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A Tonic for the Troops

The Boomtown Rats

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Album Review

Bob Geldof had revealed a taste for the seamy side of things in his lyrics for The Boomtown Rats' first album. On their second record, he fantasized about being Hitler in the person of the Leader of the Pack ("I Never Loved Eva Braun"), romanticized tropical suicide ("Living In An Island"), and identified with a certain wealthy recluse ("Me And Howard Hughes"). The band retained a punk energy on the album's UK hit singles, "Like Clockwork," "She's So Modern," and "Rat Trap" (the last another of Bob Geldof's Springsteen homages), but musical identity was still a song-by-song affair. (Ensign Records released A Tonic For The Troops in the UK in June 1978. In the U.S., Columbia Records took over The Boomtown Rats from Mercury, replaced "Can't Stop" and "[Watch Out For] The Normal People" with "Mary Of The 4th Form" and "Joey's On The Street Again" from the first album, resequenced the tracks, and delayed the American release until February 1979.)

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ire

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The Boomtown Rats were an Irish rock band that scored a series of British hits between 1977 and 1980, and were led by singer Bob Geldof, who organized the...
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A Tonic for the Troops, The Boomtown Rats
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