Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No Respect For Boston

It's interesting, the extent to which your world view is shaped by the year you were born, especially coupled with where you grew up. The debut album from BOSTON (1976) was considered by many to be just about the coolest thing in the world in its day. I think it's sold something along the lines of 17 million copies. To a certain degree, Tom Scholz developed a unique guitar sound, primarily the result of technical gimmicks. He basically succeeded in capturing the essence of '70s mainstream rock, but with just a slightly updated twist.

In any event, I can't remember the last time I pulled this album out to actually listen to it. However, I would imagine I wouldn't have to go too long without hearing something from it, if I were willing to tune my radio to a "classic rock" station. Look at the song titles:

Side One
More Than a Feeling (Tom Scholz) - 4:46
Peace of Mind (Scholz) - 5:02
Foreplay/Long Time (Scholz) - 7:47
Side Two
Rock and Roll Band (Scholz) - 2:59
Smokin' (Bradley Delp, Scholz) - 4:20
Hitch a Ride (Scholz) - 4:13
Something About You (Scholz) - 3:48
Let Me Take You Home Tonight (Delp) - 4:43

The entire first side was a staple of FM radio from release until at least the mid-'80s. "Rock and Roll Band", "Smokin'" and "Let Me Take You Home Tonight" all received heavy airplay as well.

It is just absolutely WILD to me that this album did not a find a home anywhere in the "Top 500 Albums" of all time. Wild. But, I was born in 1970. This album, released late-summer '76, was really HUGE in 1977, which is about the first year that I really became aware of music: what was on the radio, what my friends' older brothers liked, etc. This was the time of "We Will Rock You"/"We Are The Champions" by Queen, "Come Sail Away" by Styx, the live version of "Ridin' The Storm Out" by REO Speedwagon, "Night Moves" by Bob Seger, "Closer To The Heart" and "Xanadu" by Rush...I could go on, but you get the gist.

Now, I look back on the list above, and other tunes running through my head right now, and I'll freely admit most of it hasn't aged well. I was certainly just a kid at the time. Like I said, it's interesting, the extent to which your world view is shaped by the year you were born. At least, that's been the experience of this Peoria boy.


Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

As a 10th grader at the time, those of us that listened to Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, and others were considered the "cool" kids. The top 40 radio kids loved Boston and thought they had tapped into some "coolness".


Boston sucked ass. But they did sell a bazillion records and I will tell you that of the 1400 or so vinyl discs I still have, there is nary a Boston Rag in there.

10:58 AM, May 09, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

I forgot to mention that I've read about Boston's live shows (which I believe were rather few and far between) being MONUMENTALLY AWFUL!!!

Apparently, they existed almost 100% on studio trickery.

I'll admit, though, if "More Than A Feeling" came on right now, my foot would start tapping. Some things from your childhood just don't leave you. It's that age thing again.

Your reaction to Boston is probably more like my reaction to Poison or Motley Crue...which were big Top 40 bands when I was in 10th grade!!!

1:01 PM, May 09, 2006  

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