Bursting onto a London music scene dominated by punk acts in the late 1970s, the Rats had the attitude and the look to fit in alright, but they differed from their safety pin-bedecked colleagues in one vital respect; they had great songs. Tunes such as Joey's On The Street Again and the band's first UK number one Rat Trap are plaintive, almost Springsteen-esque cries from the heart about the plight of working class youth, while I Don't Like Mondays, the Rats' second chart topping single inspired by the story of a US schoolgirl shooting dead several of her classmates simply to brighten up the first day of the week, showed frontman Bob Geldof's observational skills were not restricted to detailing life on the housing estates of north Dublin.
It's ironic too that the Rats' first hit, Looking After No. 1, naturally featured here, was to be the last song the band ever played live, in Dublin, 1986; a song about pure self-interest, sung by the man then - as now - admired around the world for launching the most famous charity project ever seen.
A Tonic For The Troops (1978)
All songs written by Bob Geldof except where indicated.
1. Like Clockwork (Bob Geldof, Pete Briquette, Simon Crowe)
2. Blind Date
3. (I Never Loved) Eva Braun
4. She's So Modern (Geldof, Johnny Fingers) (Track 6 - 1 on Side 2 - on the European version)
5. Don't Believe What You Read
6. Living in an Island
7. Me and Howard Hughes
8. Can't Stop
9. (Watch Out For) The Normal People
10. Rat Trap
11. Lying Again (CD bonus track)
12. How Do You Do? (CD bonus track)
13. So Strange (CD bonus track)