Archive for The Boomtown Rats

Great Soundtracks of 1980: Up The Academy

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by 80smetalman


There is many a film out there where the film itself wasn’t up to much but it had a kick ass soundtrack. One I covered already with “The Last Waltz” although the film itself was a concert and there are more out there which will appear here. One such film from 1980 was the film from Mad Magazine called “Up The Academy.” One doesn’t need a college degree to figure out that Mad Magazine made this film in an attempt to cash in on the success of their rival National Lampoon whose film “Animal House” is one of the forever classics. Unfortunately, there is no comparison between the two films, “Animal House” wins hands down.

This is not to say that “Up the Academy” is a bad film. Actually, I thought it was funny in many places. The film is about four teenage boys who are sent to military school by there parents on account of things the boys have done to bring dishonour to the family. One got his girlfriend pregnant and his father is a politician campaigning on the anti-abortion platform. One, played by a young Ralph Machio, is the son of a mafia kingpin and is not interested in the family business. Then there is the son of the Arabian Sheik and the pot smoking African American boy whose father is a TV evangelist. Without going into full details, the main characters immediately fall foul of the gung-ho commandant and there is a lot of funny moments as they try to get one over on him. For months after I saw the film, one of my marine buddies who I saw it with, (he went by Mooch,) would impersonate the commandant with “Say ageeen, say ageen.”

A scene from the film

A scene from the film

What stood out for me more than the laughs was all the great songs that were played in the film. Now classics like “One Way or Another” from Blondie and Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” lead a string of cool rock tunes. There are also contributions from Pat Benatar, Sammy Hagar, The Kinks, Dwight Twilley and a ten minute song from the legendary Lou Reed. Ok, they only played a small part of the song. As the case with many soundtracks, there is some unknown band that makes its mark. On this soundtrack, it is the band Blow-Up. Three of their songs appear on the album and I was impressed with all of them. The opener, “Kicking Up a Fuss” reminds me of The Ramones or The Dead Kennedys and the other two, while less punk are still good rock tunes as well. This is definitely a cool soundtrack.



Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick


Track Listing:

1. Blow-Up- Kicking Up a Fuss

2. Iggy and the Stooges- Gimme Danger

3. Dwight Twilley Band- Trying to Find My Baby

4. Blondie- X Offender

5. Eddie and the Hot Rods- Do Anything You Wanna Do

6. The Kinks- Yes Sir, No Sir

7. Ian Hunter- We Gotta Get Out of Here

8. Lou Reed- Street Hassle

9. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers- Roadrunner

10. The Boomtown Rats- Rat Trap

11. David Johansen- Girls

12. Blondie- One Way or Another

13. Cheeks- Coquette

14. Blow-Up- Local Hero

15. Sammy Hagar- Bad Reputation

16. Iggy Pop and James Williamson- Night Theme

17. Cheeks- Bony Moronie

18. Nick Lowe- Heart of the City

19. Pat Benatar- We Live for Love

20. The Babys- Midnight Rendezvous

21. Cheap Trick- Surrender

22. Blow- Up- Beat the Devil

So if you want a good laugh while rocking out to some great tunes then your task is simple. Watch “Up the Academy” and then listen to the soundtrack, it’s definitely worth it. But it does seem a shame that Blow-Up never seemed to make it big.

Next post: Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1980

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Boomtown Rats- The Fine Art of Surfacing

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by 80smetalman


I have two memories of the Boomtown Rats, the first is their incredible hit, “I Don’t Like Mondays,” which I am very surprised that it only reached 73 on the Billboard Charts, not that I ever paid attention to that. The other was they were featured in the opening title sequence of a programme called “Rock World,” which I used to sometimes watch on Friday nights back in 1980. This means, like so many albums I have visited in this year, I am visiting it retrospectively.

Besides the fore mentioned single, the album has a few other gems on it too. The first two tracks, “Somebody’s Looking At You” and “Diamond Smiles” are attention grabbing and built my hopes for the rest of the album. After that, however, the album seems to level off for the most part except for spikes in the graph compliments of “I Don’t Like Mondays” and “Nothing Happened Today.” Still it’s a good little album.

Like so many other new acts at that time, the mainstream American media was quick to brand the Boomtown Rats as punk and their earlier albums support the claim. However, with “The Fine Art of Surfacing,” they deviate more from that punk style and incorporate other musical styles as well and maybe that’s what makes this album more interesting.

Track Listing:

1. Somebody’s Looking At You

2. Diamond Smiles

3. Windchill Factor

4. Having My Picture Taken

5. Sleep

6. I Don’t Like Mondays

7. Nothing Happened Today

8. Keep It Up

9. Nice N Neat

10 When the Night Comes

The Boomtown Rats

The Boomtown Rats

Bob Geldolf- vocals, saxophone

Peter Briquette- bass, vocals

Gerry Cott- guitar

Johnny Fingers- keyboards, vocals

Simon Crowe – drums

Garry Roberts -guitar, vocals

You have probably already noticed that I have made no mention of Bob Geldolf, the man responsible for Live Aid. I will be the first to acknowledge that before his rise to fame, he first cut his rock and roll teeth here with the Boomtown Rats. He will get his deserved glory later on down the timeline of rock/metal history. In the meantime, here’s a cool album with one of my favourite singles of all time to remember.

R.I.P- Clive Burr

Next post: ZZ Top- Deguello

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London