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The Boo Radleys
|Genres||Alternative rock, shoegazing, dream pop, Britpop, noise pop, indie pop, neo-psychedelia|
|Years active||1988–1999, 2021–present|
|Labels||Action, Creation, Rough Trade, Columbia (US)|
|Website||Find The Way Out|
The Boo Radleys are an English alternative rock band who were associated with the shoegazing and Britpop movements in the 1990s. They originally formed in Wallasey, England, in 1988, with Rob Harrison on drums, singer/guitarist Simon "Sice" Rowbottom, guitarist/songwriter Martin Carr, and bassist Timothy (Tim) Brown. Their name is taken from the character Boo Radley in Harper Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Shortly after the release of their first album Ichabod and I, Steve Hewitt replaced Robert Harrison on drums and was in turn replaced by Rob Cieka. The band split up in 1999.
In their 11-year-long career, the band had one top ten single, the 1995 single "Wake Up Boo!", which charted at no. 9; and a number one album, Wake Up!. The band reunited in 2021, without original guitarist Martin Carr, and released a single, "A Full Syringe and Memories of You", their first new music since 1998. Paul Banks of Interpol has cited the band as an influence.
In 1990, the band's first album Ichabod and I was released on a small British indie label, Action Records. Although not a commercial success, this release brought the band to the attention of Rough Trade Records, to whom they signed. Around this time, Hewitt was replaced on drums by Rob Cieka. He then went on to drum for Placebo until 2007.
Almost immediately after the release of the Every Heaven EP in 1991, Rough Trade collapsed and the Boo Radleys were signed by Alan McGee's Creation Records. Their first for Creation was Everything's Alright Forever in 1992, and Giant Steps (1993) followed. Giant Steps was awarded 9/10 by the UK music magazine NME, which stated, "It's an intentional masterpiece, a throw-everything-at-the-wall bric-a-brac of sounds, colours and stolen ideas. That The Boo Radleys (of all people!) have decided to accept their own challenge and create a record as diverse and boundary-bending as this is, at first glance, staggering. Isn't this the job of the U2s and the leisured idols of rock, unable to do anything without the tacit approval of history? Fortunately not. The Boo Radleys are sifting through time (the mid-'60s, mostly) and conjuring up something that's as cut-up and ambitious as anything you'd care to mention". Reviewing the album's re-release in 2008, Sic Magazine wrote, "For 64 minutes they were the greatest band on the planet."
Giant Steps placed second to Debut by Björk in the 1993 NME album of the year list, voted by the paper's contributors, although it came in first place in the subsequent NME readers' poll. The now-defunct Select magazine declared Giant Steps their album of the year for 1993. The Boo Radleys also appear on the original motion picture soundtrack to the 1993 film So I Married An Axe Murderer with their cover of The La's song "There She Goes".
Wake Up! and beyond
Despite critical acclaim and a cult fanbase, the Boo Radleys were still largely unknown to the general public by the time the Britpop phenomenon broke into the mainstream in 1995. This changed when the band released the upbeat single "Wake Up Boo!" in the spring of that year. It made the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 9. The single remained on the chart for two months, by far the band's longest run for any of its singles; later, on 26 October 2009, BFBS Forces Radio launched its live Afghanistan studio output with the track after it topped a listeners poll seeking a suitable first track. Carr describes writing the song watching The Big Breakfast after a night on acid. The follow-up release, "Find the Answer Within," was the band's only other single to chart for more than two weeks. Their fourth album Wake Up! (1995), was their commercial peak. Interviewed in 2005 by the BBC, Carr said: "I tried to have nothing to do with what was being called Britpop. Our whole career was spent trying not to 'fit in'. We just carried on doing what we had been doing. I didn't like most of the new bands or the flag-waving. I didn't like New Labour or idolise Paul Weller and I hated media-generated movements within music". The same year the band featured on Help with "Oh Brother", exclusive to that release. Help was a charity album aimed at raising funds for War Child, also featuring various other artists such as Radiohead and the Manic Street Preachers.
In 1996, the Boo Radleys released their fifth album C'mon Kids. As explained by Rowbottom in an interview in 2005: "We didn't want to scare away the hit-kids, we wanted to take them with us to somewhere that we'd not been before. All we wanted to do was make a different type of album than Wake Up... All we wanted to do was try something new - to keep ourselves fresh and interested. We were very surprised to find that it was seen as a deliberate attempt to scare away newly created fans. That would have been an extremely foolish thing to do."
The Boo Radleys' final album was 1998's Kingsize. One single was released from the album, "Free Huey!". The title track was due to have been released as a second single, but the band decided to split up. Sice later told Time Out magazine: "It was such a relief when Martin phoned me and said he didn't want to make any more records. We’d been wanting it to stop for quite a long time, but I couldn't do it – I didn't want to leave. I wanted the band to end and only Martin could have done that. There was always the fear if I left, that they would just get another singer in and I didn't want that. Never mind not having the heart to tour – I barely had the heart to go down to the studio while we were making Kingsize."
The Boo Radleys disbanded in early 1999. Brown built a popular recording studio before going on to John Moores University for teacher training. He progressed on to teaching information technology at St Louis's Grammar School in Kilkeel, County Down, in Ulster, and also taught at Park High School in Birkenhead.
Under the name Bravecaptain, Carr has since released six albums, including The Fingertip Saint Sessions Volume 1, Go with Yourself, Advertisements for Myself (2002) and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2004). His most recent album was titled Distractions. Carr has since announced that he will be retiring the Bravecaptain name to work on new projects, but these will not include reforming the Boo Radleys. His first solo album Ye Gods (And Little Fishes) was released in mid 2009. Cieka is now a member of the band Domino Bones, alongside Mark "Bez" Berry, formerly of Happy Mondays.
After an album in 1996 (First Fruits) under the name Eggman, while still a member of the Boo Radleys, Rowbottom walked away from music for several years after the split. Then, following a guest vocal on Bravecaptain's, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, and also two songs with the Japanese musician Ryo Matsui's solo project, Meister, he formed Paperlung. The band featured Rowbottom on vocals, Simon Gardiner on bass, Ben Datlen on guitar and Guillaume Jambel of Transcargo on drums. They released two singles, "The Days That God Sold You" (2006) and "Do What Thou Will", and an album, Balance (2007).
Reunion and new music
In 2020, it was reported that some members of the Boo Radleys were coming together to record new music to mark 25 years since the band's heyday.
In July 2021, the band released their first new single in 23 years, "A Full Syringe and Memories of You", part of an EP of the same name. Upon the single's release, it was confirmed that original guitarist Martin Carr had not taken part in the reunion.
|The Boo Radleys discography|
The discography of the Boo Radleys consists of seven studio albums, three compilation albums, six extended-plays, and eighteen singles one of which ("Lazarus") was released twice, along with remixes of the same song, and their final single ("Kingsize") which was cancelled before release.
|1990||Ichabod and I
|1992||Everything's Alright Forever
|2022||Keep on with Falling
|1992||Learning to Walk
|2005||Find the Way Out
|2007||The Best of the Boo Radleys
|1992||Adrenalin (aka "Lazy Day" promo on Columbia in US)
|Boo! Forever (credited as a double A-side "Does This Hurt" / "Boo! Forever" for chart purposes)
|2021||"A full Syringe and Memories of You"
|1992||"Lazy Day"||–||–||–||–||Everything's Alright Forever|
|"Does this Hurt?"||67||–||–||–|
|1993||"I Hang Suspended"||–||–||–||–|
|"Wish I Was Skinny"||75||–||–||–|
|1994||"Barney (...and Me)"||48||–||–||30|
|1995||"Wake Up Boo!"||9||25||35||–||Wake Up!|
|"Find the Answer Within"||37||–||–||–|
|"From the Bench at Belvidere"||24||–||–||–||—|
|1996||"What's in the Box (See Whatcha Got)"||25||–||–||–||C'mon Kids|
|1997||"Ride the Tiger"||38||–||–||–|
|2021||"A Full Syringe and Memories of You"||–||–||–||–||Keep on with Falling|
|"I've Had Enough I'm Out"||–||–||–||–|
|2022||"Keep on with Falling"||–||–||–||–|
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 106–107. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- "Artist Chart History - Boo Radleys". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "The Boo Radleys Release First New Song in 23 Years". Pitchfork.com. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
- Everhart, John (23 April 2014). "Caught By The Buzz: A Look Back At Britpop's B-List". Stereogum. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
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- Maconie, Stuart (19 January 1993). "Album of the Year". Select Magazine. Boo Radleys Official. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Retrochart for March 1995". Everyhit.com. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Live From Afghanistan". Bfbs-radio.com. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- "Wake Up Boo!". Boo Radleys. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
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- "Paperlung". Mattpomroy.com. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- Bosman, Julie (24 May 2010). "A Classic Turns 50, and Parties Are Planned". The New York Times.
- Rees, Paul, ed. (December 2003). "Where Are They Now?". Q (210): 42.
- "Leave Them All Behind". 3:AM Magazine. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- "Boo Radleys Frontman Is Back". Uncut. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- "Boo Radleys bassist Tim Brown on moving from Top of the Pops to teaching". BBC. 15 February 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
- "Listen to The Boo Radleys' 'A Full Syringe And Memories Of You', their first new song in 23 years". Nme.com. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
- "The Boo Radleys share new single 'Seeker', reissue 'Giant Steps' and announce 2023 UK and Ireland tour". Nme.com. 26 January 2023. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 70. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.