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The Fine Art of Surfacing

The Boomtown Rats

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Album Review

When the Boomtown Rats topped the U.K. chart in October 1978, a lot of observers thought that was the last they'd hear of them — "Rat Trap," after all, zapped the period zeitgeist with such devastating accuracy that it would surely be impossible to follow it through. Bob Geldof wasn't listening. "I Don't Like Mondays," the band's follow-up single, not only returned the band to the top, it became one of the biggest-selling singles in British chart history, while the album that followed, November's The Fine Art of Surfacing, opened with two new songs that, if anything, were superior even to that. "Someone's Looking at You," a ruthlessly spot-on study of paranoia, and the death-of-a-socialite "Diamond Smiles" truly mark the peak of the Rats' career and, if the remainder of the album struggled to hit the same spot, what else could they do? Four bonus tracks (three B-sides and a live cut) do lessen the majesty of the album itself — you really do want to press "stop" once the album proper crashes to its close. Elsewhere, however, this most eclectic of all the band's albums stands today as, quite possibly, the last great LP of the 1970s — and the first classic of the '80s. From the moody "Wind Chill Factor" to the quirky "Having My Picture Taken" and on to the somber "Sleep," the band barely puts a foot wrong, while "I Don't Like Mondays" naturally remains insensitive to any kind of critical commentary.

Customer Reviews

finally!

I search for this just about every time I get on to itunes. So glad to finally see it. "Keep it Up" is an overlooked track on this overlooked CD. Don't miss "Diamond Smiles" either. Thanks, itunes.

The Best

This is the best Boomtown Rats album out there. It was the soundtrack of my high school years! If you don't buy a greatest hits album for their music, buy this one!

One of the alltime greats

This album can be ranked among the best out there - period. Don't pass this one by. Thank you, Sir Robert!

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...
Full Bio