The Boo Radleys – Giant Steps

Giant Steps their third release was by comparison with Everything’s Alright Forever under produced.   Despite being named after a John Coltane masterpiece, it has a simple sixties  pop record sound surrounded with walls of sound. Within these walls of sound are many other instruments that crop up in this album; cello, trumpet, clarinet and flugelhorn.  Once again Love’s Forever Changes has clearly influenced this album, but they nod to Sgt Pepper in songs like Thinking of Ways.

There are many styles embraced in this album.  Yet each style is given the Boo Radley treatment.  The pop moments are, I Hang Suspended and Wish I was Skinny.

It has their greatest single included Lazarus, a shortened version unfortunately. This is a BIG song, the guitars, the brass and the wall of sound.  This has the most obvious dub line in the album, but if you listen carefully the dub beat crops up throughout the album, notably in Upon 9th and Fairchild.

Leaves and Sand sees The Boo Radleys step into washes of noisy distorted guitars.  The same can be said of Run My Way Runaway, which I believe to be heavily influenced by Miles Davis.  The way it is arranged it has free jazz elements mixed with psychedelia .

For many this is the pinnacle of The Boo Radleys work.  It would of been my favourite, had it come out in 1992.  I prefer Everything’s Alright Forever because it was my introduction to The Boo Radleys and it came out in the best year for music.

The Boo Radleys : Giant Steps

I Hang Suspended
Upon 9th & Fairchild
Wish I Was Skinny
Leaves And Sand
Butterfly McQueen
Rodney King (Song For Lenny Bruce)
Thinking Of Ways
Barney (…And Me)
Spun Around
If You Want It, Take It
Best Lose The Fear
Take The Time Around
One Is For
Run My Way Runway
I’ve Lost The Reason
The White Noise Revisited


2 thoughts on “The Boo Radleys – Giant Steps

  1. A masterpiece for sure. “Run My Way Runway” surely has that free-jazz Miles Davis bit to it but if you haven’t yet, you should check out The Byrds “2-4-2 (The Lear Jet Song)” from Fifth Dimension as well. It’ll either blow your mind or make you cry. Or both.

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