Greatest Hits


Epic, 1997

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


This is all the Boston you'll ever need.

Boston remains a resonant classic rock landmark, a near-perfect rock ‘n’ roll ride that has lost none of its luster or power. Every single song from it gets played somewhere in the country on a classic rock station; the less creative ones stick with "More Than A Feeling," while your better stations will play "Something About You." If you're above the age of 45, you probably know the whole album by heart.

The trouble was, Boston never followed up with anything even close. Don't Look Back was a similar-sounding album with less memorable results, but it was still pretty good. But then nearly a decade went by before the subpar Third Stagemy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 , and Walk On and Corporate America were bland and hopelessly out of date. There were a couple of decent songs on each, sure, but with each passing year fewer people cared.

Perhaps sensing this, the compilers of Greatest Hits only pick one or two songs each from those final four albums and five from Boston. To fill the space, there are two versions of a new song called "Higher Power," a second new song (“Tell Me”) and a version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that is completely pointless. That's four songs that have taken the place of music that could have been taken from Third Stage, for example, in an effort to redeem those albums the way most compilations like this do. It's because there is so little to redeem.

Assuming you don't already own Boston, this collection is ideal, because the five best songs from that album are here, from the party arena rock of "Smokin" and the near-perfect "Foreplay/Long Time" to the driving "Peace Of Mind" and the powerful, erstwhile "More Than A Feeling." Four songs from Don't Look Back are present and attempt to replicate the debut to diminishing results, save for the powerful title track.

Third Stage is represented by the fine acoustic power ballad "Amanda" and "Cool The Engines," while the final two albums get one shrug-worthy power ballad each. NOTE: This was first released in 1997 before Corporate America, so the set leads off with the new song “Tell Me” and offers two versions of “Higher Power,” one acoustic, one electric. The reissue omits “Tell Me” and the preferred acoustic take of “Higher Power” in favor of the song from Corporate America. Get either one you want. It doesn’t matter.

The truth is that the non-Boston songs tend to lack the spark that fueled that debut; except for "Don't Look Back" and maybe "Amanda," nothing else is truly necessary except for the dedicated. But for a one-stop shop of all the radio songs and the best of the debut, Greatest Hits does its job well in hitting all the highlights of the Boston catalog.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


The remaster is the one to get. This doesn't replace "Boston", but it does replace "Don't Look Back" I think. "Higher Power" is a great song worth having, and "I Had A Good Time" from "Corporate America" is much better than "Tell Me". The title track from "Walk On" should have been included too.

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