Blues for George Michael by The Boo Radleys: Great B-Sides

The Boo Radleys emerged in the shoegaze scene of the late 1980s. They came from Wallasey, a town just across the Mersey from Liverpool. They shifted closer to pop/rock in the 1990s, and achieved critical acclaim, particularly for their 1993 record Giant Steps.

I’ve come under a lot of fire for my enjoyment of The Boo Radleys, as the following Facebook post illustrates.

Named after an enigmatic character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, The Boo Radleys enjoy a dedicated cult following rather than a mass audience. They blessed fans with a lot of non-album material, but much is now out-of-print and not available on Spotify.

They may have better b-sides, but the nine-minute long ‘Blues for George Michael’ is notable for its high effort. It’s not dismissive of Michael’s work, instead recognizing that Michael was already struggling with fame. Lots of the song is given over to a spacy jam. It’s maybe a little loose in structure to fit on an album, but it’s good that the band gave themselves to stretch out in a less formal setting.

‘Blues for George Michael’ has enjoyed a better fate than most of The Boo Radleys’ b-sides – it was included on the 2005 anthology Find the Way Out.

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Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.


  1. I like how they bounced around musical styles. Some of it reminds me of the Beatles around 67 muscially in parts. That is an interesting cut.

    • Yeah, I think once they got out of the shoegaze bandwagon they were able to do something more similar to The Beatles and The Beach Boys. This track’s relatively mellow for them – they normally have tougher guitars.

  2. Well that was totally bizarre. I like it though. I never heard them use so much electronics before, like at the end. It’s a pretty long song for a b-side. I used to like Giant Steps a lot and one other one I used to listen to.
    I bet you can’t answer this trivia question. What actor played Boo Radley in the movie of To Kill a Mockingbird? It was way before he became famous. Here’s another hint: he was in The Godfather.

    • Yeah, it’s not very typical for them – it’s like them getting to indulge on a b-side and having fun.

      I had no idea who played Boo Radley – I’ve never seen the movie, even though I enjoy the book a lot.

      • It was Robert Duvall. When he was super young. But the reason most people don’t know it was him is cuz they don’t show his face until the very end of the movie. The rest of the time he’s just all in shadows at night time and in the dark and stuff. They only show his whole face for like a minute at the end.

  3. I’m not very familiar with their music, but this track is really fascinating. I had to check out “I Hang Suspended” to see what all the fuss was about, and I like it! I also like their cover of “There She Goes” and their newer song “Now That’s What I Call Obscene”.

    • But do you prefer ‘I Hang Suspended’ or monkeys? I guess it’s hard to choose a single song over an entire infraorder.

      • Do you mean “High as Monkeys”? If so, I had to go back to their catalog and give it a listen. It’s a long song, with a bit of an Oasis vibe, and extended and heavier instrumental treatment that makes for an interesting overall track. I think I like it even better than “I Hang Suspended”.

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