Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps (1993)


Remember that time the Boo Radleys made one of the all-time greatest indie rock records? No? It's okay, neither do most people. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, though. The songs on Giant Steps remind me of so many great bands. "Wish I Was Skinny" sounds like one of the best, most bittersweet songs that Teenage Fanclub never wrote, "Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)" sounds like the Curve-Elephant 6 collaboration you never knew you needed, "Barney (... and Me)" sounds like psychedelic Belle & Sebastian, and the record overall sounds like the Sgt. Pepper of 90s shoegaze -- every song is its own unique, self-contained universe, yet when put together, they form a beautiful, cohesive tapestry of sound. There's even a Beatles reference at the end. Truly essential listening.

Track listing:
1. I Hang Suspended
2. Upon 9th and Fairchild
3. Wish I Was Skinny
4. Leaves and Sand
5. Butterfly McQueen
6. Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)
7. Thinking of Ways
8. Barney (... and Me)
9. Spun Around
10. If You Want It, Take It
11. Best Lose the Fear
12. Take the Time Around
13. Lazarus
14. One Is For
15. Run My Way Runway
16. I've Lost the Reason
17. The White Noise Revisited

Hey, what's that noise?
Do you remember?

9 comments:

  1. spot on!
    saw them in liverpool when this came out.
    pure class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn, that must have been an incredible show. Sometime I worry about pumping a record up too much with my write-ups, but I don't think it's possible in this case.

      Delete
  2. This is a classic album. I havent listened to it in Aaaaages. So many styles and influences in one record. Martin Carr is a genius writer

    ReplyDelete
  3. Honestly, one of the greatest records of the 90s. You nailed it - each song is a miniature masterpiece that adds to the cohesive whole. I never fail to be blown-away by it every time I give it a spin.
    And I'm sure you know this, but just in case -- the b-sides from this era are fucking PHENOMENAL, often times the equal of their LP counterpart. Please be sure to check out the flips to "I Hang Suspended", "Skinny" and "Barney" in particular.... gold!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dug out these - its a couple of scans from the sadly now dead and gone Select magazine. An interview with the Boos from around the release time of Giant Steps

    http://selectmagazinescans.monkeon.co.uk/showpage.php?file=wp-content/uploads/2010/11/boo11.jpg
    http://selectmagazinescans.monkeon.co.uk/showpage.php?file=wp-content/uploads/2010/11/boo2.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great find, thanks! Guess I'm not the only one to hear The Beatles in this record.

      Delete
  5. This is a phenomenal records, but the previous one, Everything is Alright Forever, is even better, it's got an even better title

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this one's got the edge, but I def love that record too!

      Delete