Listen Live

Boston is the debut album by American rock band Boston, released in July 1976 on Epic Records.[1] It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200,[3] and has been certified as selling 17x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2003.[4] The album is the second best-selling debut album of all time in the United States, after Guns N’ Roses‘s Appetite for Destruction.[5] Worldwide, Boston has sold nearly 20 million copies.[6]

Background

Tom Scholz started off jamming in a makeshift band that included drummer Jim Masdea, lead guitarist Barry Goudreau, and vocalist Brad Delp. Unsatisfied with the live sound, the perfectionist Scholz disbanded the act and instead made demos in his home studio with Delp on vocals and Masdea on drums.[7] The demos eventually attracted the attention of Epic Records.

Scholz was satisfied with the demos to the point that he wanted to finalize them to a real album. Unfortunately, Epic declined. “The material had to be recorded in a ‘professional’ studio in exactly the same way!” Scholz later wrote. Scholz insisted on doing the re-cuts in his basement. Epic producer John Boylan, who had worked with the Little River Band among many others, made a deal with Scholz. Boylan would have the rest of the makeshift band record some studio arrangements in Los Angeles, to “create a diversion” while Scholz made his multitrack recordings at home.[7]

Most of the instrumentation was performed by Scholz and recorded at his basement studio in Massachusetts. After Scholz recorded the instrumentation the tracks were then transferred from his 12 track tapes to a 24 track machine in a remote recording truck outside his basement studio to make them compatible with standard professional studio equipment. Delp’s vocals were then recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood with producer Boylan. The album was then mixed by Scholz, Boylan and Warren Dewey at Westlake Audio in Los Angeles.[7] Drummer Sib Hashian plays on all but “Rock & Roll Band”, and only two tracks feature the contributions of Goudreau and Fran Sheehan, “Foreplay/Long Time” and “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”.[8] This quintet would perform and tour under the name Boston.[7]

Reception

 
 
   
   
   
 

The album soared, with three singles becoming Top 40 hits. All eight of the songs on the album still receive regular airplay on classic rock radio to this day, across the country. Taking a mere three weeks to earn an RIAA Gold Record Award (500,000 in unit sales) in 1976, and a Platinum Award (1,000,000 in unit sales) after three months, it was the fastest selling debut album for any American group. It has continued to sell very well, accumulating 9 million in sales by the tenth anniversary in 1986, reaching diamond in 1990, and 17x platinum by 2003.[4]

Remasters

Legacy Records released a remastered version for compact disc on June 13, 2006. The original master tapes were digitally remastered by the band’s leader, Tom Scholz, after he heard that the remastering project was to be handled by Sony. This was unacceptable to him, and he took it on himself after negotiations with Legacy. “I’ve always wanted to make those albums sound good on CD, and the chance arrived,” he said.[11] The re-masters have received very high praise from magazine critics[citation needed], and especially from the die-hard fan base.

A small number of the Sony-remastered versions briefly went on sale in Canada on April 4, 2006 before being yanked from the shelves. Those discs also included bonus tracks with live versions of “Smokin'” and “Foreplay/Long Time” from a 1976 Philadelphia concert.[12]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. More Than a Feeling”   Tom Scholz 4:44
2. Peace of Mind”   Scholz 5:02
3. Foreplay/Long Time”   Scholz 7:47
4. Rock and Roll Band”   Scholz 2:59
5. Smokin’”   Scholz, Brad Delp 4:22
6. “Hitch a Ride”   Scholz 4:12
7. “Something About You”   Scholz 3:48
8. “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”   Delp 4:44