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Boston
 
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Boston

8 July 2006 | Format: MP3

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Format: Audio CD
When Boston's debut album came out in 1976 it instantly became THE record for demonstrating expensive sound system in every store in the country. The group's guitarist, Tom Scholz, was an MIT graduate with a master's degree in Mechanical engineering who quickly and completely mastered the technology of 12-track recording in ways that made every other person producing records look obsolete. So every salesperson could put any other album on one stereo, "Boston" on the more expensive system, and damn if the second one did not sound absolutely awesome. Every time you were in a record store with stereo equipment for sale you would hear the opening chords of "More Than a Feeling," although "Foreplay/Long Time" was another good choice for demonstrating a system way back when. Actually the whole "first side" of this album is solid; the second is fine but just has to suffer in comparison. The group had problems duplicating their unique blend of heavy rock & roll with melodic and harmonic flow in live performance on stage (Brad Delp does both the lead and harmony vocals), but Boston redefined the way music sounded on records. This record still sounds great.
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Format: Audio CD
What can we really say about BOSTON (1976) that has not already been said before--That it's a great rock 'n' roll album; in fact, one of the greatest of all time? That it transformed the music forever by totally revolutionizing electric guitar technology? That both sides of the vinyl version ARE 'perfect album sides'? That it sounds even greater on CD? That it all sounds even more incredible on the 24k Gold Remastered Edition? That, at 15 million units sold & counting, it is still the biggest-selling debut rock release of all time? That Boston, as a band, could never really live up to it afterwards, despite some quality recordings over the years? It is all this, and much, much more. :)
Boston the band, and BOSTON the album, was Tom Scholz's brainchild. The story is all told in the CD liner notes (just as it was on the vinyl album backcover), so there's nothing more to add to this, except that his real genius was forming his Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band with such talented members: Lead singer Brad Delp, whose six-octave vocal range has rarely been matched since (even by himself) and fellow lead & rhythm guitarist Barry Goudreau, whose style worked so well in tandem with Scholz. Also, bassist Fran Sheehan (any relation to Billy Sheehan of Talas & Mr. Big?) and drummer Sib Hashian provided one tight rhythm section. This band was never better than on this one, glorious album.
Yes, I'm still kind of sick of "More Than A Feeling" which was a great tune that became way overplayed in the years that followed--but there's no denying that it is still a great song. "Peace Of Mind" is also such a 1976 classic, but it is the album's centerpiece, "Foreplay/Long Time" that remains the single most compelling track on the entire album.
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Format: Audio CD
All those out there who own a copy of this album, will agree with me, I'm sure, that this has to be one of the best produced, if not THE BEST PRODUCED rock album, ever made! There isn't a single weak song on the disc, and the team of Delp/Scholz/Goudreau/Sheehan/Hashian, work extremely well together, and Tom Scholz has really proved himself, as a more than able producer(well, with his background as a Mechanical Engineering graduate, etc, etc, it's hardly surprising!) The tracks all tend to veer somewhere between the realms of progression and hard rock, but the idea of mixing the two is welcome in my book. 'More than a feeling' is a great driving song(it goes well with other favourites of mine like 'Lido Shuffle' by Boz Scaggs, and 'Babe', 'Lady' and 'Borrowed Time' by Styx), so congratulations, Boston, on making a
real 'uplifter'; good for moments of dullness. As for the others- they all offer something special- you never quite know what is going to come next, whether it be a sudden key change, a personable message, or a virtuoso twin lead guitar
riff from Messrs Scholz and Goudreau(Scholz is an entertaining keyboard player, too). The whole thing is a classic rock masterpiece- and please'LISTEN TO THE RECORD!'
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Format: Audio CD
Having been listening recently to my 1999 (Joe Gastwirt) digitally remastered edition, I found myself wishing for just a little better in the sound stakes, notably stronger and better defined bass and a little less congestion in the midrange. So it was by an interesting quirk of chance that I looked at a copy in my local record store and noted that on the back it said "Remastered (2006) by Tom Scholz, Bill Ryan and Toby Mountain". Hmmm. It was cheap too so, as it was a nice day, I thought what the heck and bought it (for the third time on CD). And yes, it does address those minor niggles mentioned earlier, even if an original vinyl in mint condition on a top notch analogue rig (which I never quite got round to owning before, for all the usual reasons, defecting to CD) probably sounds even better still.

As far as I can make out, the reissue listed here isn't the 2006 remaster (the sticker on the front credits only Tom Scholz as having done the remastering) and, though the 1999 remaster is pretty good, it isn't quite as good as the very latest one so, if you're thinking of buying a copy, the 2006 remaster is the one to seek out. This may be it, but I'm not sure. The number of the 2006 remaster is 88697184002, so that's the one to go for.

The jewel case booklet is interestingly informative, not least because it indicates that on all but three tracks, Tom Scholz played and recorded all the instruments (guitars, bass and organ), other than the drums, in what he describes as his home-brew basement recording studio. Putting it all together satisfactorily was a long and painstaking process. All the vocals were done by (the now late) Brad Delp, whilst all the drum parts were played by Sib Hashian (except for Jim Masdea on Rock & Roll Band).
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