More Than a Feeling

September 1976. Like I told you in this post from early on, about the David Sylvian song “Orpheus,” I was working at McDonald’s and spending all my spare money on records. Music was my most reliable friend even back then, as it has been through all my life. It never let me down. It was always there for me. Still is.

“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”

“More Than a Feeling,” the opening song to Boston’s debut album is, in my opinion, one of the greatest classic rock songs of all time. Nestled in at the other end of the A-side of the record is the epic “Foreplay/Long Time” medley, with its magnificent guitar effects in the bridge between the two pieces and its driving beat and harmonies. 

Today I discovered, through the daily music digest by Canadian music broadcaster and blogger Alan Cross, the YouTube channel of musician, producer and teacher Rick Beato, who does a fantastic deconstruction of the song. (You’ll remember from my posts on Sharon Van Etten’s “Seventeen” and Wolf Alice’s “Don’t Delete the Kisses,” how I love it when someone over-analyzes music even more than I do; in those two cases, it was the band members as guests on the podcast Song Exploder. Hey, overthinking and over-analyzing music is part of my enjoyment of it.) 

The Beato episode about Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” is fascinating. He skillfully, like a surgeon, dissects the song and finds things about it we may not have noticed before. And just to think the song was recorded almost 45 years ago without most of the technology heavily relied upon in studios nowadays… heck, someone with an Apple computer and a few music-making programs at home almost has more tools at their disposal than bandleader Tom Scholz had. But, man, as Beato says, he thought of everything, and it’s all real… not cut-and-pasted. The whole song is double-tracked, meaning each part is played twice, identically, and the recordings overlaid in the mixing. Stunning! I really urge you to watch his video… I’ve been listening to this song for 44 years and heard new elements through him.

I was also playing this record a lot when with that first serious girlfriend, a relationship I mentioned in my post on David Bowie’s “A New Career in a New Town.”

“When I’m tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day
And dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped away”

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official video for the song from Boston’s YouTube channel. The audio quality is weak but, remember, Sweety enjoys watching the performances…

And here’s the official audio from the studio version:

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