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Fine Art of Surfacing


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Frequently Bought Together

Fine Art of Surfacing + Tonic for the Troops + Boomtown Rats
Price for all three: $47.66

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000008DOB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,715 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the BEST albums EVER!!
J. Austin
Still, all the CD reissues are very nice, so collect them all now before they go OOP!
G. Mitchell
"Somethings Looking At You". "Diamond Smiles" with the gold lame belt.
John Morgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By eveoflove on March 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Made in EU in 2005, Serial# 982-677-5, Playing Time 53:03

Most of lyrics enclosed...

If you're like me, you've been waiting to "retire" your vinyl pressing of this as soon as a CD version was made available.

Like all 6 re-releases of their albums, the remastering job is excellent! If you're reading this, you probably don't need a description of the genre of music (and talent) included.

Instead, I'll focus this somewhat brief review on the differences in content between the North American vinyl pressing and this CD issue:

a) "When The Night Comes" has been edited from a 4:58 track to a 4:44 version.

b) track 11 ("Episode #3") is now in its proper logical position (i.e. at the end) and has been restored to its full length glory (it was at the end of side 1 on the vinyl)

c) track 12 ("Real Different") was originally released on the "Rat Tracks" EP

d) track 13 ("How Do You Do?") was originally released on the 1992 CD edition of "A Tonic For The Troops"

e) track 14 is a "real" bonus track!

f) track 15 (the live version of "Nothing Happened Today") is a different recording than released on the "Rat Tracks" EP

In my opinion, THE best re-issue of the 6...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By FangsFirst on March 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Thankfully, this 1 re-release, out of 6, has an unperverted track order...but the price is still ridiculous, so check with the new/used dealers in the top right instead of Amazon...

Anyway, I'm writing this review to note, for the less informed, to correct/make notes on the other reviews which are incorrect in their claims about original versions of the albums/sources of tracks:

"Real Different" was ORIGINALLY released as the B-side to Elephant's Graveyard in 1981, about 6 months before the release of Rat Tracks.

Rat Tracks, much like the Rolling Stones' Flowers "album" was a fabricated release made by North American record companies, outside the band's control. The same sort of treatment most bands used to get (and sometimes still do) when their music crosses the oceans to reach North America. A stupid, but very common, activity on the part of North American record companies.

"How Do You Do?" was ORIGINALLY released as the B-side to "Like Clockwork" in 1978.

Not intending to pick fights or criticize, mind you, I'm simply obsessive about the original placement of non-album tracks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. L. Trudell on March 5, 2011
Format: Audio CD
When reviewing an album of *great music*, it's troubling to have to talk about something as apparently trivial as AUDIO QUALITY and SOUND DYNAMICS. Most record labels no longer care about it, so why should the fans? The sad fact is that most albums are now being remastered to sound good only on FM radio and ipods. If you dare to listen on headphones (as a previous reviewer discovered) you'll be shocked at how bad it sounds. Even if you ignore the audible crackling, your ears will be so physically fatigued by the looming white noise that you'll struggle to listen through to the beginning of "Mondays".

If you know what I'm talking about, I advise you to return these botched "remastered" CDs for a refund. If you don't, just Google "loudness war" and educate yourself to this mess. The major labels are ruining great albums like this and yet they wonder why their industry is dying?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Debra Pemberton on November 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I saw the Boomtown Rats the first time on the tv show FRIDAYS in 1979 or 1980 and have been in love since.

Everyone loves "Mondays", but "Diamond Smiles" is my friends all time fave and I will always love "Having My Picture Taken" or maybe "Sleep" or maybe, well, every song on this record is good.

This is a GREAT album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Boomtown Rats made a big leap to art-rock on their third album. They'd advanced their ambitions quickly over two albums, going from punky power rockers to anthems of the common Englander. For "The Fine Art Of Surfacing," they began to go for bigger things. The first single was unlike anything else they'd attempted, the controversial "I Don't Like Mondays." No guitars, just piano and an orchestra. The payoff was a huge international hit everywhere but the US.

It also found Bob Geldof moving on to darker themes. Granted, the first two albums played with themes of suicide and paranoia, but for every "Living On an Island" on "Tonic," there was also a more lighthearted "She's So Modern." On "The Fine Art Of Surfacing," the songs are still often exuberant and hook laden, but thematically, never quite as chipper. It makes for some great songs again, especially "Wind Chill Factor Minus Zero" and "Sleep (Fingers' Lullaby)." "Surfacing" was the last excellent Rats album. While "Mondo Bongo" had its moments, the Boomtown Rats' records after this were never as even or as exciting.

I do have a quibble about the re-master on "Surfacing." It seems to have been mastered way too "hot" for some of the songs. The drums and percussion compress out - especially on "Someone's Looking At You" and "Wind Chill Factor Minus Zero" - and distort. For a re-master, that's bad news.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. D. Givetz on April 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This was always my favorite Boomtown Rats CD and I'm glad this and all the other Rats CD's have been remastered. "The fine art of Surfacing" is an amazing CD from start to finish. The lyrics and melodies are brilliant. God, I wish these guys would reform and tour again. C'mon Bob, reform the Rats.
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