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Best Of The [Best of]

Boomtown Rats Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 17.40
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Product Details


1. She's So Modern
2. Mary Of The 4th Form
3. Rat Trap
4. Lookin' After No. 1
5. When The Night Comes
6. Someone's Looking At You
7. Joey's On The Streets Again
8. Banana Republic
9. Dave
10. I Don't Like Mondays (Edit)
11. Like Clockwork
12. (I Never Loved) Eva Braun
13. Neon Heart
14. Never In A Million Years
15. Diamond Smiles
16. Drag Me Down
17. I Can Make It If You Can
18. The Elephants Graveyard
19. Fall Down

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5.0 out of 5 stars Rat-tastic! May 19 2004
Format:Audio CD
At last, a full fledged volume of nothing but Boomtown Rats! Clocking in at 78 minutes, not a pit of disc space left unused. It makes up for inadequacies of "Loudmouth" and "Great Songs Of Indifference" by removing Bob Geldof's solo material and reaching for a few obscure singles. Material from "In The Long Grass" ("Dave" and "Drag me Down") makes its first appearance ever on CD.
When Bob Geldof began the band, they were a brash bunch of surly deviants who were snarling punk anthems like "Looking Out for Number One." Within a single album they had jumped to classics. Songs like "Mary Of The Fourth Form," "Joey's On The Street Again," "Rat Trap" and the satirical "I Never Loved Eva Braun" from the glorious "Tonic For The Troops" turned the punk rock tag squarely on its backside, these were songs too smart to be mere anthems of nihilism. Johnny Fingers played the piano with more flair than many of the prog-rock slugs The rats were so cheerfully slagging, and Geldof's lyrics were both working class ("Rat Trap") and smart.
The follow-up, "The Fine Art Of Surfacing," also showed a band that was not about to sit on their laurels. By making the first single from that album the piano and orchestra masterpiece "I Don't Like Mondays," they threw everyone's expectations out the window. The rest of the album was equally stunning, with Geldolf coming on like a young Mick Jagger on "Diamond Smiles" and coming up with a Spanish flavor for "When The Night Comes." Much like "Joey's On The Street," "When The Night Comes" contained a near Springsteen lyric of escape and triumph ended that album on a high.
Something soured in the Rats' world by the time of "Mondo Bongo," if "Banana Republic" was any indication.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rat-tastic! May 19 2004
By Tim Brough - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
At last, a full fledged volume of nothing but Boomtown Rats! Clocking in at 78 minutes, not a pit of disc space left unused. It makes up for inadequacies of "Loudmouth" and "Great Songs Of Indifference" by removing Bob Geldof's solo material and reaching for a few obscure singles. Material from "In The Long Grass" ("Dave" and "Drag me Down") makes its first appearance ever on CD.
When Bob Geldof began the band, they were a brash bunch of surly deviants who were snarling punk anthems like "Looking Out for Number One." Within a single album they had jumped to classics. Songs like "Mary Of The Fourth Form," "Joey's On The Street Again," "Rat Trap" and the satirical "I Never Loved Eva Braun" from the glorious "Tonic For The Troops" turned the punk rock tag squarely on its backside, these were songs too smart to be mere anthems of nihilism. Johnny Fingers played the piano with more flair than many of the prog-rock slugs The rats were so cheerfully slagging, and Geldof's lyrics were both working class ("Rat Trap") and smart.
The follow-up, "The Fine Art Of Surfacing," also showed a band that was not about to sit on their laurels. By making the first single from that album the piano and orchestra masterpiece "I Don't Like Mondays," they threw everyone's expectations out the window. The rest of the album was equally stunning, with Geldolf coming on like a young Mick Jagger on "Diamond Smiles" and coming up with a Spanish flavor for "When The Night Comes." Much like "Joey's On The Street," "When The Night Comes" contained a near Springsteen lyric of escape and triumph ended that album on a high.
Something soured in the Rats' world by the time of "Mondo Bongo," if "Banana Republic" was any indication. A scathing indictment of Catholicism and Police brutality set to a reggae beat, it was that album's highlight. Almost as scorching was "The Elephant's Graveyard" which looked at the disintegration of Florida as a retirement paradise ("It's Disneyland under martial law"). Sad to say "Up All Night" is not included here.
From there, the albums got spotty. CBS even held off on releasing the next album, the synth heavy "V-Deep" in the U.S. Instead, a club oriented "Ratro-spective" disc was released with the stunning ballad "Never In A Million Years." ("House On Fire" would have been nice here, though.) It took Geldof's starring role in "Pink Floyd's The Wall" movie to force that title on the shelves.
But it was Geldof's sudden shift into activism that brought him into the real spotlight when he turned his attention to world hunger. Oddly enough, "Do You Know It's Christmas" went farther in America than any Rats record. By the time Live Aid happened and the Rats played one more stunning performance, they were pretty much burned out. The usual stupidity with record companies (CBS forced the song "Dave" to be recut for the US as "Rain," because the song might appear to be "too gay.") finally splintered the band after "In The Long Grass" came out. Fortunately the original recording of "Dave" is here. A fantastic last hurrah, it details Geldof's plea to a suicidal friend and sums up the Rats best work in a few lines.
"I see you bleed, I know you feel the squeeze.
But please, believe,
the view from on your knees
deceives.
Keep going, Dave."
Perhaps as essential as the Clash or Sex Pistols - now how about ALL the albums released and remastered?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Someday my box will come Jan. 30 2005
By Greg Kessler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Eventually the complete box set will come out, but until then we can only be glad that better collections are being made along the way.

I agree with the previous reviewer in considering the Rats to be as important as the Clash or Pistols during a few year period of time (actually not much shorter a period than it took either of those groups to implode as well). The only contemporary more important for me was Elvis Costello.

Fortunately, I grew up in Chicago where they actually got some airplay that wasn't focused on "I don't like Mondays" unlike most of the country. The first song that I heard by them was "Lookin' after number one" on WXRT when I was eleven years old before it was actually released in the US(about the same time I first heard "watching the detectives") and from there the whole world of punk/whatever wave blasted off...

The combination of blue collar/political themes and intelligent, poppy, eclectic and talented delivery was too much to deny...I remember reading a review of Tonic for the Troops in Rolling Stone that accused them of "showing off." Seemed like a pretty good compliment to me!

This collection is an improvement over earlier ones, but contains too little from too many of the good albums. In fact, it would be difficult not to include almost everything from the first four albums and most of the fifth...not to mention some of the things that were only released as B-sides (Barefootin' and Doin' the Rat are classics known to too few people).

From the first album I most want to hear "Never bite the hand that feeds" and "close as you'll ever be." These are great songs. This one I don't even have on vinyl anymore:-(

From Tonic for the Troops, I have to wonder how the decision was made to eliminate "Don't believe what you read" "Me & Howard Hughes" and "Blind Date." Each of these is just as important as "She's so Modern."

From The Fine art of Surfacing I wish I could have "Nice & Neat," but really can't imagine leaving a single second off of this one (not even the quirky bits that close the album at the end of the tracks). This is by far their greatest work and I have three copies of it on vinyl that I have worn out to attest to that (Sadly I have yet to find a copy of CD). I am very pleased to hear "When the Night comes" made the collection as this is one I would not expect to find and it is a great one...as good as any Springsteen-esque song can be.

"Up All Night" is missing from Mondo Bongo, an album which, although suffering from the shift from guitar to keyboards and contributing to the ultimate loss of Gerry Cott (and general downfall of the band)was still a VERY GOOD album. Some other great songs from this album are "Please Don't Go" and the political take on the Stones' cover "Under Their thumb."

V Deep is where the song "Never in a Million Years" comes from and was later released on Ratrospective (contrary to what the earlier reviewer claims...believe me, I was obsessed and 15 years old and bought them as soon as they were available. V deep came out in 1982 and Ratrospective came out in 1983). Unfortunately, nothing else is included form V Deep as this is a great album (different as it may be from those that preceded it)...much better than In the Long Grass at least and songs such as "He watches it all" "Skin on Skin" and "A Storm Breaks" are more inspiring than any on the final album.

Ultimately, this collection improves upon the greatest hits that have come before, but I will stick with my vinyl until the real deal comes around.

...If only I had known that the CD re-releases would go out of print!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Jan. 19 2007
By Intergalatic Purveyor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
One of my favorite Rat songs is Banana Republic, so I was very disappointed when I found it it was an edited version. To me, this is a sin, just drop another song and make them all album versions.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice overview June 16 2005
By Barbara J. Webb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a nice overview of the music of a band every bit as important as The Clash that has been unfairly ignored. This CD was compiled from votes from an online poll that fans of The Boomtown Rats should have had no problem finding. All that was necessary was to search on Google. Now, we need one more thing. How about a re-release of all of the Rats albums? It's far too long overdue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much More than Just Punk July 23 2011
By Morten Vindberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Boomtown Rats broke through during the early punk wave in 1976-77. Their music did hit some of the same strings as the punk groups from England, but after a close listen to their music, it became clear that the band both musically and lyrically had much more to offer than most punk bands.

The group's first album is probably the only one that can be called punk, and even here there are elements bigger than just three distorted chords and angry lyrics.

On this compilation from the debut album five songs have been selected and they show a great musical versatility. Especially "Joey's on the Street Again" stands out, one notices extensive use of keyboard instruments and a saxophone solo.

On the group's next two albums "A Tonic For The Troops" and "The Fine Art of Surfacing" the punk approach has almost been abandoned, and instead you will meet a band that musically appear mature and characterized by strong songs and talented musicians and where people like David Bowie and Steve Harley would be sources of inspiration.

From "A Tonic For The Troops" strong songs like "She's So Modern," "Rat Trap", "Eva Braun" and "Like Clockwork" have been selected but the album contained other numbers that could just as well have been chosen: e.g. "Living On A Island "or" Me and Howard Hughes. "

"The Fine Art of Surfacing" with the big hit "I Do not Like Mondays", is often regarded as the group's most successful, highlighted by songs like "Someone's Looking at You", "When the Night Comes" and "Diamond Smiles" .

After these two masterpieces the group gradually lost momentum, and although next album "Mondo Bondo" had good songs, among others, the naked ballad "Fall Down", the album was generally a disappointment.

The group's last two albums were unfortunately far from previous heights. From "V Deep" you'll notice the very Phil Spector-like " Never in a Million Years".

None the less a very fine collection, which will serve the band's reputation great justice and which is likely to give listener motivation to listen to the group's first three albums in their entirety.
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