15 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Boomtown Rats started off as punk rock Dubliners with a gift for hooks. Singer Bob Geldof was a veritable quote machine too, earning headlines with his brutal honesty and minor insults; the band's songs had that same sort of brash self-assuredness. The self-evident “Kicks” and “Looking After Number 1” rock hard but are also tongue-and-cheek, with lines like “The world owes me a living/I’ve waited on this dole queue too long.” “Mary of the Fourth Form” uses pub-rock riffage to tell of a schoolyard tease. “Joey’s on the Street Again” sounds so much like some broken-hero suicide ride (oh, that reverb-drenched sax solo!) that it’s almost no wonder Geldof famously said at the time that Springsteen couldn’t top it. The riffs show a love of both Thin Lizzy and Brinsley Schwarz, while the band's developing baroque-pop style of harmonizing foreshadowed not only The Boomtown Rats' future albums but also song-driven groups such as Squeeze. An early Mutt Lange production, this album features songs, performances, and an overall execution that transcend punk rock limitations. It’s a great debut by one of Ireland’s great rock bands.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Boomtown Rats started off as punk rock Dubliners with a gift for hooks. Singer Bob Geldof was a veritable quote machine too, earning headlines with his brutal honesty and minor insults; the band's songs had that same sort of brash self-assuredness. The self-evident “Kicks” and “Looking After Number 1” rock hard but are also tongue-and-cheek, with lines like “The world owes me a living/I’ve waited on this dole queue too long.” “Mary of the Fourth Form” uses pub-rock riffage to tell of a schoolyard tease. “Joey’s on the Street Again” sounds so much like some broken-hero suicide ride (oh, that reverb-drenched sax solo!) that it’s almost no wonder Geldof famously said at the time that Springsteen couldn’t top it. The riffs show a love of both Thin Lizzy and Brinsley Schwarz, while the band's developing baroque-pop style of harmonizing foreshadowed not only The Boomtown Rats' future albums but also song-driven groups such as Squeeze. An early Mutt Lange production, this album features songs, performances, and an overall execution that transcend punk rock limitations. It’s a great debut by one of Ireland’s great rock bands.

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