I remember back in the 1980’s when there was a huge hullabaloo across New England about the fact that Boston (the band) was finally going to release another album. The buildup to it was immense. It had taken them something like seven years to complete “Third Stage,” and in the months leading up to it, you would have thought the Pope was coming. Then the first single, “Amanda” hit radio and everyone flipped out, even though the song itself wasn’t exactly what we wanted to hear as freshman in high school. I mean, come on. Where was “Smokin’?”Â
So the album came out. And of course, it was a disappointment, despite its huge sales numbers. I don’t even know that it was bad (ok, it was bad), it was just that so much was made of the wait that it became totally impossibleÂ to satisfy the buildup.Â
I just heard the first Guns ‘N’ Roses single from their upcoming album, which took – get this – FOURTEEN years to make. Are you even kidding me? The last time they released an album, Bill Clinton had just taken office.Â Today, full albums mean nothing, sadly. We are, more and more, a music society built on single songs. Part of me thinks this is perfectly logical, as it’s very rare to come across an album that is packed front to back with quality. The other part of me, the sentimentalist, dearly misses discovering a full album – the joy of a great song here and the drag of a weak song there. Those days are pretty much over.
So anyway, Guns ‘N’ Roses don’t have a chance. Oh, people will go see them because they want a sniff of the old stuff, but the new album will be received exactly the same way “Third Stage” was. It’ll sell nicely, then after about five minutes it will hit your dustbin. Doesn’t even matter how good it is, the buildup has already destroyed it. Oh – and the single? Not. Good. At. All.
And who cares? I don’t. Not when Built To Spill and Band of Horses keep hitting home runs like they do.
Here’s an applicable song to today’s post by Built to Spill, called “The Wait”[audio:wait.mp3]