CLASSIC ALBUMS : The Boomtown Rats – Tonic for the troops

  1. Like Clockwork
  2. Blind Date
  3. (I Never Loved) Eva Braun
  4. She’s So Modern
  5. Don’t Believe What You Read
  6. Living in an Island
  7. Me and Howard Hughes
  8. Can’t Stop
  9. (Watch Out for) the Normal People
  10. Rat Trap

Released 1978, Ensign Records, re-released on CD 2005 with extra tracks, Lying Again, How do you do?, So Strange.

I know, I know, I know, I can here the cries of derision already, how can you put the term “classic album” next to a piece of work by Bob Geldof??!

If we can put that to one side for a moment, this is one of those albums that was one of the most successful new wave albums of the late 70’s and is usually deleted from the memory of the hipster muso’s in any trendy blog or music magazine.

That said, this is an excellent album and well worth a listen. From a time in the distant memory when cover art was important, the cover of the album is striking and different. From the opening track I Like Clockwork (uk No 6), it explodes into action and never lets up.

The success of this album is all the more remarkable for it’s lyrical content. Geldof’s lyrics dealt with social comment, storytelling, Hitler, suicide, euthanasia  and politics!   The album has 3 hit singles culminating in Rat Trap the surprise massive hit in December 1978. This was released precisely because it did not sound like a single. Over 5 minutes long with no chorus this was meant to show that the Boomtown Rats were an “albums band”. Important in the 1970’s to garner credibility.

If you’ve never heard it, have a slight penchant for new wave music, then give it a listen.


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