Boston – Boston

While The Supremes may be the first music I can remember, Boston is the first rock and roll band that I register.  Actually, that may be revisionist history as there is one other artist and album from that period that I have worked tirelessly to bury deep in my subconscious.  Unfortunately, we will have to re-open that wound to be fair to Boston.

I was born in 1979.   This album was released in 1976.  I remember first hearing it around 1984 or 1985.  That’s a pretty long album cycle to stay relevant.  How is that even possible, you might be thinking?  Back in the 80’s, one of the easiest ways for anyone to start a record collection was the Columbia House Mail-In Order Club.  The first 12 records cost a penny, but then they would gouge you monthly from that point.  Kids would always try to create schemes to buck the system.  I remember huddling with some buddies, the carbon order form in hand, “this is what we’re gonna do.  We’re going to order the first 12 records to that abandoned house down the street.  THEY WILL NEVER FIND US!”  It truly was the precursor to today’s subscription based/MRR hyper present business models.  It just wasn’t sustainable.  But back to Boston…and that other album.

My oldest friend in the world, Spencer, had two older brothers.  They lived on our street and were babysitters and Gods to us.  When you entered their house, there was a stairwell to the immediate right that led to two bedrooms across from one another sharing a hallway.  Music was always blaring from those rooms.  Spencer’s oldest brother, Hunter, would welcome us in and let us check out his records.  His other brother Carter would never let us in and just beat the absolute snot out of us whenever we were in his presence.  Carter also possessed the first Nintendo I had ever seen, long before they became mainstream.  So we were always trying to sneak in…usually a very bad idea.

Hunter was always playing one of two records to my recollection.  These were two records EVERYONE ordered as one of their first 12 from Columbia House.  The first, of course, was Boston and the second one was…PAIN.  I can feel the razor blades in my ears…out with it….Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive. I can hear that squawking guitar so vividly.  Be gone!  BE GONE!  I don’t loathe many things, but I loathe that album.

Boston S/T is the album I most associate with my earliest elementary age.  Sadly, I can’t remember much before the age of 7.  But I can vividly remember sitting on the edge of Hunter’s bed, the sound system in front of us and “More Than A Feeling” then “Peace of Mind” blasting us backwards.  Next came “Foreplay.”  What an intro.  Just so much better than that Frampton drek.  So many Scholzian (MIT Boston grad) guitar hooks.  Power Pop Brilliance.  Beautiful vocals from the late Brad Delp.  This is rock and roll Becker!  This album has amazingly stayed relevant throughout the decades.  We came back to it in college, and I just can’t seem to turn the dial any time I hear it now.  It never lets up.

Not “just another band out of Boston.”  They are Boston.  Simple pleasures.  It’s an album that was in everyone’s collection then and still deserves to be now.

Favorite Tracks: Drop the Needle.  Let it rip.

If you do enjoy it, check out The Darkness.

Pressing: Epic PE 34188.  Original Pressing USA. 1976