The Boomtown Rats – “The Fine Art of Surfacing”

The Sleeve:
105_5105A 105_5105B

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
None.

Personal Review:
So, this is one of my all time favorite albums of all time, and I was like so beyond excited when I finally obtained it!
To start off, let me say 1979 was a good year for music, don’t believe me? We’ve got this album to prove my point. The album opens with the track “Someone’s Looking At You” – and it basically demands to be cranked to maximum volume. Soon as Bob begins to sing, the album becomes the most amazing piece of music history. The first lines just cut through anything, and the lyrics are like magic. “There’s always someone looking at you, whoa-ho-oh oh! Tonight! They’re looking at you tonight!” – I can honestly sing along to each and every song on this LP. I honestly wouldn’t even need to listen to the whole album to tell you that it’s a great one. Next up is “Diamond Smiles” – which opens with that grainy guitar sound, drum sound, keyboard… Bob’s vocals. Do I need mention that this song is absolutely amazing? “Love is for others, but me it destroys!” – oh, need I mention the song is about suicide? I was not expecting that for a song this upbeat. It’s then followed by “Wind Chill Factor (Minus Zero)” – which is a rather interesting song, that I really don’t understand the meaning to, it seems as if it were sung from the point of view of a bipolar person, but hey, the musicianship and vocals are amazing. It’s the Boomtown Rats, so it’s great. Who is gonna complain? Then comes “Having My Picture Taken” – which is another great track, “Don’t mind me, I’m having my picture taken! Having it taken!” it’s honestly just one great track one after the other. The A-Side ends with “Sleep (Fingers’ Lullaby)” – which I’m pretty sure is another song about suicide, you know with the line “If I take enough of these red things, red things, get some permanent sleep?” or “Why can’t I close my eyes and go to sleep? It’s not as easy as it seems.” – but hey, it’s a good song to end the A-Side with! Except for the creepy laughing… that’s just odd.

Onwards to the B-Side, which opens with the song “I Don’t Like Mondays” – which opens with a nice piano introduction! Though, despite the dark meaning / nature of the song, it is a rather enjoyable song – and most importantly the first Boomtown Rats song I heard, and it made me love their music. “And daddy doesn’t understand it, he always said she was as good as gold.” – Bob delivers the song beautifully, with the rest of the Rats backing him up, It slows down momentarily, while Johnny Fingers hits it up on the piano, before slowly beginning to pick up again, “And what reason do you need to die?” – oh, and the chorus is amazing too. “Tell me why! I don’t like Mondays!” – Bob is such a talented songwriter, and vocalist, it’s quite amazing. The next track is “Nothing Happened Today” – which is a song literally about nothing, it’s just the daily lives of no one important, it is however, a very enjoyable song, as well as every part of this album. “Keep it Up” follows next, and if I’m not mistaken this song is about sex. I’m almost 100% positive. Nonetheless, it’s another great song, definitely loving the synthesizer playing on this one! After that comes “Nice ‘N’ Neat” – surprisingly it’s a song about religion, and God and stuff. Not the preachy stuff either. The album itself closes with the track “When the Night Comes” – which is about a guy who works in an office who is seduced by a girl, and then he phones her. It’s an odd track to end the album with, but hey, it works and the song is amazing. So who really cares?

Interesting Facts:
None.

Track Listing:
A1 – Someone’s Looking At You
A2 – Diamond Smiles
A3 – Wind Chill Factor (Minus Zero)
A4 – Having My Picture Taken
A5 – Sleep (Fingers’ Lullaby)

B1 – I Don’t Like Mondays
B2 – Nothing Happened Today
B3 – Keep It Up
B4 – Nice ‘N’ Neat
B5 – When the Night Comes

Label:
Columbia

Catalog Number:
36248

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Recorded at Phonogram Studios, Hilversum, Holland
Cover Design & Artwork by Lorne Miller
Inner Bag Design & Artwork by Chuck Loyola at Hothouse London
Pictures by Fin Costello
String Arrangments on ‘Mondays’ by Fiachra Trench
The Boomtown Rats Wish to Thank Their Friends – Robbie McGrath (Tour Manager), John Martin (Agent), Phay Taylor (Lights) & Tony “Beamy” Austin (Equipment)
They Also Wish to Thank – Nigel Grainge, Chris Hill, Doreen Loader, Dot Bradford, Bob Nolan & Nadine Paul at Ensign. Elaine Evans, Hans Kreuger, Josef Schamp & anyone who genuinely believes they’ve helped.
And a very special thank you to Jonathan Coffino & Roberta Bryant in New York and Clive Banks, Clive Calder & David Mallett in London
Management – Fachtna O’Kelly, 6 Great James St., London WC1, Telephone London 242 0573
Publicists – Tony Brainsby, 16B Edith Grove, London SW10, Telephone London 834 8341 & Vickie Rose, 9000 Sunset Blvd., Suite 812, Los Angeles, 90069 USA
Agency – Wally Meyrowitz, A.T.I., 888 Seventh Avenue, New York City, 10019, USA
P.A. Systems Supplied by Bob Doyle (Texserv Ltd.)
Lighting Rig Supplied by Peter Clarke (SuperMick Lights)

Other Albums I Own by The Boomtown Rats:
In the Long Grass
Mondo Bongo
Rat Tracks

Released:
1979

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