Best Of The Boomtown Rats
There have been several past attempts at anthologizing the Boomtown Rats, with this collection -- issued in tandem with a full-scale remastering campaign for the remainder of the catalog -- certainly making one of the strongest cases for completeness. Indeed, overlook the (admittedly unforgivable) omission of "House On Fire" and a somewhat slapdash approach to the last gasp of the group's chart career, and the 19 tracks do present a dynamic portrait of a band that, for a while there, looked like establishing itself as the most significant Irish act of the age. In any event, U2 snatched away those laurels, and the Boomtown Rats are best remembered today as something Bob Geldof did before he became famous. The Best of the Boomtown Rats, however, proves just how inaccurate that assumption is. Between 1977 and 1982, the group was one of the most reliable, enjoyable, and powerful bands operating on the post-punk scene, and the presence here of two number one singles ("Rat Trap" and "I Don't Like Mondays") proves that a lot of other listeners thought so. The sheer versatility of the Rats, meanwhile, is evidenced as they rush from the snotty punk of "Looking After No. 1" through the new wave motorik of "Like Clockwork" and on to the moody dub of "Banana Republic" -- and that's without mentioning their grip on classic '60s pop, laconic Stonesy grinds, and über-Bruce street poetry. Indeed, there probably wasn't another band of the time that could mean so many things to so many people, and The Best of the Boomtown Rats might easily double as a best of Irish rock, period. ~ Dave Thompson, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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