Boomtown Rats
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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(Translated by/ Tradotto da Christiana Jeary)

Bob Geldolf's Boomtown Rats administered a teenage ideology with apathetic arrangements that brought them close to Bruce Springsteen. Their first album, Boomtown Rats (Mercury, 1977), alternates between the punk sarcasm of Looking After N.1 and the melodramatic rhythm and blues of Joe On The Streets Again , between the exuberant and reckless power-pop of Mary On the Forth Front and the decadent ballad of I Can Make It If You Can A Tonic For the Troops (Columbia, 1979) denotes a greater professionalism, as much as in the arrangements (Rat Trap boasts Circus steps and crooning like Zappa's) as in the singing (She Is So Modern).

Geldolf's real personality, the one of the philosophical and melodic crooner, had the better of The Fine Art of Surfacing (Columbia, 1979), with I Don't Like Mondays (a martial and orchestral ballad), When The Night Comes and Somebody Is Looking For You.

The exotic touch of Mondo Bongo made the music even softer then the group's softest music, as much as in the polemic reggae of Banana Republic as in the soul record Up All Night. The song excels in good mood, well represented by Elephants Graveyard.

The ambition took over again with V Deep (Columbia, 1979) an over arranged song with excessive melodrama, the commercial flop delayed of one year the release of the following record, In The Long Grass (Columbia, 1984) even thought the song models the group's more proletarian spirit and could even be labelled as their best effort. Still in search of an identity the Rats swung between the tradition of pub-rock and a more modern perception, failing to reconcile their dilemma but also becoming a typical example of the musical ambiguity of the time.

Bob Geldof will later become a star.

I Boomtown Rats di Bob Geldof propinavano ideologia adolescenziale con arrangiamenti enfatici che li fecero accostare a Springsteen. Il primo album, Boomtown Rats (Mercury, 1977) passava dal sarcasmo punk di Looking After N. 1 al melodramma rhythm and blues di Joey's On The Street Again, dal power-pop esuberante e scalmanato di Mary On The Forth Form alla ballad decadente di I Can Make It If You Can.

A Tonic For The Troops (Columbia, 1978) denota una maggiore professionalita` tanto negli arrangiamenti (Rat Trap sfoggia passi da circo e crooning alla Zappa) quanto nel canto (She`s So Modern).

la vera personalita` di Geldof, quella del "crooner" melodico e filosofico, prese il sopravvento su The Fine Art Of Surfacing (Columbia, 1979), con I Don't Like Mondays (una ballata marziale e orchestrale), When The Night Comes e Someone's Looking At You.

Il tocco esotico di Mondo Bongo (Columbia, 1980) rese ancor piu` leggera la musica leggera del gruppo, tanto nel reggae polemico Banana Republic quanto nel disco-soul di Up All Night. Il disco eccelle soprattutto per il buon umore, ben rappresentato da Elephants Graveyard.

L'ambizione prese nuovamente la mano a Geldof su V Deep (Columbia, 1982), disco troppo arrangiato e troppo melodrammatico, ma il fiasco commerciale fece ritardare di un anno la pubblicazione del disco successivo, In The Long Grass (Columbia, 1984), che pure vanta lo spirito piu` "proletario" della loro carriera e potrebbe persino essere il loro migliore.

Privi di un'identita', i Rats oscillarono sempre fra il tradizionalismo del pub-rock e una sensibilita` piu` moderna, peraltro senza mai riuscire a risolvere il dilemma, ma furono tipici dell'ambiguita` di tanti complessi dell'era.

Bob Geldof diventera` poi una star.

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