I know it’s been played to death, but there’s a case to be made that Boston’s More Than A Feeling might be the best rock song ever written.
OK, maybe not, but – like Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony– it could be held up as the best example of the genre, worthy of study.
Screaming guitars and fancy acoustic pickin’. Nice. An unforgettable hook. Lyrics that grab your emotions without actually going too deep. Smart. Another great hook that acts as a bridge to the chorus, showing you that this ain’t no simple 3 chord rock song. These people were MIT students; they have depth.
So make that two unforgettable hooks. Wait! Make it three, since the chorus somehow manages to steal a power chord riff that’s been done to death and make it sound new.
A soulful melody. Sweet harmonies. Another genius bridge on the way into the solo. Oh ya, and you can sing the solo. You do sing the solo. No mindless shredding here; this is music.
All of the elements are simple, but the relative complexity of the structure, and the number of elements subtly add to your enjoyment of the song. “Like this? Great. Here’s a little something more.” It’s like chocolate sauce and sprinkles on your ice cream.
Listen: I like raw three-chord rock and blues, but a lot of masterpieces have the kind of added complexity and intelligence described above.
It’s too bad the lawyers got involved so early in their career. I always felt Boston could have given us so much more.