Sunday, February 9, 2014
Song Of The Week: 2/9/14
Song: "The Torch"
Artist: Dropkick Murphys
Album: "Live On St. Patrick's Day From Boston, MA"
"The Torch" is a song the appears to be about a bitter old man who has done hard labor his entire life and is now facing his last years on this Earth. He is broken down physically from all his years of hard work and he really hasn't shown his family much in the way of affection. In fact, the only thing he has handed down to his son is his bitterness and his occupation, yet, his loved ones still pray for him in his dying days even though all they receive back from him is scorn. The Dropkick Murphys formed as a band back in 1996, hailing from Quincy, Massachusetts, just south of Boston. The band received their first big break when fellow Bostonians, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones selected them as openers on their 1997 tour. After releasing several EP's, The Dropkick's were signed by Hellcat Records, a sub-label of Epitaph Records owned by Tim Armstrong of Rancid. In 1998, the band released their debut full length, "Do Or Die". Shortly after the release of this album, lead singer Mike McColgan left the band to become a Boston firefighter. In 1999, the band recruited Al Barr, formerly of The Bruisers, to share vocal duties with bassist Ken Casey. Barr's first vocal appearance with the Dropkick's was "The Gang's All Here", which featured the single "10 Years Of Service". This album is the beginnings of where the "Dropkick" sound started to really develop, hardcore/street punk meshed with Irish punk. In 2000, the band released the compilation, "The Singles Collection: Vol. 1". This comp featured b-sides, EP tracks and rarities that the band had put out up to that date. 2001 saw the band release their third album, "Sing Loud, Sing Proud!". By this time, the band was expanding, now featuring bagpipes, mandolins, keyboards, etc. This album is also where the original version of "The Torch", my song of the week, is found. 2002 saw the band release their very first live album, "Live On St. Patrick's Day From Boston, MA". This show was recorded at the now defunct Avalon Ballroom in Boston. In 2003, the Dropkick's released "Blackout". This album featured the singles "Walk Away", "Fields Of Athenry" and the crowd favorite "The Dirty Glass". In 2004, the Dropkick Murphys provided the rally cry for the would-be world champion Boston Red Sox with their single "Tessie". In 2005, the compilation "The Singles Collection: Vol. 2" was released, again this comp featured rarities, live songs and b-sides just like the first volume. 2005 saw the band drop "The Warrior's Code". This album reached #49 on the charts and featured the singles "Sunshine Highway" and "The Warrior's Code", a song dedicated to legendary Lowell, MA boxer Mickey Ward. This album also featured the anthem "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" whose lyrics are taken from a Woody Guthrie poem and was featured prominently in the Martin Scorcese movie "The Departed". The song is now a Boston anthem and is played heavily as a rallying cry at most Boston sporting events. In 2007, the band formed their own label, Born & Bred Records and released their next album on that label. "The Meanest Of Times" debuted at #20 on the charts and it's lead single, The State Of Massachusetts" was ranked 83rd in Rolling Stone's Top 100 songs of 2007. In 2010, the Dropkick's released their second live album, "Live On Landsdowne, Boston, MA". The show was recorded at the House Of Blues in Boston and the cd/dvd reached #25 on the charts. The success continued for the band in 2011 as their album, "Going Out In Style", debuted at #6, the highest charting album of the Dropkick Murphys career so far. This album featured the singles "Going Out In Style", "Memorial Day" and "Sunday Hardcore Matinee". A bonus edition cd/dvd was released shortly after featuring the band's live headlining set at historical Fenway Park. In 2013, the band released their 8th album, "Signed And Sealed In Blood". This album featured the singles "Rose Tattoo", "The Season's Upon Us" and "The Boys Are Back". The Dropkick's played their largest headlining show to date after this release at Boston's TD Garden. After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the Dropkick's released an EP through Itunes called "Rose Tattoo: For Boston Charity EP". This 3 song EP features acoustic renditions of their songs as well as guest vocals by Bruce Springsteen. All the proceeds of that EP go directly to the victims of that horrible attack. Currenty, the Dropkick's are preparing for their annual St. Patrick's Day shows in Boston. They are a very active band and when you think Celtic punk, the Dropkick's are very much at the forefront of that genre. They are not shy about representing the working class and the blue collar folks and they take major pride in their Irish roots and their Boston neighborhoods.