The Boomtown Rats - Back To Boomtown: Classicratshits

The best of the old days, and two new tracks

They may have emerged at
a time when punk and new
wave was making its way from
seedy pubs to the studios of
Top Of The Pops, but The
Boomtown Rats always had
one eye on a broader canvas.
Just listen to their first chart-topper,
Rat Trap, with its poetic
urban plight imagery and
rasping sax breaks; Bob Geldof
wanted to be Springsteen.

Often a group of
contradictions, they sneered
at the middle-of-the-road
showbands that dominated
their native Ireland, but
weren’t averse to copping
a few well-seasoned stagecraft
tricks. And how ironic is it that
a man who announced
himself to the world with
Looking After No 1 would turn
out to be a global figurehead
of charitable good deeds?

Many of their hits (Mary
Of The 4th Form, Diamond
Smiles) were workmanlike
and formulaic, but they were
occasionally capable of
skewed brilliance (Like
Clockwork, I Don’t Like
Mondays). Thankfully, this
compilation finds room for
some of the band’s more
inspired album tracks, such as
the curious Hitler tiff I Never
Loved Eva Braun and the
archly witty Me And Howard
Hughes. 

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

EMI | tbc

Reviewed by Terry Staunton
<< Back to Issue 418