Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A-Z of forgotten classic songs: A

I love Amanda.

No, I'm not having an illicit affair or anything like that, I'm talking about the song 'Amanda' by Boston. Track one on their fabulous (and frequently overlooked) third album, 'Third Stage' from 1986.

The song sounds like the mother of all 80s AOR soft rock ballads and is the perfect introduction to the album.

Despite being AOR perfection, the song is really quite understated and subdued. It starts with a gently strummed acoustic guitar and builds up by applying layers of vocals, melodic guitars, vocal harmonies and power-ballad hook lines, whilst still keeping its relaxed pace and mellow vibe.

The prejudiced ear will hear a typical AOR ballad with syrupy vocals and cliched lyrics. The open minded listener will discover one of the most beautiful, simple love songs in rock.

Go on, listen without prejudice.

For what its worth, I think the whole album is a masterpiece. In the great tradition of musicals and prog-rock concept albums, variations on the tune of 'Amanda' crop up several times on the album, and every time it is brilliant. Unlike many rock albums, this album really shows restraint - yes it does rock, but it carefully builds up to the big rock songs with several much softer songs first. Rather than thrusting the rock in your face it is held back until track 4, with the first three songs acting like a kind of gentle seduction before the... Erm, I could continue that line of reasoning to describe this album, but I think I'll stop there.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home