The Boomtown Rats, Lookin’ After No. 1 (FF 1977 #39) and number 11 in the UK singles charts. The first ‘new wave’ single to be playlisted by the BBC, and the first ‘new wave’ group to be offered an appearance on Top Of The Pops. There’s not a lot I can really say about today’s track that hasn’t already been said elsewhere on the Net: look here for a fellow blogger’s appraisal in depth of it, here for the band’s official website, and here for Saint Bob’s official website.
Geldof’s turnaround in attitude could be called maturity or a struggle to reclaim his identity as a popular icon. Whatever the reason, it fucking worked like a charm. When he was feted at Live Aid in 1985 and regarded as the saviour of the poor, it was probably convenient to sweep aside lyrics like ‘I’ll take all that you give me/And then I’m gonna ask for more‘ and ‘Don’t give me love thy neighbour/Don’t give me charity‘. However, at the time, it seemed like the epitome of the punk aesthetic…we don’t have to work, and why should we anyway, just so that we can end up like you?
Nevertheless, fifteen years on and all those young punks did end up conforming: one has to eat. And so, like looking through a glass very darkly, and seeing the gob on the other side that nobody washed off, we can appreciate Number One for what it is: opportunistic, speedy yet polished punk of the early variety, that said not ‘I don’t wanna be like you’, but, with hindsight, rather, ‘I will be like you: just not yet’.