Ummm. When I hear the term Classic Rock used in anything Boston’s self titled debut from 1976 is one of those albums that comes to mind!
This album was and is huge. Not only in the sonics department but in sales as well! Currently over 17 Million sold in the U.S and in Canada this album has sold over a Million as well considering Canada’s population is about 25 Million!
Mastermind Guitarist and Songwriter Tom Scholz basically recorded this whole album at the time (1976) for cheap. What I heard all these years is this album is basically the demo’s that Tom recorded in his basement before Boston got there record deal! Crazy how good this album still sounds today for that matter. Tom didn’t like the Record Company handling his Music so hence began his battle with the record company for years to come.
I first purchased not this album but Boston’s second album 1978’s Don’t Look Back which I reviewed a ways back as my friend John Young had the debut so I always heard it and then a few years later Tbone bought it so I just borrowed his but I eventually purchased it!
This is a mega album of many changes. Power Rock/Power Pop/Power Prog. It’s all here for the taking folks!
The Dudes Of Boston..
Brad Delp – lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar
Tom Scholz – electric guitars, lead guitar, acoustic guitars, clavinet, organ, bass guitar, design consultant, remastering, liner notes, production, engineering
Barry Goudreau – rhythm guitars, lead guitars on “Foreplay/Long Time” and “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”
Fran Sheehan – bass guitar on “Foreplay” and “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”
Sib Hashian – drums
Jim Masdea – drums on “Rock & Roll Band”
Basically Tom does everything on this record but the one thing he does not have is drummer Sib’s cool 76 Fro!
Yeah man Sib is Rock N Roll…..
No. Title Length
1. “More Than a Feeling” 4:46
2. “Peace of Mind” 5:02
3. “Foreplay/Long Time” 7:47
No. Title Length
4. “Rock & Roll Band” 3:00
5. “Smokin'” (Brad Delp, Scholz) 4:22
6. “Hitch a Ride” 4:12
7. “Something About You” 3:48
8. “Let Me Take You Home Tonight” (Brad Delp)
So the album begins with More Than A Feeling. This is one of those tracks that we have all heard. What could I possibly say about an AOR Killer Classic?! Well for starters if you were one of the original folks who bought this upon its release it would have been a good introduction that’s for sure! The song builds up slowly and here comes those big Scholz power chords before the solo. Brad Delp man what a soaring vocal and no studio trickery here whatsoever. Dude is sorely missed(RIP).
Peace OF Mind is a straight ahead Boston Rock track as the acoustic intro is Snappy Scholz Happy and just seconds later here comes the big guitars followed by Delp( as always) taking the tune to different levels! The chorus is soooo catchy and I love the part when Brad sings “Take a look ahead” while the instruments are all just mashing up into one huge ol spitfire of Pure Brilliance underneath his vocal!
Foreplay/Long Time is 7 minutes of pure Boston Prog Rock. Ton of Hammond organ especially during the musical only Foreplay as Sib and Fro smash the cymbals as the bass does the walking to keep the guitars a pushing! Longtime is a great mid tempo like tune that features a ton of soaring licks powered by Scholz Inc and for whatever reason no one really ever talks about this guy in the Guitar Gods Department! The way Tom manoeuvres around the 6 string on the first two Boston albums is indeed what Guitar Hero status is!
Yeah Man! Rock N Roll Band opens Side 2 with the Guitars(surprise/surprise) and this is about as autobiographical one can get about writing a tune from where they are from….
Take it away Brad…… and check out the Live Boston vid from 79 below!
Well, we were just another band out of Boston
On the road to try to make ends meet
Playin’ all the bars, sleepin’ in our cars
And we practiced right on out in the street
No, we didn’t have much money
We barely made enough to survive
But when we got up on stage and got ready to play
People came alive
Rock and roll band
Anticipating love and music
Play, play, play, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Boston keeps the party going right into Smokin which is a song about well….Smokin! Love this tune as it just sounds like they are having a good time. The chorus just jams out with a real cool mix of bass and guitar! Great Stuff! Smokin in the Boston catalogue of Music is a simple straight ahead Buzzed Out Lightyear kinda tune..
We’re cookin’ tonight, just keep on tokin’
I feel alright, mamma I’m not jokin’, yeah
See….Happy Go Lucky….
Hitch A Ride begins with acoustic guitar and the pace picks up to the point where at the halfway point of Hitch A Ride there is a head on collision with a Hammond Organ. Boston always knew how to mix the keys perfectly with the guitar and for the keys not to drown out everything else in the mix!
Ok! Something About You is well my fav Boston tune ever! Yeah it is! Total Friggin GEM right here Folk’s! This tune just hooks you in at the start and that’s Delp laying down those superb background “Ooooh’s” at the beginning under the guitars! The chorus though is what I call the Money Shot! With Delp singing both Lead and Background he as he always does propels this song into the Stratosphere of Greatness! Posting the clip below….
Let Me Take You Home Tonight is a Delp solo composition and Kudos to him for elbowing his song on this Scholz masterpiece! Great end of the album chill out song after the Smokin wears off! Nice interplay between all the instruments and all the vocals soar on this track. Just a nice little way to tidy everything up.
Boston delivers on the debut. It’s amazing how good these songs still hold up now in 2017! Even though it seems like a band I really don’t think that is the case here as it’s more of Tom providing the music and Brad delivering the vocals! Brad Delp Of course after this debut album and 1978’s Don’t Look Back Tom started blaming the record company and it took a full 8 years for the third Boston album to drop(1986’s Third Stage. Band member’s came and went except for Tom and Brad.
Just dawned on me that this album is 41 years old this year! Wowzers! Kinda crazy in this day and age of deluxe editions and cash grabs this album has not been revamped and marketed out in someway shape or form for an easy peasey payout
Maybe it’s better this way……Leave as is!