Before Bob Geldof became a world-renowned humanitarian and added a "Sir" to his name, he was just another loud-mouthed Irish lead singer in an up-and-coming punk band. The Boomtown Rats -- taken from Woody Guthrie's novel Bound for Glory -- had loftier pop ambitions than most late-'70s U.K. punks. Their energetic R&B-infused blend of new wave and rock & roll spawned a number of British hits between 1977 and 1980, all of which can be found on Mercury's 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Boomtown Rats. There are numerous Rats compilations, all of which are relatively solid, so it comes as no surprise that this collection -- despite the omission of the radio favorite "Up All Night" -- is worth recommending.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger