Album: Bob Geldof, How to Compose Popular Songs that Will Sell (Mercury)

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The Independent Culture

Geldof has, it seems, found a novel way of composing songs which may or may not be popular or sell well: imitate other people's.

The songwriting talent which gave us "Diamond Smiles" and "Rat Trap" having evaporated, he opts instead for pastiche and plagiarism: of Lovin' Spoonful ("How I Roll"), of George McCrae ("Silly Pretty Thing"), of CSN&Y ("Blow") and of Lennon ("Here's to You"). It's coated in a layer of pseudo-authenticity, but ultimately it's a record which aims for Bo Diddley or Johnny Cash and merely attains Dire Straits.