Before millions of children of the '80s knew Bob Geldof as the Irishman behind a wave of international charitable rock, including Band Aid and Live Aid, he made a name for his home country as a hub for rock with the punky band, The Boomtown Rats. More than 25 years after their last performance, The Boomtown Rats are reforming for a new album and tour - and they're starting things off with a new compilation in September.
Led by the irascible, verbose Geldof, The Boomtown Rats - which featured guitarists Garry Roberts and Gerry Cott, keyboardist Johnnie FIngers, bassist Pete Briquette and drummer Simon Crowe - became the first Irish band to top the U.K. charts with 1978's "Rat Trap," produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The next year, follow up "I Don't Like Mondays" - a heartwrenching New Wave tune about a school shooting, was a worldwide Top 5 hit (save for the U.S., where it scraped to No. 73 after a boycott of sorts due to the song's content.) Cott left the band in 1981, after which the Rats continued as a quintet increasingly in the shadow of Geldof's increasing public stature. After the band's final performance in 1986, Geldof pursued a solo career with Briquette in tow and Fingers became a highly in-demand producer in Japan.
Back to Boomtown: Classic Rats Hits features all of the band's biggest hits, including "I Don't Like Mondays," "Like Clockwork," "Rat Trap," "Banana Republic" and more, as well as two new tracks by the current band lineup (Geldof, Roberts, Briquette and Crowe) bookending the disc. (The digital version will be slightly more comprehensive, including a song apiece from the band's final two albums, 1982's V Deep and In the Long Grass (1984).) The Boomtown Rats are on tour in England, Ireland and Scotland in October and November.
The new compilation is out September 9. Hit the jump for the full track list and order links!
Back to Boomtown: Classic Rats Hits (Virgin/EMI (U.K.), 2013)
- The Boomtown Rats!
- Mary of the 4th Form
- (I Never Loved) Eva Braun
- 4. Neon Heart
- Like Clockwork
- She's So Modern
- Lookin' After No. 1
- Someone's Looking At You
- Me And Howard Hughes
- Joey's on the Street Again
- I Don't Like Mondays
- Having My Picture Taken
- Banana Republic
- Diamond Smiles
- Rat Trap
- Back to Boomtown
- House on Fire *
- Drag Me Down *
Tracks 1 and 16 are new tracks
Tracks 2, 4, 7 and 10 from The Boomtown Rats (Ensign, 1977)
Tracks 3, 5-6, 9 and 15 from A Tonic for the Troops (Ensign, 1978)
Tracks 8, 11-12 and 14 from The Fine Art of Surfacing (Ensign, 1979)
Track 13 from Mondo Bongo (Mercury, 1981)
Track 17 from V Deep (Mercury, 1982)
Track 18 from In the Long Grass (Mercury, 1984)
* digital bonus track
Does Geldof hate "Up All Night". It never appears on compilations (maybe an early one) and the album remaster only included a different version. MTV played this a ton in the US in the '80s.
Sorry, meant to put a question mark instead of a period after the song title!
Jason Michael says
"Up All Night" is available on 1994's "Great Songs of Indifference: The Best of Bob Geldoff and the Boomtown Rats". Vertigo 314 522 822 2. A good comp, if a little heavy on Geldoff solo, which I never enjoyed as much as the early Boomtown Rats stuff. His solo work suffered from a self-concious seriousness that drained the energy from his songs. (In my opinion, of course!)
I concur! MTV played "Up All Night" a lot back in the day.
If I'm not mistaken, the video version of "Up All Night" is a remix of the album version. The video version does appear on a volume of Rhino's "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s" series.
Re: the front cover of this new compilation - Does "Classicratshits" read "Classic Rat Shits" to you?
I noticed that too! I wouldn't be surprised if it was an intended double entendre.
Very psyched that they are back although Fingers will be sorely missed. Keeping my fingers crossed for some concerts in North America.
Oh! The title is brilliant! I LOVE that! Of course it was intended! It should be typed "ClassicRatsHits"! Brilliant! 🙂
Mark Phillips says
What about the single versions of Like Clockwork and Rat Trap?
Like Clockwork was just an edit of the album track so perhaps not as essential, but Rat Trap had a couple of lines changed and resung, and it was this version that was the hit and became number 1.
Amazingly, none of the Rats CDs nor compilations that i own featuring the track use the single version. It's not even a bonus track on Tonic!
Add the single version of "Someone's Looking At You" to the list as well. It has never been released on CD, to the best of my knowledge.