It’s a cold November morning and I am sitting here, at my university, waiting for my next classes to come. My headphones are on because well, music is basically the only thing besides the warm coffee in my hands that actually gets me going through the day. You can find all sorts of treasures on my music player – mostly ‘70s and ‘80s hard rock and the occasional new wave/pop retro tune. After a series of glam rock favorites, suddenly I hear the stunning intro of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” and just like that, a little smile appears on my face as I silently start singing along with the haunting vocals of Brad Delp. It was this gorgeous song that introduced me to Boston and their debut album. I had no idea who they were as musicians or what they did – all I wanted was to listen and dive as deep as I can into the album, I was simply entranced… The song was over way too soon, but my thoughts kept on sending me back to that glorious year – 1976. I, of course, wasn’t born during the ‘70s but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate or truly feel the magic and impact of such brilliant music.
Boston are definitely not the most prolific band in the world but they can freely brag with splendid records like “Don’t Look Back” (1978) and “Third Stage” (1986). It was their monstrous self-titled debut album however, what most people will remember them by. The tremendous strength with which the record smashed into the music world in the mid-70s could easily be justified with the 25 million copies sold worldwide. Not only that, but “Boston” was actually the best-selling debut album of all time before Guns N’ Roses released “Appetite for Destruction” in 1987. There should be a reason for such enormous recognition, right? Well, the album is just that good! It traveled all the way from the ‘70s to my tiny little rock heart and completely conquered it. I am sure many people feel the same way as I do – especially those of you who were actually there to witness how one debut album became the ultimate staple of American rock music (not just in the ‘70s but in general). Here’s why I think this album should be heard and acknowledged by every self-respecting music fan!
Behind every great record, there’s a hardworking mastermind with a clear vision, a special touch and a lot of persistence.
Who could’ve thought that Tom Scholz – a MIT graduate who worked at the Polariod Corporation would come up with the perfect sonic formula and craft rock music that will change history? It all started as a mere fascination but it didn’t take him that long to realize that his connection with music goes way beyond a simple hobby. He assembled a little cozy record studio in his basement where he would spend countless of sleepless nights in an attempt to create the perfect song. Tom was a persistent, goal-driven visionary who knew his way around the studio and didn’t let anyone else take that away from him. Even when the band was finally signed to EMI and the album was about to be released, Tom always stayed true to himself. He wrote or co-wrote (with the exception of “Let Me Take You Home Tonight,” written by Delp) all the songs on the debut album, played all the instruments, recorded, engineered and pretty much did everything by himself. Mad genius, working in a basement or not, it was his demons that changed the rules of the game at the end.
The Sci-Fi Logo
After they changed the name of the band from Mother’s Milk to Boston, it was time to come up with a revolutionary album artwork that could perfectly represent the concept of the album. Again, the idea was given by Scholz who wanted a “spaceship guitar”, symbolizing “escape”. Three people participated in the design, illustration and lettering, before we were finally presented with the final product. The eye-catching and highly intriguing sci-fi logo became an absolute landmark and one of the most instantly-recognizable album covers.
“The Boston Sound”
There was a reason why Boston and this album completely took control over the radio stations and haven’t actually left their spot ever since. The record found the perfect balance between pop and rock by crafting a splendid mixture of gorgeous vocal harmonies, gentle, yet rough guitar riffs, spellbinding melodic hooks and dreamy lyrics, all wrapped up under the influence of the classical music, Tom grew up listening to. Each musical segment was crafted carefully, with strict precision and dedication to achieve the ultimate impact. Because of its universal appeal, great production value and adoption of quite accessible, easy to digest sounds, the debut album marked the beginning arena rock – a pivotal and unavoidable moment in the development of rock music.
Magical – that’s the word I would use for the Boston sound. I was under its influence the moment I heard the first track…
“More Than a Feeling”
“More Than a Feeling” is probably the main reason why Boston and their debut record became one of the most popular rock acts of the late 70s. Each and every second of this song was designed to instantaneously crawl under your skin, inject its blessing and leave you in a state of trance. Tom Scholz is a genius and if you haven’t figured it out yet, listen to the track one more time.
From Brad Delp’s killer vocals, relentlessly playing with your senses to the mind-shivering guitars, “More Than a Feeling” is the crown jewel of Boston’s career. For them it was way more than an opening track – it was their first single and first attempt to make a name for themselves. Well, after selling a couple of million records, we can somehow conclude that they did in fact make history.
You can listen to the whole album here:
“Boston” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_(album)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.