[118] Boston – Boston

10 Jul

“More Than A Feeling” comes on  – on my Radio, at a party, in a store, at my desk – and I barely even hear it any more.


Tell me honestly:  How many of you knew that these were the opening lyrics of “More Than A Feeling”?

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day

I certainly didn’t.

“Peace Of Mind” is the next song, and again it almost flows past me without leaving any impression at all.  These tracks are the very definition of overplayed even before you begin to take into account my years listening to Classic Rock radio in retail stores . . .

So my challenge to myself for as long as I can stand it is to see if I can get beyond decades of inoffensive and ineffective familiarity to figure out why this album was such a mega hit in the first place.

Would I enjoy these monumental pillars of corporate rock if I hadn’t been spoon fed them since birth?  Is Boston the Marmite / Ribena of music?

[An explanation for fellow Americans and other aliens.  Marmite (called Vegemite in Australia and elsewhere) is decayed yeast that some spread on toast.  Ribena is a sugary sweet blackcurrant cordial that many people water down and drink.  Both are staples of English cuisine.  Both are absolutely foul unless you are subjected to them before your palette and free will are established.]

My instinct is that there is something meritorious here, especially when the blues rocking “Smokin'” is playing, but it is worrying that I even need to ask the question.

Listening to all the pieces that make each song, I can hear the acoustic guitar intros I enjoy, the crunching bass riffs and driving electric rhythms, the tight vocal harmonies.  It is a sound that launched a thousand would-be careers, and similar to Nevermind two decades later many of those so inspired might have been better served becoming teachers or accountants.

The multitude of pale Xeroxes spawned by this particular sound, and specifically its huge success, seems to have reached back through the years and tarnished the original.  And it is a shame.

I am unable to hear Boston outside of its context.

Nevertheless there is still enough truth and technique of show for an echo of the initial impact to still resonate, and for the songs to still find a welcome home in my playlist rotation, especially the somewhat lesser-played second side.

Boston, it turns out there really is still “Something About You.”

Next Week: The Bothy Band – Old Hag You Have Killed Me

Owned before blogging? No. (10 of 118 = 8%)
Heard before blogging? Yes. (18 of 118 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (97 of 118 = 82%)


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