This paean to rugged individualism was the debut single released by Irish rock band the Boomtown Rats, who were fronted by ex abattoir worker and musical journalist Bob Geldof. It was the first so-called new wave single to be playlisted by the BBC, and the Boomtown Rats subsequently became the first new wave band to be offered an appearance on Top of the Pops. The song reached #2 on the Irish charts and spent nine weeks on the UK charts reaching a peak of #11.
In the light of Geldof's subsequent founding of the charity act Band Aid and organizing of Live Aid, it is ironic this song includes the lyric, "I don't want to give to charity."
Geldof was asked in an interview with Mojo magazine February 2011, whether the lyric, "I'll take all they can give me/And then I'm gonna ask for more" was meant sincerely or satirically? He replied: "Both! Don't forget I was coming from Ireland, Lookin' After No 1 is very Irish. My ambition was evident - radical in that context. Everyone was around me told me to conform. I was, 'Don't give me love my neighbor. Don't give me peace and love.' Peace and love was the hippy mantra, but to me it sounded like the church and the church was what held you back."