British group of The Nineties
, named after a character in To Kill a Mockingbird
, who started as a Shoegazing
band, became Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
experimentalists, were briefly (and against their will) co-opted into the Britpop
movement, and showed more Rock-ist tendencies towards the end. Most remembered by the general public for the hit "Wake Up Boo!".
While definitely considered part of the first wave of Shoegazing bands, they lasted much
longer than most of their contemporaries (Catherine Wheel
being the only band that would still be together into the 2000s, My Bloody Valentine
aside). Depending on what popular music history buff you talk to, they'll either mark their break up, or Catherine Wheel's break up as the marker between First Wave and Second Wave shoegazing bands (or, to complicate things even more, the release of My Vitriol
- Ichabod & I (1990) - limited-run debut, dismissed by the band as an LP of Dinosaur Jr. rip-offs but not without its fans
- Everything's Alright Forever (1992) - highly-rated by many Shoegazing fans
- Giant Steps (1993) - sprawling, genre-blending double-album which topped critics' end-of-year polls
- Wake Up! (1995) - a more accessible, commercial pop album containing The Hit, which reached number one in the UK albums chart
- C'Mon Kids (1996) - a harder-edged pop-rock album which scared off a lot of fans
- Kingsize (1998) - a well-recieved but commercially unsuccessful return to more experimental work.
Tropes in evidence:
- Black Sheep Hit: "Wake Up Boo!" is uncharacteristically jolly, and the parent album Wake Up! (a number one and easily their biggest seller) gets very little love these days.
- Broken Record: The entire second half of "Free Huey" consists of the line "And you know you gotta be all you can be" over and over.
- B-Side: Being at their commercial height during the period when singles were typically released as two CDs, each with four tracks, they racked up a huge number of these. The reissues of Giant Steps and Wake Up each come with not one but two bonus CDs full of B sides. When you go through their career, more original material appeared on B sides than on proper albums.
- Chorus-Only Song: "Wake Up Boo!", leading to the misconception that it's about spring or summer even though the verses make it quite clear it isn't (the very first line is "Summer's gone").
- Creator Backlash: Carr and Sice both reckon fan favourite "I Hang Suspended" was mere Album Filler. Their commentaries on the Giant Steps reissue website also reveal a shared dislike of "Spun Around", while Carr says "'One Is For' is shite."
- Epic Rocking: "Blues For George Michael"
- Excited Album Title!: Wake Up!
- Executive Meddling: Carr admits that this usually made their records stronger, and that he regrets the times he resisted it (such as when he insisted on "Free Huey" as the lead single from Kingsize when Alan McGee wanted... anything but "Free Huey", basically).
- Greatest Hits Album: Two: the definitive one is the double CD Find The Way Out, a career-spanning collection including B-sides, album tracks and outtakes as well as the singles, plus liner notes by Martin Carr; there's also a single CD grab-bag of mid-career tracks called Best of The Boo Radleys.
- Justified Title: "It's Lulu" is a Shout-Out to a 1970s TV pop show starring the singer Lulu. As Martin Carr confirms in his sleevenotes to Find The Way Out, he liked the title so much that he wrote the song as an excuse to use it, and justified it by naming the girl in the song Lulu.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Ichabod & I had one official release, vinyl-only, 500 copies. The band seemed to regard it as Old Shame though one track, Catweazle, was eventually included on the career-spanning Find The Way Out compilation.
- Literal-Minded: The video for "I Hang Suspended" is three and a half minutes of the band and some extras dangling on wires.
- Literary Allusion Title: the band are named for a character in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- "Lazarus" alludes to The Bible (the song is nothing to do with it, though).
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: A major reason why Giant Steps was so well-received by critics.
- New Sound Album: All of them, basically. The rockier C'mon Kids startled a lot of people who were expecting something Lighter and Softer like Wake Up!. Martin Carr denies this was intentional.
- Non-Appearing Title: Lots of them. "Lazarus", "Find The Answer Within", "Barney (...and Me)" (whose title is actually dropped in "From The Bench at Belvidere", itself a non-appearing title), "Martin, Doom! It's Seven o'Clock", and many more.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: "Wake Up Boo!" - the narrator is the Red Oni, addressing the song to the Blue Oni.
- Refrain from Assuming: The prevalence of non-appearing titles leads to quite a bit of this. And then of course there's "Wake up, it's a beautiful morning...", though at least that starts with the same two words as the actual title.
- Similarly Named Works: It's often been assumed that Giant Steps is named after John Coltrane's seminal album of the same title, though the band have denied this.
- Small Town Boredom: How Martin Carr felt about living in Preston - it heavily influenced the Wake Up! album.
- Song Style Shift: They were quite partial to this.
- Spell My Name with a "The"