Bob Geldof
How To Compose Popular Songs
That Will Sell (2011)

1. How I Roll
2. Blowfish
3. She's A Lover
4. To Live In Love
5. Silly Pretty Thing
6. Systematic Pack
7. Dazzled By You
8. Mary Says
9. Blow
10. Here's To You

Album notes.....


The name is habitual and ubiquitous. It is woven into three decades of the national narrative and its cultural soap opera.  Ask people have they heard of him and all will answer in the affirmative.  Ask them what he does and all will have a separate answer.  Ask do they have an opinion of him and, for good or ill, most will.  Ask how that opinion was formed and they don’t quite know. Whistle one of his tunes and most will remember it but they won’t know who wrote it.  Bob Geldof is the most famous secret song writer in Britain.

He on the other hand thi
nks that’s what he does.  He thinks that’s his job. He’s not frustrated or bewildered or upset by this secret life, if anything there’s an appreciative bemusement. “Put a poster on the street that says “Tonight – Bob Geldof” and most people will say “Yeah o.k. But doing what?” It’s a pity they don’t know because as the records, reviews, awards and critiques from everywhere and over many years will attest, he’s very, very good.  Perhaps people can’t “hear” Geldof like they might another. Perhaps the idea of him overwhelms the objective ear. Had he lived the standard and approved pop star’s life without engaging in everything else around him then the notion of a new Geldof album may be somehow more acceptable. And yet of the tiny few of the original New Wavers who have survived his stuff remains as insistently contemporary to himself and our times as what he was writing about in ’75.

His public persona is not much different to his private.  He has never much cared for the trappings of “proper” rock stars.  He was never big on the idea. In 1976 he said he wanted to use fame to do things, to talk about things that bothered him. No-one can seriously argue he has ever wavered from that conviction.  He has been as ruthlessly, painfully honest in his songs as he appears on television or confronting politicians.  Except that there’s something much more profound, more “felt”, more personal and therefore more universal than any public utterance in those songs. 

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