on 13 April 2005
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.
on 18 March 2003
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. From the heavy bassed-up 'Foreplay' intro to the smooth, high-pitched Brad Delp vocals that follow (not to mention the incredible Scholz/Goudreau guitar solos), this song still gets my blood pumping and is still one of my 100 favorites of all time.
'Rock & Roll Band' still rocks, while very nicely summarizing Boston's rise to stardom. 'Smokin'' does just that; one of the greatest driving songs of all time, it features the most killer opening riff, and the best Hammond organ solo this side of Deep Purple. 'Hitch A Ride' is another classic; starting out with soft, acoustic guitars, it suddenly whips itself up into a magnetic frenzy of swirling electric guitars and keyboards at about the minute-and-a-half point, and then only gradually calms itself down to end with a masterful guitar solo. 'Something About You' is that 'Gotta have ya, have ya' song that we all remember as one of the FM staples after 'More Than A Feeling' had worn itself out of airplay. And, of course, the unforgettable album closer 'Let Me Take You Home Tonight' which, sadly, still does not do itself justice to this day; the sped-up final minute and a half always sounded out of place to me in contrast to the song's first three minutes. But the first three minutes are a magical acoustic/electric mix that shows off Boston's soft side.
This entire album is still one of the greatest 37 musical minutes you're likely to spend. BOSTON is simply one of the greatest rock'n'roll albums ever; it's one of those coveted 'desert island discs'. Buy it on CD--and just remember to turn it *up*!!!! MOST RECOMMENDED
on 2 November 2001
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!'
on 20 June 2016
If you've ever heard of the band Boston, it is without doubt because of their classic single 'More Than a Feeling.' Though this is without doubt their biggest hit, and a fantastic track in its own right, it has pigeon-holed the band as 'one hit wonders.' I must admit I believed this to be true. Before buying this album, I could only name one great Boston track, now, I can list eight!
Whilst melody is a pretty integral part of most, if not all, of the songs, the afore mentioned 'More Than a Feeling' is the obvious single choice. Some are plain, old, down and dirty rock n roll ('Rock & Roll Band') and others have a very strong prog rock element.
The lyrics book / liner notes describe the history of the band up until that point, the trials and tribulations leading up to this album and the song writing process.The production for this album was somewhat ground breaking at the time, and although you can tell it wasn't produced very recently, it sounds as fresh as ever and is still held in extremely high regard by fans and production buffs in general.
NOTE : This CD only contains the 8 original songs for the album. For some reason the CD details note it has 10. Either that's a mistake or I've been short changed of two tracks!
on 1 January 2010
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). Fran Sheehan played bass on only two tracks and Barry Goudreau played guitar on only three, presumably those recorded at Capitol Studios and The Record Plant in Hollywood. The record company, once a deal was finally offered, wanted the whole lot redone in LA, but Tom Scholz demurred and ultimately got his way. His basement tapes really were that good. I never knew that.
Those points aside, I'm happy to agree with all the other very positive reviews of this milestone rock album, arriving as it did at a somewhat uncertain time for the music scene, and also that Tom Scholz never managed to equal it on any of the band's subsequent albums. It is a classic and now, with the benefit of the latest remastering project, better than ever.
on 28 May 2016
What a brilliant album, terrific playing and what a voice. A lot due to the band's own hands-on production. Sounds great 40 years later! Believe it or not, I'd never heard anything by Boston before but dismissed them as just radio friendly pop rockers till someone lent me this recently. Keen to get more of their early stuff.
When you look at the recording duration of Boston's debut album - October 1975 to April 1976 - it almost seems indulgent for a starting point. But when you play this Seventies Rock behemoth - you immediately hear where all those months (and as it transpires years leading up to the recording) went. It's dense, brilliant and packed with ludicrously hooky guitar rock. I remember first hearing it and being amazed (like 17 million other Americans and many millions more worldwide). Well here comes the inevitable 30th Anniversary CD remaster - and despite its lack of any extras - it's a sonic doozy.
1. More Than A Feeling
2. Peace Of Mind
3. Foreplay/Long Time
4. Rock & Roll Band
6. Hitch A Ride
7. Something About You
8. Let Me Take You Home Tonight
Band leader and guitarist TOM SCHOLZ had built a studio in his Massachusetts home - fooled Epic into thinking he was recording at some bigwig recording plant somewhere - and gingerly gotten on with his `Boston' sound. Released in August 1976 in the USA on Epic JE 34188 and December 1976 on Epic S EPC 81611 in the UK - it was an instant hit - propelled by a stunning lead off single "More Than A Feeling". While the album reached 3 in the USA charts (no 11 in the UK in February 1977) - the "More Than A Feeling" single went to Number 5 and along with further 45s "Long Time" and "Peace Of Mind" gave the album sales power that burned and burned for over a year and a half - until the follow up "Don't Look Back" in August 1978. In 1980 it received the ultimate audiophile accolade at the time by being part of CBS's "Half Speed" Mastersound series of vinyl LPs.
Schulze has returned to the tapes and reportedly done an exhaustive and painstaking remaster - and when you play boogie like "Smokin'" and the lovely Rock ballad of "Hitch A Ride" - it sounds just huge and ballsy - and not just trebled up for the sake of it. You're also reminded of Scholz's virtuosity as a musician - every instrument on both tracks is him - guitars, keyboards, bass (bar the drums which were put on by Sib Hashian). The musicality of the multi-layered soloing at the end of "Hitch A Ride" is wildly brilliant.
The glossy card digipak (Sony Legacy 59699863222) with its 12-page booklet is peddled as a `Collector's Limited Edition' but it's widely available for sale - and at a pittance of a price too (37:44 minutes). There are liner notes from Scholz and uber-fan David Wild that elaborate on the tortuous process of getting it made at all (years of gestation).
But if I was to single out one track that exemplifies aural improvement - it would be the astonished Side 1 double-closer "Foreplay/Long Time". It's an almost Prog Classical piece of Guitar Rock that is breathtaking in its complexity - and yet melodically accessible to.
Relistening to "Boston" in 2014 - its easy to hear why this kind of Rock caught the attention and hearts of millions - and this superb remaster does that `feeling' more than proud.
on 16 April 2001
When I first brought this album in what seems to have been in my teens although it probably was in my mid 20's I thought it was brilliant. Today, in its digital form on CD it is just as good. Whereas some of the music of the era have become rather difficult to listen to, this is an all time classic which never fails to entertain. Every track has that magic "something" which so many modern bands seem to miss. Great to see its still available and for all you guys and girls out there into rock this is one you should have! By the way. .... anyone know how the guy reaches those high notes????
on 29 November 2008
I only bought this album recently, having loved the first track for literally decades. Why didn't I buy it sooner? Well that's tough to answer. None of my friends/family ever mentioned owning it or mentioned how good it was - so it was always one of those albums that lay in the back of my back catalogue.
So - based purely on price I saw it listed pretty cheap from an Amazon trader - and I ordered it. After listening to a few other CDs one Sunday night, I stuck it in the tray and pressed play.
Wow! From the very first listen the album completely captivated me. I can't begin to describe the feeling of "pleasant surprise" that the array of *great* tunes served up. Song after song - outstanding. After the second and third listen the pleasant surprise had been upgraded to pure unbridled "yeahhhh!!!!!" (or something like that - imagine playing air guitar and air drums simultaneously whilst pretending to sing along with a screwed up rock face - even though you haven't learned all the words yet - THAT'S what this album does! Amazing.)
I don't know why nobody else I know owns this album. It truly baffles me. I know a lot of folk who love bands like Thin Lizzy, Led Zep - even the Darkness (who I don't like as such - but who's better songs off of Permission To Land are vaguely reminiscent of the vocal and musical energy of Boston's first album - but not anywhere near as good). The point being - I can't imagine any rock fan who likes good rock music who wouldn't love this album. It has too many great songs - not good - but great songs.
The writing and guitar playing of Tom Scholz is simply top drawer for any rock musician of any era - including some stunning guitar riffs and solos. The late - GREAT - Brad Delp provides really powerful and fantastically performed vocals. Wonderful harmonies and an amazing range.
Boston - sadly missed from my collection for so long - is now quite rightly sitting in my all time favourited bucket. It's a truly enjoyable and absorbing listen - containing a feast of brilliant melodies and classic rock beats and power chords galore. Seriously - if you like rock and you've never heard this - just buy it. Wonderful stuff. FVC.
John Lennon was quoted as saying, 'I'm all for perfection, as long as it doesn't take more than six weeks' (or something like that), a remark about the process of making 'Sgt Pepper'. So he wouldn't have got on too well with Tom Scholz, who went down to his basement to record some music and stayed there. Boston's sound is probably more suited to the stadium than anyone else's. It's huge. Somehow, Scholz and co managed to perfect their unfeasibly dense textures without losing any of the energy. It's obvious that even the solos are strategically arranged rather than improvised, the result being that the whole is seamless and flawless. Sure, the hit 'More Than A Feeling' is the carrot here, but all of the other tracks are made with the same consistency. It's been said before, but Bradley Delp's big, rangy voice is a major asset too. Indeed, everything about 'Boston' is big. Their lyrics are unremarkable, but they make every song into a power-packed statement. Sensibly, they save two of the biggest rockers for the middle of the album, renewing its momentum. Perhaps the last two tracks are not quite up to the standard of the rest, but they are merely very good rather than breathtaking. Probably the best album by any of the so-called American 'logo' bands of the late 1970s.