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Barry Goudreau - 'Barry Goudreau' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ee/00/31/523_barrygoudreaucdcover_1284140440.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 10, 2010    
 
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A must for any self-respecting fan of Boston.

Dismayed at the lack of action in the Boston camp whilst leader Tom Scholz was fostering a reputation for the agonizingly slow output of his band, guitarist Barry Goudreau put out this solo album with the help of Boston singer Brad Delp and drummer Sib Hashian back in 1980. Perhaps to avoid sounding exactly like Boston he also enlisted another singer with a higher register than Delp – the then unknown Fran Cosmo - and the two pretty much alternated lead vocals throughout. The album was produced by Boston’s ‘executive producer’ John Boylan.
Musically the sound isn’t a million miles away from a slightly less overdubbed version of the Boston sound, with the same phased riffs, guitar harmonies and layered vocals, albeit in a more straight ahead manner – more ‘Rock & Roll Band’ and ‘Party’ than ‘Foreplay/Long Time’ and ‘A Man I’ll Never Be’ if you like. I’ve always felt that the Delp sung opener ‘Hard Luck’ is one of the weaker tracks and is eclipsed by the first glimpse of Cosmo as a singer and writer on the soaring follow-up ‘Nothin’ To Lose’, but Brad comes roaring back with the raunchy rock and roll of ‘What’s A Fella To Do’ and ‘Mean Woman Blues’, each featuring some tasty lead guitar from Goudreau. It’s an album that grows from start to finish too with Cosmo’s ‘Leaving Tonight’ and the minor hit single ‘Dreams’ giving way to ‘Life Is What We Make It’ and the sublime ‘Sailing Away’ before Cosmo’s outstanding ‘Cold Cold World’ ends the record on a brilliant high.
The Boston comparisons are inevitable and I even once bought a tape of so-called unreleased Boston tracks from a trader only to find it was this album. The ironies in this story are manifold, not least the promotion of the album being killed stone dead by label Portrait (a subsidiary of Boston’s label, CBS) after Tom Scholz complained about the promo ads claiming “the guitar sound heard on twelve million Boston albums”. Goudreau would never play with Boston again and went on to form Orion The Hunter with Cosmo, Delp and Hashian would appear on Boston’s ‘Third Stage’ before a bizarre swap would see Delp leave Boston to form RTZ with Goudreau (and later record as Delp & Goudreau) and Cosmo would go on to replace him in Boston before the two singers would be reunited in Boston in the 90’s.
The album is subjected to the usual classy remaster treatment here with sleeve notes by Dave Cockett and some truly excellent photos. If I’m not mistaken this is the first time this record has been made available on CD in the UK, and along with Orion The Hunter and the debut RTZ album is a must for any self-respecting fan of Boston.

Phil Ashcroft

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