Boston is the debut studio album by Boston-based American rock band Boston. Produced by Tom Scholz and John Boylan, the album was released on August 25, 1976 in the United States by Epic Records. Scholz had first begun playing music in the late 1960s after graduating from MIT with a master’s degree, which led to a senior position at Polaroid. After being involved in the Boston music scene for several years, Scholz concentrated on demos recorded in his apartment basement with singer Brad Delp. His previous group, Mother’s Milk, had received numerous rejection letters from major record labels in the early 1970s. By 1975, the demo tape had fallen into the hands of CBS-owned Epic Records, who signed the band.
Epic wanted the band to record in Los Angeles with a record producer; Scholz was unwilling and desired to record the album in his basement studio. He hired John Boylan to run interference with the label and, in an elaborate ruse, trick them into thinking the band was recording on the West Coast when in reality the bulk was being tracked solely by Scholz at his Massachusetts home. The album’s contents are a complete recreation of the band’s demo tape, and contain songs written and composed many years prior. The album’s style, often referred to as the “Boston sound”, was developed through Scholz’s love of classical music, melodic hooks and guitar-heavy rock groups such as the Kinks and the Yardbirds.
The LP was first issued by Epic in August 1976 and sold mightily, breaking sales records and becoming one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. Boston’s style was abducted by label executives and imitated by bands to create radio-friendly “corporate rock,” of which the band was also accused. The album’s singles, most notably “More Than a Feeling” and “Long Time”, were both AM and FM hits, and nearly the entire album receives constant rotation on classic rock radio. The album has been referred to as a landmark in 1970s rock and has been included on many lists of essential albums. The album has sold 17 million copies in the United States alone and 20 million worldwide.
- “More Than a Feeling” – 4:44
- “Peace of Mind” – 5:02
- “Foreplay/Long Time” – 7:47
- Side two
- “Rock & Roll Band” – 3:00
- “Smokin'” – 4:22
- “Hitch a Ride” – 4:12
- “Something About You” – 3:48
- “Let Me Take You Home Tonight” – 4:44