San Diego, California). Musically, however, this album is, for the most part, quite a departure from the Rats' punk influences that came across so clearly in their debut LP and Tonic for the Troops. The Rats display many styles in this album from a wide range of influences.
On their fifth album and reduced to a quintet, the Boomtown Rats moved closer to Caribbean rhythms, employing a percussionist and upping the bass guitar in the mix. They even had Dennis Bovell do a dub mix of "House on Fire" and included it at the end of the album. Meanwhile, Bob Geldof's lyrics indicated an increasingly embattled sensibility; he noted in a song called "The Bitter End" that "It isn't too far." Unfortunately, nothing here matched the catchy, daring work on the Rats' first three albums, and even in England their star was beginning to fade. In America, Columbia Records at first declined to release the album, opting for a four-track EP, then allowed it to escape in September 1982, when it failed to chart.] AMG
Bob Geldof had revealed a taste for the seamy side of things in his lyrics for the Boomtown Rats' first album. On their second record, he fantasized about being Hitler in the person of the "Leader of the Pack" ("I Never Loved Eva Braun"), romanticized tropical suicide ("Living in an Island"), and identified with a certain wealthy recluse ("Me and Howard Hughes"). The band retained a punk energy on the album's U.K. hit singles, "Like Clockwork," "She's So Modern," and "Rat Trap" (another of Geldof's Springsteen homages), but musical identity was still a song-by-song affair. [In the U.S., Columbia replaced "Can't Stop" and "[Watch Out For] The Normal People" with "Mary of the 4th Form" and "Joey's on the Street Again" from the first album.] AMG
On their fourth album, the Boomtown Rats submitted to ambitiousness, with singer Bob Geldof attempting to assume the mantle of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, while the band tried to keep up with musical fashions in Britain. The combination led to such oddities as a ska-beat rewrite of the Stones' "Under My Thumb" and a couple of side-opening mambos. The band was at its best when it returned to the pop music that was its core on such songs as the Buddy Holly-ish "Don't Talk to Me" and especially the danceable "Up All Night," but they were buried on the second side of an uneven collection that made the Rats' sense of direction seem uncertain. AMG