Boston “Boston”

It’s really hard to criticize something like this album–I mean it’s like criticizing The Dictionary–though, when I say that, I’m assuming “the dictionary of the English language,” and if you don’t speak English, the book isn’t of much use.

Listen to the record!

That was an attempted allegory. Note: edit out that first paragraph before posting.

Listen to the record!

Everyone knows the story of how Tom Scholz, MIT grad and scientist, was working for GE developing the Doomsday Machine when, while tinkering in his basement workshop, developed all those compressors and distortion devices that– when built into what are known as “guitar pedals” –have allowed future generations of mindless wankers to pick up an electric guitar for the first time and in fifteen minutes learn how to make noise like a goddamn god. When Andy Warhol said that “fifteen minutes of fame” thing, this is exactly what he was talking about.

Listen to the record!

That “Listen to the record!” business is from the liner notes, and I just love liner notes. It makes me so sad to think about all the young people and their MP3s and how they don’t even have an idea of the concept of liner notes. These liner notes discuss how the guys got together, first called their band “Springfield” and when things weren’t happening, changed the name to “Boston” and the rest is history. There is also a discussion of “technology,” but I’m just listening to the record. The song “More Than A Feeling,” despite being seriously in the top ten of alltime overplayed songs, is surprisingly fresh sounding–I mean considering– with that acoustic part and the hard rock part– I know it should sound more stale than it does– well, maybe it’s just been such a “Long Time” since my stereo needle touched vinyl. The song, “Long Time” incidentally, was used in studies. It was found that people of a certain age group (my age) could pick up a guitar for the first time and play the opening guitar part nearly note for note, particularly guitar store employees.

I’m making fun of this record a little, but I have to admit I’m actually enjoying listening to it, so if you’re a fan, old or new, and you want say “Speen thinks it rocks” go ahead, it won’t bug me too much. Really, it’s not entirely these guys’ fault that some of these guitar flourishes are what many of us will hear as we’re dying, coming out of a coma, having sex, or every time we turn the ignition of a car or open a can of Pepsi. Maybe Scholz DID invent the doomsday machine after all. Look at the cover art closely, if it doesn’t cause flashbacks to commence. It looks like the Earth is exploding and entire cities are being saved by being jetted off into space by dome-topped flying saucers. The one closest to us, of course, contains Boston. One wonders if Kokomo made it.

Lyrically–there are no printed lyrics on this particular sleeve, so I’m trying to make them out. Smokin’ indeed rhymes with tokin’. It’s interesting, with all the millions of times I’ve heard “More Than A Feeling” I never heard the “Mary Ann slipping away” part. Who is this “Mary Ann”? Seeing how this record came out in 1976, you have to figure the lyricist must have been watching endless Gilligan’s Island reruns, and how many people had a crush on that Mary Ann? I know I did, but it’s interesting, once I got to a certain age, I switched over from Mary Ann to Ginger. I really believe that’s a sign of maturity. Ask your friends who they prefer– it’s a good test to separate the men from the boys. I’m trying to remember who the eighth person on that island was… Anyway, you KNOW that The Professor could have had a short wave radio rescue transmission going in about five minutes, but he obviously didn’t want to. Thurston had Lovey and The Skipper had Gilligan (don’t pretend you didn’t know) so who else was there to satisfy the two hot women other than Russell “Magic” Johnson (not his real name) who– well they couldn’t really show it on TV then like they could today– got more ass than a makeshift bamboo outhouse.

I would apologize for that last paragraph, but you’ll never see it. I just started drinking coffee again and I’m getting carried away here. Memo to Speen: DELETE the paragraph about lyrics before posting.

Side two starts out with a really corny, compelling, unoriginal and utterly awesome rocker called “Rock & Roll Band” which is probably about playing in a rock & roll band, but I’m not going to fall back into that listening to the lyrics trap. I wasn’t actually able to get to the end of side two because this particular record, which was found on “the street,” seems to have about a kilo of cocaine encrusted in the later grooves of the second side. I would take the initiative to clean it, but I can’t find a hundred dollar bill.


9 Responses to “Boston “Boston””

  1. 1 Jeff
    June 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    oh, I’m glad to see you reviewing again! I don’t think I saw yr post from January before either.

    Boston was also notable to those of us who grew up in Toledo, Ohio in the 70s because Tom Scholz was supposedly originally from Toledo too. Or something. They certainly played Boston on the radio there as if he were anyway.

    So much so that it never even occurred to me to ever buy this record, because it was just ALWAYS on. Everywhere. Always. You’re right, though, somehow these songs still kind of have a fresh sound to them, as incredibly overplayed as they have been over the years. I kind of hate it, but what can you do? You may as well hate air. Or the dictionary of the English Language, as you point out. Or would have, if you hadn’t edited out that part.

  2. June 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Didn’t actually edit anything out, seeing how I’m getting paid by the word. Or would be if I was getting paid. I wonder if he considered naming the band Toledo? We’d be living in a different world if so. Or Holy Toledo. Or The Toledo 5. It’s interesting to compare Boston to the MC5. Both are two-guitar hard rock bands with a white guy with a big afro. Did you know that Portland, Oregon was almost named Boston? That would be weird. And Boston, the city, was almost named Trimountaine? Boston’s second album was almost called “Arrival” but they found out ABBA had a record by that title– how embarrassing! So they named it the same name as a movie about Bob Dylan (which was actually almost named “Donut Look Back”) So I’m working as a “barista” at Queequeg’s Coffee in Boston, Oregon, listing to the album “Arrival” by the band Toledo, which inspires me to start my own band, Big Chief Hair Farmer. Can you listen to MC5 on an MP3 player? Or will that cause a crack in the Universe?

  3. March 10, 2011 at 3:43 am

    kitkat66: click THIS Sporty Spice, the prev. SS is A BROKEN LINK. This SS takes you to WE WILL NEVER FORGET 9/16.

  4. March 10, 2011 at 3:45 am

    kitkat66: click THIS Sporty Spice, the prev. SS is A BROKEN LINK. This SS takes you to WE WILL NEVER FORGET 9/16.

  5. March 10, 2011 at 3:46 am

    kitkat66: click THIS Sporty Spice, the prev. SS is A BROKEN LINK. This SS takes you to HELLO YOUNG LOVERS.

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