The Boomtown Rats
Singer/songwriter Bob Geldof's philanthropic work as the organizer of Live Aid, and his subsequent knighthood, tend to overshadow the achievements of the band he led from the late 1970s to the mid '80s. The Boomtown Rats were one of the finest exponents of New Wave to come out of Ireland. They had as much punky energy as any of their contemporaries, but displayed more musical sophistication. Earlier on, they were further set apart from the pack by an undeniable Bruce Springsteen influence (not unlike their countrymen Thin Lizzy). After the band split and he stepped back from his charity efforts, Geldof (who had also inexplicably starred in Pink Floyd's film version of THE WALL) pursued the inevitable solo career.