The Boo Radleys taking us, kicking and screaming, into the weekend. Associated with Shoegaze and Britpop, The Boo Radleys were a very well regarded band, particularly by the press, who considered their 3rd album, Giant Steps, an international masterpiece and placed number 2 (behind Bjork) in Best album of 1993.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here – this session is from 1990 and they had just signed to the small British indie label Action Records and had released their debut album Ichabod And I in July of that year. Although the album wasn’t a commercial success, it got them signed to a larger label, Rough Trade Records. Unforuntately, after they released their first ep with them, the label went bankrupt and The Boo Radleys were without a home. It’s when they were eventually picked up by Creation Records that their fortunes dramatically changed.
This session comes before all that, while they are still closely associated with Shoegaze, and getting their direction together. There are bits and flashes strongly reminiscent of Ride, another band associated with Shoegaze and they had all the earmarks of achieving international recognition.
But it didn’t happen. And because they’ve gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle, when talking about the 90s, they have become one of those criminally neglected bands during a time of considerable experimenting and discovery.
After their initial wave of success, and having a single in the top 10 (sadly, the only one had by the band), their popularity began to fade, and they went from having a tremendous potential to being overlooked in the onslaught of bands climbing onto the Britpop bandwagon. And despite having a strong fanbase and a cult-following, The Boo Radleys just couldn’t crack the U.S. market. which led to considerable frustration within the band.
Finally, the lack of commercial success proved to be too much, and in 1998 they issued what would be their final album and called it a day.
Sadly overlooked and surprisingly unknown here in the States, The Boo Radleys were an integral part of the Britpop movement, and listening to their output proves that point – as does this session for John Peel from December 17, 1990.