"Banana Republic" was the first single from The Boomtown Rats' album Mondo Bongo. It peaked at number three in the UK charts and was the band's last major commercial success. 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). 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. 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.