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Lost Genius – The Boo Radleys

Through time, many bands worth finding more ears have failed to garner the attention that they deserved. Similarly, anyone with an interest in music inevitably knows of a band or two who’ve flown close to genius, maybe even reaching it for a couple of tracks, or even an album, before quality fades, and the band ends up splitting, with the various members going on to make less and less interesting music, to smaller and smaller audiences.

One of the first bands I went to see live was the Boo Radleys, who sit sadly in this category. 1991 and 1992 saw the band deliver two excellent albums – ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’ and the more successful ‘Giant Steps’. Sadly, these were followed by three wretched pop albums, which both destroyed any credibility that the band had built up, and left most people with the memory only of the hopeless ‘Wake Up Boo’.

Anyway, despite this, the quality of the first couple of albums really shouldn’t be overlooked, and the two singles that gave them the foundation to ruin their career are really worth revisiting.

Lazarus live from Glastonbury:

I Hang Suspended live:

Categories: Uncategorized

10 replies »

  1. i love the guitar line in ‘i hang suspended’. so simple but always got me for some reason.

    The Horns in Lazarus are great. Always sounds like the cavalry riding over the mountain ridge! Such a joyous sound…

  2. i love the guitar line in ‘i hang suspended’. so simple but always got me for some reason.

    The Horns in Lazarus are great. Always sounds like the cavalry riding over the mountain ridge! Such a joyous sound…

  3. Yeah, real shame that they went so badly wrong. I think the first couple of albums are worth the fiver each that they’d cost, if you’d never head them before, they don’t sound dated or anything!

  4. did they really have three albums after giant steps? i came to a very abrupt stop after giant steps. i was too shocked at how band that hit single was. was there anything of merit off the later ones? where did they end up? any idea?

  5. just checked wikipedia, one of them teaches I.T in northern ireland. very rock and roll!

    martin carr has released 6 albums! wow! must myspace him, and find out. his most recent is available for free download on his web site.

    one of them is in a band with your favourite, bez! They must be great.

    Sice is in a new band called paperlung also. another myspace is required…

  6. I bought the paperlung album, and it really isn’t so good I’m afraid, all a little bit too conventional, and lacking in the breadth of sound that the Boo Radley’s offered, all be it too briefly.

    Martin Carr records as ‘This Is Your Captain Speaking’, from memory. Heard one album, but never went any further. Sad that it all went so dull with them.

  7. Martin Carr’s band is bravecaptain. i was on his web site a few times and his blog in the last couple of days, and its all quite sad really. he’s talking about losing money of everything he releases despite the good reviews and such. The problem seems to be he can’t sing. There’s even a note on his facebook page asking for a band, as in a drummer, bassist and singer! Its odd he doesn’t have mates to call on at this stage.

    Anyway, its worth a read to see how messy his life has become. http://www.martin-carr.com/

    You can also download one of his albums for free here. He did a radiohead i guess!

    http://bravecaptain.com/-distractions/

  8. God almighty, this is an inaccurate and badly-researched article on SO MANY COUNTS. Let me just remind everybody shall I?

    1) Everything’s Alright Forever was released in 1992 and YES it was a great record – taking all the best elements of shoegaze and Dinosaur Jr, plus a smattering of Arthur Lee’s Love into the mix.

    2) Giant Steps – their masterpiece – was actually released in 1993 (the first Lazarus EP first appeared late 1992). No more needs to be said about how incredible this record was.

    3) Wake Up! may have been regarded as a ‘wretched pop album’ but disregard that obvious annoying hit single which more or less killed the band’s credibility in one fell swoop – plus a few other duds (It’s Lulu & Charles Bukowski being the worst offenders), and actually the rest of the LP is as eclectic and experimental as the one before it – just not quite as jarringly in yer face. But as most people fixated on those obvious contrived pop moments, the rest of the record was given short shrift. Yes, much of Britpop was utter shite and embarrassing, so arguably the Boo’s one big fluke hit and the two follow up singles may have been part of the bilge that we had to suffer during this period.

    4) C’mon Kids from 1996 – a ‘wretched pop album’ ?? What the fuck are you going on about? Did any of you even bother listening to it? Obviously not, due to the inevitable post-1995 / Britpop backlash that greeted the band’s success. C’mon Kids is a seriously fucking kick-ass deranged tour de force of an album that is even more hot-wired to eclectic multi-genre overdrive than even Giant Steps was. It’s fucking insane! It’s a battering ram to the senses – being as it is all over the place, and would even kick ten shades of shite out of fucking Oasis (the two singles C’mon Kids and What’s In The Box especially) – and all the better for it.

    5) Kingsize – the Boo’s final 1998 album and swansong, is everything that the bloated, pretentious likes of Oasis’s Be Here Now [aka Cocaine Supernova] (and even The Verve’s Urban Hymns – both of which appeared the previous year in 1997) would dearly love to be – lush, orchestrated mature pop/ rock of the finest. And a million miles removed from the contrived lightweight fluff of the worst moments on Wake Up! Even when it does purport to be bombastic it’s still a fuck of a lot more articulate and intelligent than any of the dumb-ass ten-year dirges that took up much of Be Here Now…..

    6) Martin Carr’s first post-Boos project of the late 1990s-mid 2000s, Brave Captain, was actually quite promising before the whole record company diminishing returns / internet file sharing lark effectively sabotaged any struggling artist’s hopes of making a crust from selling records in the traditional tried and tested manner…… no wonder he took a long break and quit the business from disillusionment shortly after.

    And here we see all this unanimous negativity and sniping from the replies as well….

    Behave will you??!!

    • Wow, what a long response! Thanks for that. The article you responded to is ten years old. At that time the website was just friends talking amongst ourselves, but thanks anyway…

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