Music is the soundtrack to our lives. And on Christmas Day 2012, four days after the world was supposed to end, GuysNation columnist Bryan Lienesch was given the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’. As he flipped through it, an idea dawned on him right then and there: he would attempt to knock all 1,001 albums off his list. Not just before he dies, but as fast as life would allow.

This is the Bucket Beats List.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Over the years, there have been probably hundreds of acts that were inspired by the likes of Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and others. But perhaps none of them came faster or rose to success more quickly than that of Boston.

The band was formed by Donald Thomas Sholz, more often known as Tom Sholz, a sound engineer he jumped out from behind the controls to try MAKING music himself. He dabbled in recordings ever since the turn of the decade, but it was only in 1975, when he actually used some of Aerosmith’s equipment to make some recordings, that he truly got serious.

Eventually the band, which, yes, is from Boston, put together their self-titled debut album in Sholz’s home (with the exception of one track, which was a product of those 1975 recordings). The end product, selling its 17 millionth copy by 2003, would be blindsided by the fame it received.

Boston BostonAnd 17 million people really can’t be wrong. In listening to the record, which has a runtime of just under 40 minutes, you can hear some real musical genius, and you’re instantly glad that Sholz had the courage to step out from behind the glass.

It’s a smorgasbord of sounds, a mishmash of medleys. There’s the poppy sound of ‘More Than a Feeling’, the soft rock of ‘Peace of Mind’ and the psychedelic strumming of ‘Smokin’. The masterpiece of these is ‘Foreplay Long Time’, which opens with a frenetic face meltage not unlike Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ and slowly descends into homier, country-esque riffs.

There’s no denying that the finished album is a treat for the ears, but, in my summation, there’s a reason why Boston’s work doesn’t live up to the icons it seems to salute.

Lyrically, much of what the band has to offer is rudimentary. It’s certainly complex compared to some of today’s most popular tracks (Seriously, the Jonas Brothers are back?), but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the best works of some of the bands Boston even once opened up for like Black Sabbath.

However, I readily admit that this criticism is quite nitpicky. Boston certainly passes the audio test with flying colors, and, when you considered it was all done with good, honest instrumental work, it takes their art to a whole other level.

You see Boston didn’t even use a synthesizer in producing the eight tracks in their 1976 release which is almost mindboggling when you consider that the band’s brainchild came from the room where the “magic happens”.

The record is so melodically flawless that Sholz even mentioned a nasty rumor going around about how he created the whole record using a computer program. Considering there was no GrageBand let alone MacBooks in his time, that alone might’ve been worth commending.

However, the TRUTH behind the creation of ‘Boston’ is even more astonishing, and there’s no doubt as to why it’s on the list of 1,001 albums you must listen to before you die.

Favorite tracks?
3. Peace of Mind
2. More Than a Feeling
1. Foreplay Long Time

Least favorite tracks?
3. Hitch a Ride
2. Something About You
1. Smokin

Do you really need to listen to this album before you die?
Considering it’s a perfect hybrid of some of the most popular modern genres, I’m going with yes.

When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for social media shenanigans!