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Album Review

Returning to action after a ten-year delay in recording — a decade when he was not inactive, devoting a large portion of time to his Live 8 charity — Bob Geldof presented How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, a transparently ironic title for a collection of tunes not intended to sell themselves or anything. Apart from the bluesoid skronk of "Blow Fish" — a blast of misdirection placed toward the front — there isn’t much here that could be seen as immediate, the kind of song that populates the pop charts. Even when the tempo percolates a bit — the sleekly glassy “Silly Pretty Thing” — nothing gets heated and much of the album is ruminative in a way that leans heavily on Dylan and Costello. Despite these echoes, the album is quite clearly Geldof’s creation, a tastefully cynical confessional from a man who is a mainstay at the Q Awards for a reason — namely the kind of protest and introspection that’s so tasteful it can slip underneath the radar as mere mood music, even when it’s designed to get under the skin as it was here.

Customer Reviews

Awesome, Bob !

Meticulous in it's difference, it's been well worth the wait. Instantly on repeat !

Brilliant Album

Looked on itunes after seeing him plugging Silly pretty thing on TV. Really impressed with the rest of the album, like the fact that all the songs have a different feel to them.

How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell

Certainly different but excellant .. suits the mellowed Sir Bob. Recovering at home from major op, so will listen to quite a few times during my recovery. Some of the songs would be brillant sound tracks on TV series like True Blood, Sons of Anaracy, Blue Bloods etc. Well done Bob.


Born: 05 October 1954 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob Geldof formed the punk group Boomtown Rats in 1975. During the band's existence, it moved from the pure energy and aggression of hits like "Looking After No. 1" to the more sophisticated but still provocative "I Don't Like Mondays" (its title derived from the answer given by a San Diego schoolgirl when asked why she'd killed her classmates). The band became a moderate success in the U.K., though it never really broke through in the U.S. In the fall of 1984, Geldof watched a BBC documentary on...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by Bob Geldof

How to Compose Popular Songs That Sell, Bob Geldof
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  • £6.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Pop/Rock
  • Released: 01 January 2011

Customer Ratings