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Sep 12

Big Dipper: “Faith Healer”

Big Dipper -- Boo-Boo

As you can imagine, Yogi Bear was scarred for life when he walked into the cabin to find this…

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Big Dipper is yet another great Boston band (see the Del Fuegos) from the ’80s who never got the recognition they probably were hoping for and mostly deserved. It’s not entirely surprising, though, given the somewhat awkward-sounding vocals of Bill Goffrier. His often high, wavery voice was a bit of an acquired taste — it sometimes sounded like a 14-year-old boy whose voice was just on the far side of changing, taking a crack at leading a rock band.

But they had the song quality in their favor, which obviously goes a long way (as if you couldn’t figure that out, seeing as that’s pretty much what this blog is all about). And among my favorite of their semi-to-non hits was “Faith Healer,” the lead track off of their 1987 debut EP, Boo-Boo. It’s a great punky, Buzzcocks-like number, with a sound that resembles their Boston co-horts the Pixies, who also released their debut EP in 1987. It’s a song that’s certainly a high point for them, and maybe that was part of their problem later on — although they would reach for the heavens on their next album (yes, it was in fact titled Heavens), they never truly surpassed “Faith Healer.” Setting the bar so high so early on can have its drawbacks, it would seem…

2 Comments

  1. Gnostic says:

    Their EP was their introduction, Heavens was great, and their best was Craps. It also sounds very, very little like the Pixies.

    1. Heavens was indeed great — my point was that no individual song necessarily surpassed “Faith Healer.” On the whole, Heavens is my favorite Big Dipper album, however. As for Craps, you don’t seem to be in the majority with that opinion — I’ll have to return to it and give it another go. And with the Pixies reference, it’s not something I generally hear in Big Dipper, but in this song the somewhat skewed melody and guitar in the verse is reminiscent.

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