Boston

  • Rock band from Boston MA, formed in 1976. Original members were Tom Scholz (lead guitar, bass, keyboards), Barry Goudreau (guitar), Brad Delp (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Fran Sheehan (bass guitar), Jim Masdea/Sib Hashian (drums).
  • Scholz started writing music in 1969 (the first song he ever wrote was Foreplay, one of the classic songs on their first album) while in college at MIT. While at school, he joined the band Freehold, where he met Goudreau and Masdea. Delp joined the band in 1970. After getting his masters degree, he worked at Polaroid, and used his salary to build a recording studio in the basement of his house. He made demo tapes and sent them to record companies, which were all rejected.
  • In 1973, he formed a new band with Goudreau, Delp and Masdea, called Mother’s Milk. The following year, the band broke up, but Scholz continued to work with Masdea and Delp on six new demos – Delp on vocals, Masdea on drums, and Scholz on all other instruments. Scholz used his engineering background to develop a unique sound to the guitars by using pedals that he designed. By 1975, the demos were complete – some of the songs were to become classic rock standards – More Than A Feeling, Peace of Mind, Rock and Roll Band, Something About You, Hitch a Ride, and Don’t Be Afraid. 
  • The demo tape created interest by a record company. Masdea at this time decided to leave the band – he was replaced by Hashian. A guitar player (Goudreau) and bass player (Sheehan) were added so that the group could perform the songs before a live audience. They signed a record deal in 1975, and chose the name Boston for their band. The record company wanted the demos re-recorded, and the debut album was ready to be released in August 1976.
  • This first album, titled Boston, is the second best selling debut album of all time – over 17 million copies were sold (only Guns N’ Roses debut album sold more). It peaked at #3 on the album charts, and stayed on the Billboard 200 list for two and a half years. They initially went on tour that year as an opening act for Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat, but by that winter, they were headlining their own tour. They were so big so quickly, that they were the first band ever to have their first concert in New York City be at Madison Square Garden.
  • In 1978, they released their second album, Don’t Look Back. Hits included Don’t Look Back, A Man I’ll Never Be, and Feelin’ Satisfied. This album sold over 7 million copies.
  • By now, the Boston “sound” was well established in rock and roll. This sound is characterized by multiple guitar harmonies – it has been called violin-like, without the use of synthesizers. Brad Delp’s vocals also were a big part of the sound, which often had harmonies with notes that were held for a long time.
  • Disputes and lawsuits with the record company slowed the next album. Finally, Third Stage was issued in 1986. The lead single Amanda went to #1. The album sold over 4 million copies.
  • Another 8 years passed before their fourth album was ready. Walk On was released in 1994 – by this time, Delp had moved onto other projects, so the album did not include his vocals. However, he rejoined the band for the tour that supported the album. The album only had one single that charted, but it still sold over 1 million records, thanks to the loyal fan base that Boston had earned. Two more albums were released – one in 2002 and one in 2013. Sales of these albums were small.
  • Boston continues to tour today. Schotz is the only original member with the band (Delp died in 2007, committing suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning). Many fans of classic rock wonder what Boston could have done if they had only recorded more music in their prime. Their first 2 albums were full of songs that define classic rock. Watch the concert video of Don’t Look Back – you will definitely hear that signature sound here.

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