Many people think the new wave rock band, most famous for their 1979 No. 1 hit “I Don’t Like Mondays,” started as a UK act. In fact, the group, headed by Live Aid founder Bob Geldof, are Dublin lads.
The six original members of the Boomtown Rats – Bob Geldof, Simon Crowe, Johnnie Fingers, Pete Briquette, Garry Roberts, and Gerry Cott – started in their hometown of Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin before moving to London and signing with Ensign Records in 1976.
The success of their 1978 single “Rat Trap” marked the first time a song by an Irish rock band reached No. 1 in the UK.
They parted ways in 1986, but got back together last year sans Cott and Fingers. The re-formed Boomtown Rats are headlining the Smithwick’s “Sessions” gigs in New York and Boston on September 26 and September 28.
In the meantime, get through this Monday with our favorite Boomtown Rats hits and singles.
“I Don’t Like Mondays” (1979)
The inspiration behind the song (a comment Barbara Spencer, the 16-year-old behind a 1979 school shooting in California, allegedly made to a reporter) is dark, but that didn’t stop it from topping the UK and worldwide charts.
“Rat Trap” (1978)
Rage on that candelabra, Bob!
“Up All Night” (1982)
It isn’t possible to be much more ‘80s than this video.
“Someone’s Looking At You” (1979)
Here they are live on Australian TV. Geldof is a master of on-stage emotion.
“Banana Republic” (1981)
The first single from their 1981 album “Mongo Bongo,” “Banana Republic” was a new sound for the band, with its mellow, reggae- inspired beat. Listen to the lyrics, though, for a biting summation of Ireland at the time.
“She’s So Modern” (1978)
The camera work on this one is pretty punk rock!
“Diamond Smiles” (1979)
Awesome video, awesome checkerboard shirt.
“Like Clockwork” (1978)
From “A Tonic for the Troops,” it was the Boomtown Rats’ first single to make it to the UK top ten. All the guys get the video’s robot rock band motif down pat.
“Mary of the 4th Forum” (1977)
Pretty overt for its day, “Mary of the 4th Forum” was from their first album, “The Boomtown Rats.”
“Looking After No. 1” (1977)
Their (very aptly titled) first single.
What’s your favorite Boomtown Rats song? Let us know in the comment section below!