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Boston

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Boston
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Location:Boston, MA (USA)
Record Label:Epic Records
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From the liner notes in the Boston reissue: In 1976 sitting on a folding metal chair in my basement, I was tweaking the mix of a demo that Brad Delp, Jim Masdea and I had recorded on my home-brew studio gear. The possibility that anyone would be listening to this song, "More Than a Feeling," 30 years into the future was incomprehensible. In fact, the thought of holding someone's interest for 30 minutes was a long shot!

Some kind of magic took over when Jim and I got together to work on my songs; the basement walls disappeared and were replaced by a huge arena filled with screaming fans... as long as the headphones were loud enough. Alone later, as I played the bass organ and guitar parts to the rolling tape, I could close my eyes and the same vision reappeared, inspiring a far better performance than this dingy space deserved. Although just a fantasy, this would prove to be a vision of things to come. After creating what I thought was a symphony of rock with the instruments, it was Brad's turn with the tape. Methodically he would overdub a one man vocal orchestra that relegated my 1st chair musical efforts to the second row! Listening from the back seat it was clear that Brad's voice brought the music to life.

This was the demo and subsequent album that turned the disco crazed music industry on its head and broke all the known rules for succeeding in the world of rock n' roll. It's seemingly sudden and relentless success belied six years of abject failure, and quickly made it the model abducted, imitated and used by marketing executives to mass produce radio friendly "corporate rock." Guilty only of stumbling onto the secret formula of pop music success while performing musical experiments in the basement, we would eventually be victimized and smeared with that same heinous label. An odd nombre for a few amateurs making freakish basement tapes like "Foreplay." Odder still when you consider the same corporations steadfastly scorned this music for six years, and soon accused me of being creatively "uncooperative" in a lawsuit. Such a rebel.

Nothing about Boston, it seems, was done by the book. Perhaps the strangest twist resulting from the label's refusal too allow the original six song demo to be used as the actual album; the material had to be recorded over again in a "professional" studio exactly the same way! But I had completely adapted to playing and engineering alone in my basement; I knew I couldn't duplicate those performances without the solitude which had become both a blessing and a curse. In a gutsy move, Epic producer John Boylan made me an offer: I record the multitrack masters in my basement by myself, while he decoys the company recording a couple of Brad's songs in LA with Barry, Sib, and Fran. Then I join him in LA for vocal overdubs and mixing. Oh, and we split the producer's royalty! You mean I even get paid? Deal.

So after laying Sib and Jim's drum tracks, I settled in for the lengthy ordeal of reproducing a band's worth of bass, guitar, and organ performances on the new, nearly identical, recording. Barry joined me to play the excellent lead electric guitar on "Longtime," and Fran to play the bass track for "Foreplay." In LA, Brad's "Let Me Take You Home" was recorded in it's entirety, and is the only song to embody performances of all five musicians to eventually ended up on stage for the first ever "Boston" concert in 1976.

-Tom Scholz
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Last Updated: 05/15/08

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