Essential Atlantic: Bob Geldof, DEEP IN THE HEART OF NOWHERE

Thursday, October 22, 2020

For the next several weeks (or maybe just until we decide that we want to stop doing it, since normalcy seems likely to remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future), will be spotlighting an album from the Atlantic Records discography that qualifies as “Essential.” And what rigorous standards and/or mathematical algorithm did we use to come up with the criteria to define “Essential,” you ask? None at all. You’ll just have to trust our instincts. But they’re really good, we swear...


Prior to the 1984 holiday season, few Americans could’ve identified Bob Geldof in a lineup, and even if you’d told them that he was the lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, the most likely response still would’ve been little more than a blank stare. But then came Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” which was followed about seven months later by Live Aid, and by that point it was hard to find anyone who didn’t know Bob Geldof.


As such, it was kind of a big deal when Geldof released his debut solo album, DEEP IN THE HEART OF NOWHERE...or at least it was supposed to be, anyway. Produced by Rupert Hine, the LP was not the massive commercial success that many had expected it to be, particularly given how much media attention Geldof had received over the course of the previous 18 months or so. But with that said, commercial success has never been the best factor by which to define an album’s creative success, which is why DEEP IN THE HEART OF NOWHERE still handily qualifies as an Essential Atlantic LP.


“This is the World Calling,” the tune which kicks off the album, is a co-write between Geldof and Stewart, and it sets the musical stage of the LP as a whole, which is to say that it’s an epic tune with a hook that sticks with you. Other such tunes include “In the Pouring Rain” and “Love Like a Rocket,” with the latter tune being not only another co-write with Stewart but also the beneficiary of one of the three guest appearances by Eric Clapton on the album. (The other two, just for the record, are “Beat of the Night” and “August Was a Heavy Month.”) Stewart and Clapton aren’t the only famous names who played a part in the album, either: if you listen closely, you can detect Bono, Jools Holland, Annie Lennox, Maria McKee, Alison Moyet, and Brian Setzer at various points...and if you can’t detect them, well, they’re in the credits, so we know they’re in there somewhere!


As noted, DEEP IN THE HEART OF NOWHERE wasn’t the smash success that Atlantic would’ve preferred, but it’s an album that still sounds great, so if you’ve never heard it before or if it’s been awhile since the last time you gave it a listen, go ahead and hit “play” right now!


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