Pros: all eight songs are instantly recognizable and catchy classic rock icons
Cons: only eight songs; nothing
Today, almost 40 years after their debut album hit the shelves, every single song from this album can be heard on classic rock radio anywhere around the world. I’m not sure, but I believe that this album is the only one (not counting The Beatles), where every track is played on the radio. Boston, the group and the album are essentially the brainchild of guitarist Tom Scholz. Tom is a smart guy, an MIT grad who built a studio in his basement to create demos with the sole purpose to get signed to a record label. This 1976 release had its beginnings in 1969, when Tom had written the first songs that would wind up on the first Boston album.
Although each and every song is familiar to those of us who listen to classic rock radio, the album begins with their arguably most well known song More Than a Feeling. The fade in of the suspended D-chord is iconic and instantly recognizable for most of the musically-aware population. Tom Scholz had found the best singer he could with Brad Delp, a dude who had such an amazing range as well as a commercially sounding voice that has a round soothing quality. The track is the archetypical rock ballad, with its acoustic guitar intro and verses and hard rock choruses. Tom has multitracked his guitars giving us multitracked guitars harmonizing with each other as he plays in his off-timing kind of style.
The next track Peace of Mind is basically an upbeat guitar track, which really shows off Delp’s vocal and background vocal abilities. Back in the 1970s, it was one of the three tracks that were released as singles. This one barely broke the top 40. Foreplay/Long Time has a sexually suggestive title doesn’t it? This is probably the oldest of the eight songs here. I always thought that Foreplay should have been the first song, as it reminds me of one of those grand album intros, kind of like Elton’s Funeral For a Friend. It’s the longest track at nearly eight minutes long. Rock and Roll Band is cut from the same cloth, which makes up most of the album, except with audience noises during the chorus. The biographical lyrics make the song another winner.
Scholz wrote every song here except for two. There’s Smokin’ which sounds like a minor change in the overall sound. While the rest of the songs have a more generalized hard rock sound, Smokin’ has a Zeppelin-esque bluesy guitar riff while the lyrics talk about the joys of marijuana. Brad Delp is the only name in the by line for the last song Let me Take You Home Tonight. The song begins with a flavor resembling Grateful Dead/Allman Brothers. The lyrics talk about Brad finding some girl, getting her stoned and then finally making love.
Diversity is not a big factor here, but the fans don’t seem to mind. Boston goes down in history as one of the biggest-selling debut albums ever.
Length: 37:42 minutes
Released: July 25th, 1976
Rating: 4 stars
1. More Than a Feeling
2. Peace of Mind
3. Foreplay/Long Time
4. Rock and Roll Band
6. Hitch a Ride
7. Something About You
8. Let Me Take You Home Tonight
Verified Lean and Mean at 499 words