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on 21 April 2017
I have always liked The Boomtown Rats and even bought a couple of the albums at the time, I decided it is time to update and buy a best of CD, this version has one of the best mixes of their music. The album covers all of their biggest hits and makes enjoyable listening to one of Punk/New waves leading bands. The Rhetoric is passe now but was exciting at the time.
The Rats often made comment on what was happening at the time with songs like "I Don't like Mondays" or social commentary like "Like clockwork". This album is worth more than an ear
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on 28 July 2017
This is one of my all time favourite CDs - I thought I knew all of the BTR's material, but there were a few new ones on here!
Great CD, highly recommended.
Lyrically and musically, the Boomtown Rats are way ahead of their contemporaries.
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on 21 July 2016
Just great
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on 31 December 2015
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on 24 May 2017
This album had many great hits and many other really good tracks that I had never listened to properly.
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2005
Twenty years in the making, The Boomtown Rats finally get the retrospective they deserve. The first Irish band to make number one, the biggest selling singles band in the UK from 1978-1979, and led by the charismatic Bob Geldof.
Most familiar to all will be Rat Trap and I Don't Like Mondays, the two number one singles that were sandwiched between the Grease phenomenon and the advent of the Police. For a short period, The Boomtown Rats, and in particular, Geldof and Paula Yates, were foremost in the nation's consciousness.
Before this came some great songs such as Joey's on the Street Again, Looking After Number One, Mary of the Fourth Form, She's So Modern and Like Clockwork, which gave the Rats their early chart success, developing their craft to become chart toppers. Neon Heart, I Never Loved Eva Braun, and I Can Make It If You Can also come from that prolific period.
Post I Don't like Mondays, it could be said that the band started to lose affection from the public due in part to Geldof's celebrity. Diamond Smiles was released to indifference (possibly the weakest track on this collection), but there was the marvellous Someone's Looking at You and Banana Republic (Geldof's description of Ireland), before the Rats chart success went on the wane.
Nevertheless, the Rats continued to plug away and make some great music, including the fantastic House on Fire, possibly their greatest moment, which for some unknown reason is omitted from this collection.
In their last days, the Rats showed an impressive return to form with a great triumvirate of singles including Dave, a masterpiece that deserved a bigger audience.
Like any retrospective, it lacks some of the better album tracks (Howard Hughes, Kicks, Go Man Go), at the expense of some weak singles (Diamond Smiles, Never In a Million Years and Elephant's Graveyard), but that does not detract from the overall quality of this release.
This is an essential purchase for anyone who has enjoyed anything from the Boomtown Rats. For those who do not purchase their albums, it is probably the best way of listening to the greatest new wave band.
Any reason to not have this ? Not having a CD player is the only one I can think of!
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2005
Given that Sir Bob Geldof is far better known these days as the instigator of Band Aid and the most outspoken member of Tony Blair's Commission for Africa, it's easy to forget that in the course of becoming one of the most important social commentators of today, he was one of the most innovative and influential musicians of yesterday. This compilation is an overdue but extremely welcome tribute to a songwriter and a band who helped fashion the musical landscape of the last 25 years.
Early Rats songs such as "Mary of the 4th Form" and "Looking After No. 1" clearly belong to the same punk-influenced soundscape as Irish contemporaries The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers. What makes them different is Geldof's gift as a lyricist and more particularly as a raconteur, much in the style of classic David Bowie. "Rat Trap", credited by the Guinness book of hit singles as Britain's first New Wave no. 1, is every bit as much a slice of 1970s social commentary as Bowie's "Life on Mars", and even surpasses it with its frenzied piano, sax and guitar riffs and its defiance of the conventional rules of melody. Geldof's pinnacle as a storyteller came with the mega-selling "I Don't Like Mondays", the chilling true story of a schoolgirl who took a gun to her classmates and teachers years before the spectre of Columbine; but equally gripping is the less well-known follow-up "Diamond Smiles", the bitterly ironic tale of a suicide in high society. Underpinning all these tales are compulsive, addictive melodies and brilliantly controlled instrumentation from the other Rats.
What is perhaps most striking about all these songs is how they became clear predecessors of the "credible" rock and indie music of the next 25 years. Songs such as "Joey's on the Street Again" and "When the Night Comes" were clear forerunners of the soulful Celtic rock of Deacon Blue, Big Country and U2, while "Diamond Smiles" and "I Don't Like Mondays" clearly laid the emotional groundwork to which The Smiths were to lay claim for much of the 1980s. Other tracks have echoes of future indie-rock legends such as James ("Drag Me Down") and The Killers ("Someone's Looking At You"), while "Mary of the 4th Form" would give most of today's garage rock acts a run for their money.
By the time Band Aid came around, Geldof was all too well aware that the Rats were no longer cutting-edge. But in today's musical climate, their work has never sounded so fresh or contemporary.
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on 3 March 2016
Excellent CD, good copy and well packaged. Great service as always. Thank you.
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on 13 February 2012
I cant really fault the track listing ,however if you listen to this cd on any sort of decent equipment ,you will quickly realize just how flat and lifeless the recording is.It seems to be devoid of high and low frequencies ,and is just flat and compressed.It seems to be another casualty of the "loudness wars"
.Listening to this cd on anything other than a cheap car cd player is quite frankly painful.Your better off getting your old vinyl out ,or buying earlier cds with lower volume but more dynamic range.
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on 25 July 2016
This collection reminds you not only how good the first 8 singles were, but also how the standard fell off a cliff thereafter, with inevitable commercial consequences. Up to the fine art of surfacing album all went well, and although the new wave beginnings were less in evidence by then, there was still enough emotion around to produce 'Mondays' and 'Someone's looking at you'. Other new wave bands also ran ou tof energy and ideas, the Undertones produced the ballad 'Julie Ocean' and were never heard of again, the skids released 'the absolute game' (ditto) and while Golden Brown was a minor classic by the time the Stranglers started producing singles in French most of their fans had had enough too. The Rats' malaise first manifested itself in a trip down the dead end that was reggae, It was very popular with white groups for 6 months back in 1980, the Police and UB40 were at number one, and other new wave contemporaries such as the Clash and the Ruts were doing it too. However Geldof's alternately sneery and whiny delivery, so effective on up tempo or angry tracks, is not particularly suited to reggae. And by the time the white reggae fad was played out, their mojo had gone and we got the awful 'elephant's graveyard' the instantly forgettable 'Dave' and the rest was deserved obscurity, until Bob's star (at least) suddenly rose again wth 'Live Aid'.
All the same, how good those early singles were. The power of the first 3, the hypnotic Like Clockwork, rat trap knocking John Travolta and Olivia Newton John off the top of the charts, 'Mondays' being number one for a month, the slight dip with the merely quite good 'Diamond Smiles' and then the brilliant 'someone's looking at you.' And as a bonus for buyers of this CD, we are also treated to the wonderful '(I never loved) Eva Braun' from Tonic for the troops, surely another potential number 1 had it ever been a single.
By the way , the version of 'I don't like Mondays' included here is not the single version. It's still good, but just not what you are expecting.
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