Forty years is a long time to be making music. The featured band today only dropped six albums over 40 years, but the success of their debut was never matched. That hasn’t stopped people from rocking out over four decades.
Boston was formed not shockingly, in Boston, Massachusetts. Musician Tom Scholz was attending MIT and started writing instrumentals. He found a couple guys on campus to help bring his compositions to life and recorded a couple demos. Even through there was technically no band, Epic Records liked the demos enough to offer a deal. Those college mates were offered the chance to travel to Los Angeles to record the album. The band still didn’t have a name, but a sound engineer commented, “they sound like they’re from Boston.” And as uncreatively as that, the band was born.
The debut album Boston was released in August of 1976. During that time, disco was the main attraction around the U.S. Very few industry insiders thought a guitar heavy rock album would make any waves. After just two months, the album had sold 500,000 copies and the band had decided they made it. Little did they know that by January of the next year, roughly five months later, it would have sold over 2 million copies. It would not only be one of the fastest selling debut albums of all time, but also one of the best-selling as well. As of today, it has sold nearly 20 million copies.
Boston kind of created a music genre—something critics would later identify as “the Boston sound” with big, giant melodic hooks and massively heavy, classically-inspired guitar parts. I would add the composition is truly unique. You turn this album on, and there are so many layers of sound. You’ll somehow hear electric guitar and acoustic guitar at the same time, which is hard to pull off over an album.
The theme of the record is escape, and the cover art really reflects that. And from a listener perspective, you can truly put this album on and drift away. Job well done—truly—because every track on this album is good. Granted it’s only eight songs, but they’re all great. They build upon one another very well and it plays like a story. It’s like a bunch of humble guys starting jamming out, and the result was an amazing record.
The studio technology and production would be considered second to none, and would be the standard bearer for years to come. Many other bands tried to copy that Boston sound, but failed. And, while Boston never could quite match the success of the debut, they still tour to this day.
They may have just been another band out of Boston but this album made music history. I have more than a feeling that you’ll like this, and you’ll have plenty peace of mind knowing it’s only $5 bucks today.
Top 3 Tracks: