We seem to be having a lot of anniversaries lately, today marks two decades since the release of one of Creation’s most successful singles. It was the most played track on UK radio in 1995, a song that was so overplayed even the band grew tired of it.
‘Wake Up Boo!’ by The Boo Radleys was released on 27th February 1995. I can still remember the first time I heard and thinking how fantastic it was, a perfect pop song. By about May of the same year it was all getting very tedious, every time you turned the radio on it was playing.
If you’d never heard the band before 1995 you’d be forgiven for thinking The Boo Radleys were just another Britpop band. They emerged in 1990 sounding very much like a ‘shoegaze’ band (I hate that name – but you know what I mean). After a couple of years on Rough Trade they moved to Creation after the label folded and then released the acclaimed ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’.
In 1993 they released the album ‘Giant Steps’, now this was a great album that gave them huge critical acclaim and they even topped a few end of years polls for NME and Select.
Giant Steps was a truly experimental album, Creation’s answer to Sgt Peppers or Pet Sounds perhaps. In an interview with the Quietus Martin Carr blames ‘Wake Up Boo!’ for Giant Steps being overlooked as a classic album. “I think maybe ‘Wake Up Boo!’ made us completely uncool, and that’s kind of come to overshadow it really”.
It’s easy to be cynical about the songs success, but don’t forget it soundtracked a pretty exciting summer for mainstream British music, the success of the song even gave the band a number 1 album.
In an interview with the BBC, Martin Carr talks angrily about the era “I was gutted when Creation signed to Sony, I’d never wanted to be on a major label and we were under much more pressure after that. It was also a chance for everyone to get away with more jingoism than usual.”
When asked if the change of direction for their 1996 follow-up album ‘C’mon Kids’ was an attempt to lose all the fans of Wake Up Boo! he states “I’m not even going to answer that. It was a bunch of songs that I had written that we recorded; it only seems inaccessible because everyone had given up and started listening to dreary pub rock records. Some things haven’t changed.”
Some other highlights from The Boo Radleys below: