Lookin' after No 1

Album: The Boomtown Rats (1977)
Charted: 11
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Second Wind Songs

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

70s Music Quiz 1

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

Keith Reid of Procol Harum

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. Televangelists

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. TelevangelistsSong Writing

When televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart took on rockers like Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, the rockers retaliated. Bono could even be seen mocking the preachers.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.