Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barry Goudreau - s/t (1980)

Over 6 years elapsed between the release of Boston's Don't Look Back and Third Stage albums, killing any momentum the band had after the commercial successes of their first two albums.

Barry Goudreau's self-titled solo album featuring not only his guitar playing but also vocals from Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo (incidentally Cosmo later sang lead with Goudreau's other band, Orion the Hunter in 1984 and Boston's Walk On album in 1994).

Goudreau's guitar playing and the tight vocal harmonies of Delp and Cosmo make this album sound like the Boston album that never was. The style is much more reminiscent of Boston's first two albums which both featured both Goudreau and Tom Scholz on guitars than their later albums which featured Sholz & Gary Pihl on guitars.

Unfortunately, this album led to Goudreau being fired from Boston as it was felt at the time that Goudreau was trying to steal a bit of Boston's thunder. In reality, Goudreau was just getting bored waiting for Boston to knuckle down and get to work on their third album so he decided to release a solo album to bide his time and maintain his talents.

Given the six years that passed between Don't Look Back and Third Stage Scholz should have given this album his blessing as it would have kept Boston on the radar of the listening public while he was working on Third Stage.

The material on this release is strong from the opening bars of Hard Luck through songs like What's a Fella To Do and Dreams and on through to the closing bars of Cold Cold World which closes the album. While some of the songs definitely sound like they just as easily could have come from a Boston album, songs like Mean Woman Blues sound more reminiscent of REO Speedwagon's debut album than anything Boston ever recorded.

As far as Boston related material is concerned, this album sounds more like Boston than any of the other derivatives (Orion the Hunter, Return to Zero, Delp/Goudreau, etc.). Arguably, this album is more faithful to the sound of Boston's first two albums than Third Stage, Walk On, or Corporate America were.

If you thoroughly enjoyed Boston's first two albums this is a MUST HAVE! Heck this album is a welcome addition to any collection.

Related Links
Barry Goudreau (official site)
Barry Goudreau (wikipedia)
Brad Delp (wikipedia)
Fran Cosmo (wikipedia)
Boston (official site)
Boston (wikipedia)


drewzepmeister said...

I had no idea that Barry Goudreau put out a solo album. I'll have to check this one out!

Perplexio said...

drew: It's an awesome release. I think Tom Scholz did his best to limit the marketing and publicity associated with Goudreau's solo album. At the time Goudreau was still in Boston and the release of this album led to Goudreau's dismissal. I've read that record label execs put a label on the album mentioning Boston, something that Goudreau was against. He didn't want to detract from Boston and he wanted the album to be a success or failure on its own merits not based on its connections to Boston. Although listening to it, it's near impossible to seperate it from Boston.

TheChicGeek said...

Awesome blog, Perplexio! I'm a follower now :)
I'm so glad you wandered by mine so I could find you! Great review!