Banana Republic (song)

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"Banana Republic"
Single by The Boomtown Rats
from the album Mondo Bongo[1]
B-side "Man at the Top"[2]
Released 1980 (UK)
Format 7" vinyl
Genre New wave, reggae
Length 3:24 (album version 5:01)
Label Ensign Records (UK)[2]
Columbia Records (USA)
Writer(s) Pete Briquette, Bob Geldof[2]
Producer(s) Tony Visconti[2]
The Boomtown Rats singles chronology
"Someone's Looking at You"
"Banana Republic"
"Up All Night"

"Banana Republic" was the first single from The Boomtown Rats' album Mondo Bongo.[1] It peaked at number three in the UK Singles Chart.[3]

Breaking from the band's previous new wave sound the song opens with a ska-reggae hook (that repeats at the close of the much longer album version).[4] However, the song itself is a more mainstream piece musically. The 'Banana Republic' which the song describes is actually a deliberately scathing portrait of the Republic of Ireland, the band's country of origin, and was written in response to the band being banned from performing there.[5] This in turn was reputedly because of Geldof's "denunciation of nationalism, medieval-minded clerics and corrupt politicians" in a memorably controversial 1977 interview/performance on Ireland's The Late Late Show with Gay Byrne.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b William Ruhlmann. "The Boomtown Rats | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Boomtown Rats, The - Banana Republic (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 71. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "The Boomtown Rats: January 1981". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "The Boomtown Rats: In and out of the rat trap (article) by John Van der Kiste on AuthorsDen". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  7. ^ [2][dead link]