Yes, life is a journey. An organ humming echoey journey with guitars squealing in the background. And by the measure of this track, life is brief clocking in a little over 90 seconds.
3. It's Easy
If you don't look back and take the journey, you find life is easy takin' it day by day. I used to rock out in my little room as a kid air guitaring and everything. If that sounds embarrassing to admit, it's even more embarrassing to say I was caught doing this by a stranger. One day I was rocking out and had left the shades to my window open. I looked out and saw a telephone technician standing on the telephone pole staring at me. Mortified, I kept rocking out because I thought the only thing that could be worse was if I stopped and looked as idiotic as I felt. At least kids today can throw on a plastic guitar and claim they were practicing for a video game. Are you sure life is easy Tom Scholz?
4. A Man I'll Never Be
When I heard this song, I could not believe it wasn't a bigger hit (I think it barely crawled into the Top 40). "A Man I'll Never Be" isn't just a great Boston power ballad, it's one of the best of the form I've ever heard. It has that classic Boston structure of building up tension, releasing and then starting all over again but in a love song form. And the way that big theme-ish guitar part keeps recurring with little variations leading up to the big solo is a marvel. As a teenager who had heard the "Let's be friends" speech from girls I could definitely relate to the lyrics because I felt like the ladies were looking for someone other than me. Though I'm happily married now, I still think this is a brilliant piece of art.
5. Feelin' Satisfied
Or for me aka "That Beach Boys sounding song". Tom Scholz only had a mere two years to work on this record and has said this album was about half finished when it was released. I took that statement at face value because I felt the second half of this album seemed a little thin sonically compared to the first side. Still, "Feelin' Satisfied" had those Boston hallmarks of stop and go guitar licks, harmony vocals and handclaps a plenty. The third single from Don't Look Back, "Feelin' Satisfied" sounds like the foundation of a great Boston sound that was not finished. Strangely, I do feel satisfied. When I saw Boston live in the 80's I thought they were a little dull but enjoyed hearing this one.
Boston is not a terribly deep band lyrically, they were a great party band. Even with their clean crisp atmosphere, there is a loopy bit of 70's sleaze in here that gives a little flava. Easily the funnest track on the record, I just imagined a happening 70's kind of par-tay when I would listen to this. The kind where you approach women and call them "Mama" while smoking a lot and drinking Billy Beer. Because we are...two wild and crazy guys.
7. Used To Bad News
My wife suggested this as my personal theme song which fit because I was playing it for sort of that reason anyway. She pointed out this was a happy sounding jam which is true, I was listening to the breezy way it handles the bad news. "Used To Bad News" is one of my fave Boston tracks because I like the laid back beat that suddenly launches into an organ solo followed by a blistering guitar solo. Like if The Eagles had jammed with Uriah Heep. Hopefully the worst of 2009 is over or I'll wear a hole through this track on the CD player!
One of the weaker Boston cuts in my opinion, it's so slight I was surprised to hear it on a bootleg that I believe predates the first record. It's not bad though, because until you got to Corporate America there was no such thing as a bad Boston song in my book. "Don't Be Afraid" meshed together boogie guitars, a John Mellencamp beat and the word "Love" being repeated a lot. Who knows, maybe with four more years Scholz could have made more of this one.
And there you have it, an album made for having a positive outlook on life. Remember to don't look back, get used to bad news and party til you're feelin satisfied. Don't be afraid of the journey even if you're a man you'll never be. While looking up clips on you tube for the music this band Piston kept coming up that seems to have covered the Don't Look Back album in '89. I'm not sure where this band came from and they don't really pull off the sound they're going for but it is fun to watch them try.