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Music / Boston

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So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky...
"More Than a Feeling"

The Arena Rock group behind one of the highest-selling debut albums ever, Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts (hence the name) that achieved its most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s. Centered on guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer Tom Scholz, the band is a staple of Classic Rock radio playlists. Boston's best-known works include the songs "More Than a Feeling", "Peace of Mind", "Foreplay/Long Time", "Don't Look Back" and "Amanda".

Their album covers often have a Sci-Fi motif to them with the guitar-shaped flying saucers.


  • Boston (1976)
  • Don't Look Back (1978)
  • Third Stage (1986)
  • Walk On (1994)
  • Corporate America (2002)
  • Life, Love & Hope (2013)

Don't look back, a new trope is breaking:

  • Arena Rock
  • Author Tract: Corporate America, to a certain extent.
    • Starting with that very album, Tom Scholz strongly promotes a vegetarian lifestyle to the listener, going as far as to include links to animal rights websites in the liner notes.
    • The back side of Life, Love and Hope even says verbatim "Live vegetarian; One of the lives you save may be your own!"
  • The Band Minus the Face:
    • Walk On, which was recorded without lead vocals by Brad Delp.
    • Barry Goudreau's solo album (which featured Brad Delp making a lot of vocal contributions), which was released during the lull between Don't Look Back and Third Stage, essentially showcases what Boston would be like without Tom Scholz (a glossier version of Foghat).
  • Basso Profundo: During the chorus of "Higher Power".
  • The Chessmaster: Tom Scholz was seen as this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tragically, singer Brad Delp.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Depicted on the cover of their eponymous album.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The "Foreplay" section of "Foreplay/Long Time".
    • Inverted with "Hitch a Ride", which closes with nearly 2 minutes of the lead guitar taking over on vocals.
  • Epic Rocking: "Foreplay/Long Time".
    • Also the "Walk On Medley" from Walk On, clocking in at a little over 12 minutes.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Walk On" → "Get Organ-Ized" → "Walk On (Some More)" from Walk On.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: "More Than a Feeling" has a I-IV-vi-V variant in the chorus. "Rock 'N' Roll Band" has the more traditional minor arrangement in the intro/outro and choruses, as does "Peace of Mind".
    • "Someday" also has this progression in the verses.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tom Scholz is an MIT graduate who devised many of his own audio effects, to the point where he put a disclaimer, as Queen did at the time, on the band's albums that no synthesizers were used. Scholz would eventually market many of his devices under the Rockman brand name.
  • Green Aesop: The title track on Corporate America is a biting rant about the state of the US's environmental crisis, and warns the world at large about humanity's extinction if we aren't able to clean up our act.
  • Heavy Meta: "Smokin'" is part this, part Ode to Intoxication.
  • I Am the Band: Tom Scholz could be seen as this — he has been the only consistent band-member, wrote most of their songs, and played the majority of the instruments on their albums.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Brad Delp sings one in "More Than a Feeling".
  • Intercourse with You: "Let Me Take You Home Tonight".
  • Instrumentals:
    • "Foreplay" on Boston (occasionally released on its own on singles, but normally paired with vocal piece "Long Time").
    • "The Journey" on Don't Look Back.
    • "The Launch" and "A New World" on Third Stage.
    • "Get Organ-ized" and "Walkin' at Night" on Walk On.
    • Their renditions of "The Star Spangled Banner" and "O Canada".
    • "Last Day of School" on Life, Love & Hope.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Smokin'" certainly isn't about tobacco.
  • One-Woman Song: "Amanda".
  • Performance Video
  • Porn Stache: Brad Delp.
  • Power Ballad: "Amanda", "Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)", "Livin' For You", "Cryin'", and "Love Got Away".
  • Rearrange the Song: Done with "Someone" (originally track 5 from Corporate America) for Life, Love & Hope.
  • Rock-Star Song: "Rock and Roll Band".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Brad Delp performed all of the backing vocals on their first three records.
  • Self-Titled Album: Boston.
  • Solo Side Project: After the release of Don't Look Back, Tom Scholz got mired in legal conflicts with the band's producers, causing a long delay in the production of their third album. In the meantime, Barry Goudreau, along with Brad Delp, recorded a solo album titled Barry Goudreau. Goudreau later went on to split away from the group, forming his own band, Orion The Hunter (which featured the future Boston vocalist Fran Cosmo, and backup vocals from Brad Delp), and, later, with Delp, RTZ.
    • Scholz engaged in his own non-music side project during this time: developing and selling (through his own company, Scholz Research & Development) the Rockman headphone amp, which replicates the Boston guitar sound.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Higher Power" has a female voice reciting the Serenity Prayer during the beginning of the bridge section.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Tom Scholz himself finally sang lead vocals on Love Got Away from Life, Love and Hope.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Tom Scholz is a technician, a qualified engineernote  who spent as much time developing studio equipment and working to perfect songs as he did writing and recording them. While Brad Delp had a perfectionist approach to his vocal work (often spending a long time to overdub harmonies and backing vocals) he was nevertheless a consummate performer whose emphasis on increased touring and recording lead to a rift with Scholz, whose intense perfectionism is the reason for Boston's sporadic releases (only six studio albums in 26 years). Delp's departure is often attributed to these differences.
  • Tick Tock Tune: Bill Ryan receives a "Nightstand Clock" credit on "Someone", a deep cut from Corporate America. It's not clear if the effect carried over to the 2013 re-recording.
  • Title Drop: Rock and Roll Band has "We were just another band out of 'Boston'"
  • Title Track: "Don't Look Back", "Walk On", "Corporate America", and "Life, Love and Hope".