Boston

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

Picked up the remastered Boston’s debut album. Now, I want to assume this album needs no introduction but that is unlikely (kids these days…) so for the uninitiated, this is a short summary:

  1. Tom Scholz was the founder, producer and engineer of Boston and he has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He was working at Polaroid before Boston made it.
  2. Singer Brad Delp worked in a coffee maker manufacturing plant.
  3. Most of the album was recorded between the two of them; with Scholz playing and recording most of the instruments in his basement and Delp handled the lead, hamonising and backing vocals.
  4. Tom Scholz liked overdubbing and he was going to use it,
    dammit. As an old Guitar World article put it, Boston mocked the Mormon
    Tabernacle Choir.
  5. This is a 30th anniversary release (that’s right, it was first released in 1976).

The remastering job is outstanding, so if you already are a fan and wondering if you should pick it up, the short answer is “yes”, and the long answer is “be a man, do the right thing“. If you are one of the unwashed plebes who have not heard of the album, then be aware that this album is the ultimate rock and roll fantasy and is much more than a feeling.

Very interesting article on the book “This Is Your Brain on Music”. Probably explains why I cannot accept new rock music, and also why old *coughbonjovicough* songs make me happy even though I know they are crap.

Finally caught an episode of the second season of Singapore Idol, because it was “Rock the House” night.

Song by song run down (I don’t know the names of the contestants):

  • You Give Love A Bad Name: Pretty decent! Good voice and stage presence. I was impressed. Song choice could have been edgier though. Off to a good start.
  • I’m A Believer: I was this close to pitching my TV out the window. What the hell was that? Voice was a squeak, stage presence was a joke. And if that’s a bloody rock song, I’m John Petrucci.
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine – Wasn’t all bad vocally, zero stage presence.
  • Livin’ On A Prayer – Decent voice, but the vocal acrobatics made it excruciating to listen to.
  • Some Good Charlotte song I think?: Singing: rubbish. Song choice: blah.
  • Wishing I Was There: Mmm…bland is the only word that came to mind.
  • Plush: Tried too hard. Aping will only get you so far.

Verdict: I want my hour back.

P.S. That they used The Show Must Go On for the episode preview made me very angry. The song means something to Queen fans, dammit. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

I:

  • now consider David Gilmour of Pink Floyd to be the greatest guitarist alive, used to be Steve Vai

  • have been seeking out as many performances of Beethoven’s 9th as I can, so I can decide which I like best. For now, it is Furtwangler’s ’51 recording

  • am listening to a lot of classical music, Chinese, Indian, European

  • am heavily into the old blues and jazz guys: Blind Willie Johnson, Charlie Christian, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Miles Davis

  • love the old Chinese divas, especially Bai Guang

Oh my, is that my life flashing before my eyes?

“Best Of” lists. I used to make and remake them all the time when I was younger. Here’s my current list:

  1. Led Zeppelin IV
  2. Sting – The Soul Cages
  3. Beatles – Revolver
  4. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
  5. AC/DC – Powerage
  6. Dream Theater – Awake
  7. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
  8. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
  9. U2 – Achtung Baby
  10. Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger

I do not consider classical works albums, otherwise Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis will be up there, somewhere.

What a farce. Oasis’ Definitely Maybe was voted best album ever by readers of the Book of British Hit Singles and the music magazine NME, via a poll conducted over a year.

Oasis does have some great songs, but is Definitely Maybe, which is arguably not even the best Oasis album, better than Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (no. 2)? Dark Side of the Moon (no. 8)? A Night at the Opera (no. 19)?

Just goes to show popularity contests are worthless.