The Boomtown Rats

The Greatest Hits

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1987's greatest hits package from the Boomtown Rats does gather their best releases, but is extremely short with only ten songs. Kicking off with their most lucrative tune, "I Don't Like Mondays," and followed by the multi-paced social commentary of "Rat Trap," the songs do offer up a quick insight into Bob Geldof's band, and as for a brief overlay, this collection fits the bill. "Joey's on the Street Again" and the sarcastic but tongue-in-cheek feel of "She's So Modern" from A Tonic for the Troops are welcomed here also, proving that this band had both rich talent and a witty blend of new wave and punk flamboyance. "Banana Republic" along with the broody and unique flavored "Up All Night" from Mondo Bongo appear as well, along with the spicy, vocal wobbling of "The Elephants Graveyard." What made the Boomtown Rats stand out was Geldof's flair for mixing intelligent, satirical, and razor-sharp lyrics with rhythms that included ska, reggae, and inviting punk rock so that more than one audience could enjoy their music. Even though their most sought-after songs are laid out on this album, there is still some very crucial material that is missing. Such gems as "Looking After Number One," "Mary of the Fourth Form," "Diamond Smiles," and "Like Clockwork" are absent, and although these weren't huge chart successes, their importance is equally relevant, since they showcase the Rats at an even deeper musical depth. This greatest hits-package works fine as a mid-priced compilation, but better sound and more tracks can be found on Vertigo's Great Songs of Indifference, which not only comprises all of the Rats' best material, but also includes five of Bob Geldof's solo offerings.

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