Discover more from music of the 80s
42: The Fine Art of Surfacing
The Boomtown Rats, live aid, voyager II
The Boomtown Rats’ 1978 record Tonic for the Troops - the first one I bought, seven years after it came out - was another early look (for me) at punk rock, some of the sound and attitude. The Boomtown Rats played (kinda like The Police) whatever was going on. That’s not a judgement, really - that’s pop. Their first two records sound like Joe Jackson’s first two records: punk-inflected rock music.
The Fine Art of Surfacing 1979
By their third album, they’re stretching against the constraints - like Costello did, like the Clash did - and doing something better. The energy remains; the arrangements are more ambitious. I love this record. “I Don’t Like Mondays” was the big hit - the kind of mixed blessing that makes them famous but lodges them in a lot of people’s minds as a one-hit wonder. That one hit’s performance at Live Aid, before I got all cynical about big shows and charity songs, got me into the band, so it worked for me. That performance is below.
Bob Is Also Pink
In addition to being the pop star and the activist, Bob Geldof played the role of Pink in Pink Floyd’s The Wall - the most profound piece of social commentary me and my friends had seen, until we saw Monty Python…
Vegetarians of Love, 1990
That’s all for now. Hope all is well. Oh - if you like this, please share it. It’s free. Send it to a music nerd you know. Thanks.
I’ve launched another project (trying to do a lot of writing during this sabbatical). If you’re a teacher or interested in education, check out A Different Fish at this link.