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Music / The Boo Radleys

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British group of The '90s, named after the character in To Kill a Mockingbird, who started as a Shoegazing band, became eclectic 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 shoegaze bands, they lasted much longer than most of their contemporaries (Catherine Wheel being the only band that would last 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 shoegaze bands (or, to complicate things even more, the release of My Vitriol's Finelines in 2001). They 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.

  • 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-received but commercially unsuccessful return to more experimental work.
  • Keep on with Falling (2022) - comeback album, and the first without Martin Carr, a pop-rock affair in the vein of Wake Up!.
  • Eight (2023) - cut from the same sessions as the previous album.


  • Broken Record: The whole 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.
  • Epic Rocking: "Blues For George Michael"
  • Genre-Busting: A major reason why Giant Steps was so well-received by critics.
  • 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 a song about a girl called Lulu, simply as an excuse to use it.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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"