June 17, 1985 12:00 PM

Boomtown Rats

Bob Geldof was the organizer of Band Aid, the British all-star recording session that raised $10 million for the famine victims in Africa. The project sparked a trend of similar pop convocations—the most ballyhooed being USA for Africa—at which Geldof was present. His eleemosynary efforts outstrip by far his celebrity quotient as singer-composer for Boomtown Rats. The Irish quintet, whose members now all live in England, is best known for I Don’t Like Mondays, a 1979 hit whose lyrics were inspired by a grisly sniping incident in San Diego. In the Long Grass, the first collection of new Boomtown material in nearly three years, is flashy and likable. It succeeds almost despite itself. Geldof’s voice is still importunate and the instrumentation unremarkable; his songs are bald, quasi-punk anthems. But the Boomtown sound has become greater than the sum of its parts. The imaginative A Hold of Me and Another Sad Story are buoyant. There are a number of cunning touches in the arrangements. While Geldof has been rubbing shoulders with the grand pooh-bahs of pop, he has obviously not forgotten his own musical cause. (Columbia)

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