Despite hitting the top of the charts several times in their native Ireland, the Boomtown Rats never really caught on in America. Their label, Columbia Records, had hyped them as the next big punk band, saying they would be in the same league as The Clash and The Pretenders.
It didn't happen - mostly due to the fact that they never had the material to win over radio programmers, despite having a hit with "I Don't Like Mondays." Also an early promotion by the label involved sending actual dead rats in plastic bags (purchased from the New York City Sewer Department) to DJs across the country. The publicity stunt backfired and caused the media to react with such disgust that many of these radio personalities, programmers and journalists wrote off the band forever.
Led by the charismatic lead vocalist Bob Geldof, the group certainly had a great showman as their front man on stage. The band, assisted by former Graham Parker reed man Space Jenner, was certainly comprised of strong musicians. Their two studio albums produced by the future Mr. Shania Twain, Robert John Mutt Lange (who also produced some of the best records ever made by Foreigner, Huey Lewis and AC/DC) should have propelled them into stardom, but didn't.