Saturday, April 15, 2017

Things Found on My Local's Jukebox # 201 The Boomtown Rats

And the third of a trio of Grease posts. In November 1978 Summer Nights was finally replaced as Number 1 after a seven week run at the top of the UK singles chart by this, Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats. To mark the moment the band chose to start their appearance on that week's Top of the Pops, (a programme that pretty much everybody in the country made a point of watching on Thursday evening), by ripping up pictures from teenage magazines dedicated to the film which had swept all before it over the proceeding months. This was something different they suggested, something adult.

Of course Rat Trap is nothing of the sort really. It's utterly ridiculous from start to finish. The concept and yearning desire are ripped off wholesale from Springsteen's Born to Run, but the soaring existentialism of that is pulped into pure comic book melodrama. Despite Geldof's protestations it's purely for kids. Punk for the provinces. Nevertheless, the song has been going round my head for weeks. It makes me laugh and wonder how this band could have been taken seriously for a moment at the time. Perhaps they weren't! Nevertheless, it's a wonderful pop single and the clip above one of the truly great Top of the Pops performances, and largely because of Geldof's lack of restraint of any kind. This is what you call going for it. Still, sounds good on the jukebox too!

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