Released today in 1982: House On Fire

Mercury MER91

Mercury MER91

The Boomtown Rats were struggling at the time this single was released. Although they would stay together for another four years or so they had already started to fragment: with Gerry Cott leaving after their 1981 world tour; their previous single Never In A Million Years barely charting in the UK; and the album it was taken from, V Deep, being rejected by their US record label.

House On Fire returned them to the UK Top 40 for one last time, but when V Deep was released the following month it fell short of the Top 60 on the album chart. In America an EP of the four best cuts from the album was released initially, although by the end of the year the full album did make it into the shops there too.

History repeated itself with their next album In The Long Grass, which was rejected on both sides of the Atlantic when the Rats submitted it in 1983. Eventually it saw release in the UK in the spring of 1984, but its attendant singles performed very badly. A revised edition of the album was issued in the US in 1985 following the band’s profile being raised by their involvement with Band Aid. But Bob Geldof’s involvement with the Band Aid Trust, and in particular the organizing of the Live Aid event in the summer of 1985, meant that The Boomtown Rats could only be a part-time project for him now. Simon Crowe and Johnnie Fingers were also looking beyond the Rats, and were about to form the splinter group Gung-Ho. The last The Boomtown Rats performance was at the charity concert Self Aid on 17 May 1986.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Feb. 26
The BOOMTOWN RATS (Bob Geldof) House On Fire (Mercury MER91)


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