Trust me #46
Lazarus by The Boo Radleys
Released 30-years ago, towards the end November 1992, Lazarus was a statement single from The Boo Radleys ahead of their Giant Steps album in 1993.
Sales, sadly, didn't quite match the statement, Lazarus reached number 76 in the charts. But for the band, putting out a 12-inch single at 6 minutes 22 seconds in length was just what they needed to do. It was 'giant step' forward from their standard shoegaze sound, that of a band enthralled by labelmates My Bloody Valentine. Now it felt like The Boo's were exploring all kinds of music to find their own sound(s).
The Boo's had released Everything's Alright Forever back in March 1992. If you go back to check that album out and then listen to Lazarus, you'd struggle to believe it's the same band, same personnel.
Beginning with distorted white noise, teases of key riffs and beats kicking in, the 12-inch version of Lazarus builds for almost 2-minutes before everything seems to come together. There is an almost reggae groove going on, then a horn section, acoustic rhythm guitar, synths, effects ... rmodern psychedelia and beautifully so.
Horns kick in just before 3-minutes to lift the song, to lift the listener out of a lysergic dream. Everything soars skywards before falling gently to the first verse. Singer Sice (Simon Rowbottom) sings tenderly, vocals gently distorted.
I, I must be losing my mind
I keep on trying to find a way out
There's no need you don't lock the door anymore
At the end of the second verse horns and electric guitar, full of fuzzy effects, kick in euphorically to fly high for an instrumental before swooping back down for two further 3 line verses.
Now, maybe now I should change
Because I'm starting to lose all my faith
While those around me are beaten down each day
After the fourth verse (above) horns, guitars and beats kick in again and are looped for a full minute, extra layers being added, a little more urgency comes in and the inspired groove is one to get lost in. I'd love to hear this extended.
There are remixes of Lazarus that you can check out via the links below and through the expanded release of Giant Steps on streaming platforms, but none of them really take this riff on. It's a remix/edit in the making.
Lazarus is an astonishing song. It was in in 1992 and it is now; the power, the ambition, the care that went into it have ensured that it stands up 30-years down the line.
Despite universal high praise for the Giant Steps album, The Boo Radleys didn't have a hit on their hands. None of the singles from the album broke the top 40 and while the album reached number 17 and sold 60,000 copies in 1993 (Creations most successful album that year), the incredible reviews didn't translate to the sales Creation anticipated.
After being inspired initially by label mates My Bloody Valentine and then the transformation and ideas showcased by Primal Scream with Screamdelica, Martin Carr, leader and songwriter for The Boo's, was then inspired by the hits that Oasis were experiencing. He wanted a piece of the action!
That would come with Wake Up Boo! released in February 1995, although I always associate it with summer. Legend has it that a postcard by Alan McGee was on permanent display on the mixing desk, encouraging Carr and his bandmates to use every trick in the book to create a hit single.
Here is a snip of the ecstatic NME review for Giant Steps. I'd highly recommend checking or revisiting the album. From pure guitar pop to dub, reggae and psychedelic sounds, it's a cracker.
It's an intentional masterpiece, a throw-everything-at-the-wall bric-a-brac of sounds, colours and stolen ideas. That The Boo Radleys (of all people!) have decided to accept their own challenge and create a record as diverse and boundary-bending as this is, at first glance, staggering. Isn't this the job of the U2s and the leisured idols of rock, unable to do anything without the tactit approval of history? Fortunately not? The Boo Radleys are sifting through time (the mid-60s mostly) and conjuring up something that's as cut-up and ambitious as anything you'd care to mention. NME
I've also collated them all into a playlist on Spotify that you can find by searching for Everything Flows - Trust Me , or you can CLICK HERE