To Infinity and Beyond...
Gary Pihl and the DECEMBER PEOPLE Food Bank shows
Many exciting things are moving forward as we head into spring 2013.
Tom is buried in the studio, lovingly coaxing his legacy analogue equipment to bear with him just a little longer while he wraps up the mix of his latest song, "Someday." Although he has listened to it more times than he cares to count, he is still very excited about it, saying, "This final song might be the title track for the new BOSTON studio album; it reminds me of the up tempo rockers I wrote for the debut album over 30 years ago."
With a little more tweaking, then some re-tweaking, then a tad more tweaking, Tom says the new album should be ready for release by mid year ... that would be mid year 2013. "After completing this mix I only need to redo vocals on a couple of the cuts, remix them, and sequence and master the album. After working on this project for over 10 years I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel," he says. Tom plans to start work on the long awaited BOSTON live DVD as soon as the studio album is finished.
Meanwhile, in other cool news, Gibson is honoring Tom and his original Les Paul with a limited edition Gibson Custom Collectors Choice guitar. (His is #10.) From Gibson: "If you’ve ever listened to the music of the legendary rock band BOSTON, then you’ve already heard the latest Collector’s Choice Les Paul. In its own right, this example of a 1968 Goldtop (now with the top stripped off the original finish to expose its maple top) is an amazing instrument; a nice, “cheeky” neck, a flexible tone palate via Tom’s preferred P-90 and DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup combination, and a patina that comes from a lifetime of extensive live and studio use. One of two in Tom Scholz’s collection, this particular ’68 Les Paul Goldtop Deluxe is the first 'real' guitar Tom ever owned, acquired over 30 years ago and essential to his very unique sound and career." Tom Loves the attention to detail that was apparent in duplicating his guitar. He says, "The precision with which Gibson has replicated the physical properties of my original Les Paul is astounding. This guitar feels and plays exactly like my guitar, and the resemblance to the original is uncanny. But most impressive is that it actually sounds like my guitar! I'm really humbled that such an elite shop would go to so much trouble to reproduce the guitar I play." Tom says he will donate all the proceeds from his royalties on the sales to charity.
Check gibson.com for details on purchasing your own Tom Scholz Les Paul.
March, BOSTON was presented with the Legend Award at the 5th Annual Limelight Magazine Music Awards held at the Rock Junction in Coventry, RI. The Legend Award honors bands that originated in New England that have been at it for at least 25 years. It's hard to believe that it's been thirty seven years since the debut album was first heard on the airwaves!
Thanks to Jason Kenney & Katie Botelho at Limelight for their devotion to promoting New England musicians, recognizing the heart, soul and passion that it takes to pursue their craft, and to all of the fans who support them! “When we solicited nominations for the Legend Award in early January, the overwhelming majority recommended BOSTON. We are very pleased to present this award to them this year,” stated Kenney. Gary Pihl says, "We've all grown up listening to our own legends like Chuck Berry and Eric Clapton, it's a real honor that someone is looking up to us as a musical influence." Tom was very humbled by the award, and said, " I don't really feel very legendary, but I sure do appreciate all those people who recognize the effort that has gone into BOSTON's music over the years ... thank you."
In addition to having friendly staff, great food and local and national acts performing live, the Rock Junction which hosted the awards surprised Tom and Gary with a unique piece of BOSTON history ... as they took the stage to accept the award they stood in front of the drum riser that was used on 5 BOSTON tours! The riser was so large, a new stage was constructed to accommodate it. Rumor has it that drummers performing at the club love it ... it's big! The acoustics are surprisingly good at this venue, you can actually hear the people on stage as well as the ones next to you.
Last month bandmates Gary Pihl, Tommy DeCarlo and David Victor performed at the Kidz b Kidz 5th anniversary party in Boston. Supporting Kidz b Kidz benefits those dedicated to enhancing the lives of children who are in the hospital, and those determined to find cures for them. Proceeds from the sale of Kidz b Kidz products (all made with artwork created by kids!) are donated to hospitals nationwide. For more information, visit kidzbkidz.org
All of the band members are busy with their own projects. They all had a great time playing live last summer and are looking forward to going out again next year, monster gong and all. Check back on bandboston.com for further updates.
Thanks to everyone in the Monterey area for another sold out show! They say even more food was raised this year.
Here're a couple of pictures: The guys on stage and afterwards with a food bank volunteer. And for those of you on the east coast, they'll be at the Levoy Theater in Millville, NJ on December 7th, 2012.
2012 BOSTON SUMMER SHOWS
"What the critics are saying"
Boston still has what it takes to rock
And best of all, it didn't sound overly familiar. It didn't sound tired. It didn't sound done. Rather, songs as recognizable as "Peace of Mind" and "More Than a Feeling" seemed fresh, energized and even surprising ... ON MILWAUKEE
The main event, BOSTON, lived up to their top of the bill standing. They once again proved why they are the most underrated live act that I have seen.
Studio recordings of Boston music are great enough in their own right, but seeing them in a live setting, really makes one appreciate what they are witnessing. The sheer musicianship that comes together during their many extended instrumental pieces should make any real music fan bow in Wayne's World fashion saying "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" ... Chad Hobbs, Columbus EXAMINER
Guitarist and founding member Tom Scholz is still on the top of his game, and vocalist Tommy DeCarlo sounds so similar to deceased vocalist Brad Delp one can't help but imagine it is Delp's voice itself roaring through the speakers ... THE ORANGE LEADER
Just saw them in Grand Prairie. My goodness I can't even describe how incredible they were. Best concert I have ever seen ... LAYNA GRAY HARVEY
The Boston hits came one after another starting with "Rock N Roll Band" and ending the night an hour and half later with everyone's favorite - "PARTY" ... with stellar musicianship by Scholz and company ... GET AMPED Magazine
Tom Scholz is Magic! ... JOHN PAUL PELLETIER
Tom is the Man! And BOSTON is the most feel good band there ever was! Lyrics, Music, Performances, etc. Rock on!!! ... DUSTIN R. AUCKLAND
Panama City show was extreme! You guys rock!... DANNY BAIN
What a great concert you put on last night. Will not soon forget it!! Thanks for the good memories made past and present ... DIANA SIMMONS RICHARD
Boston at its best. All the favorites, virtually indistinguishable from the recordings. Mr Scholz is a master musician/composer/arranger/technician. He has managed to collect a group of musicians (some from the old days, some from the not so old days) who recreated his musical vision incredibly well. It is one thing to make music like that in the studio, with all the benefits of digital recording. It is another to see and hear it reproduced live. As a musician myself, I was astounded to see the performance of so many pieces so well executed. As a fan, I had a ball listening to those old classic songs ... TICKETMASTER REVIEWIER
Boston was awesome!!! This band knows how to put on a show. The addition of David Victor to the band did them justice. Tommy DeCarlo pays tribute to the late Brad Delp with his own flare! ...TICKETMASTER REVIEWER
Baseball caps off to Tommy DeCarlo, the current lead singer for the band for filling the big cleats of Bradley Delp who unfortunately took his own life in 2007. Having never seen the band live I was skeptical at what the vocals would sound like. Delp had a unique voice and style that contributed to the bands iconic sound. DeCarlo hit it out of the park as far as I am concerned and hit every note and captured the spirit of Delp on each song. ... BSD MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT BLOG
There are very few bands out there whose music actually defines a genre.
But it's safe to say when you think of Boston, the term 'classic rock' is first and foremost.
And it's classic not in the sense of it being old, outdated or unfashionable, but classic in terms of its impact on pop culture, the music industry itself and on the timeless quality of the songs themselves.
Very few bands made the impact that Boston (the band prefers its name all in capital letters to differentiate it from the city from which it hails) did when it released it's debut, self-titled album in 1976.
Rather than having just one hit single, that album spawned a series of hits that continue to be staples of rock radio airplay.
From the epic More Than A Feeling, to Smokin', Long Time, Rock and Roll Band, and Hitch A Ride, Boston redefined rock music from a technical and musical standpoint.
To date it has sold 17 million copies in the U.S. alone.
There probably would have been no Foreigner, Journey, or other big arena rock bands of that ilk if not for the ground that was broken by Boston mastermind Tom Scholz, the band's guitarist, primary songwriter and producer.
"When that album came out, it was so unique. The sound of the guitars and the sound of the recording was so special. I remember driving my car, in my hometown of Petaluna, California, and I pulled up to a stoplight and was waiting for it to change, and More Than A Feeling came on the radio. And I was so into it. And the guy in the car in front of me, he happened to be someone that I knew. He jumped out of his car, ran back to my car and said, 'are you listening to that station and hearing this band. It's awesome!'" said guitarist Gary Pihl who, after Scholz, is the longest-tenured member of Boston, having been in the band since 1985, after leaving Sammy Hagar's touring band when the Red Rocker joined Van Halen.
"Everybody just flipped out because it was so unique. How did they get that sound? And then there was the content itself. Everyone could sing along. Everyone could relate to the stories in the lyrics. Then the band toured and they were terrific live. I think all of those things combine to keep the music and the band so interesting. Even today, people come to the shows and ask, 'how do you get that sound?'"
The sound he speaks of is a combination of what would be called layered guitars, a sound that has become one of Boston and Tom Scholz' signatures.
Queen's Brian May has a similar sound, but much of the early Queen material was recorded through multiple amplifiers with multiple guitar tracks.
Scholz, an electronics whiz, developed a device that he later called the Rockman, which creates the same sound as multiple amps and tracks ... but is smaller than a shoebox.
Eventually, Scholz built a little mini music tech empire [which he sold a few years ago] around The Rockman and his other inventions, many of which made it possible for bands and musicians to record at home, rather than spending huge amounts of money on studio sessions.
"In my mind, he started the record-at-home revolution because he recorded that first Boston album at home in his basement. And once that news came out, every other musician said, 'you mean I don't have to spend $125 an hour to record an album?' So he was the first to record a hit album at home. All the recording equipment manufacturers picked up on that and said, 'wow, we can sell to all musicians as opposed to just selling our products to recording studios," said Pihl who was hired by Scholz to demonstrate his gadgets at industry trade shows, and eventually became an employee of not only Scholz, but a member of his band.
"We have had many musicians tell us how much they used the equipment. We used to tell people it was like an A to Z of the industry; from Alabama to ZZ Top used to call us to say they were using The Rockman on their new record. Def Leppard sent us a gold record because of how much they liked the technology. Joe Satriani, Joe Walsh, Jeff Beck, the list just goes on and on for people who have used that little device that Tom invented to help him record at home."
Boston's first album was six years in the making, but as with any hit band, the pressure from the music industry to produce a follow-up was big.
Don't Look Back came out two years later, in 1978, which doesn't seem like a long space of time, but in the 1970s, when bands like Kiss put out two albums a year, it was an eternity.
Legal hassles prevented the third album from coming out until 1986, but fans were patient, and Third Stage, which was Pihl's first recorded work with Boston became a radio hit on the strength of hits like We're Ready, Amanda and Cool The Engines.
A fourth album, Walk On didn't come out until 1994, while Corporate America, the band's last album, came out in 2002.
The band's touring schedule has also been infrequent, with Boston last hitting the road in 2008, which is also the last time the band came to Canada.
On the summer 2012 tour, the band will be coming to Belleville as part of the Empire Rockfest Series, playing Friday, July 27, the night after playing at Casino Rama near Barrie.
"In general, we like to tour when we have a new album or greatest hits package or something. And new albums are kind of few and far between. We hope that with our tours it's a question of quality rather than quantity. We're always working on new songs, but we're not quick in the studio," said Pihl, confirming media reports that there is indeed a new Boston album in the work.
"Tom has been on record as saying that it's about 85 per cent complete. We were hoping to have it out this year, but it wasn't quite ready. But because we thought it might be out, Tom said we should do some touring. It's been a while. It's been four years. And he said it didn't matter that the record wasn't out, he said, 'let's go out anyways.' And I said, 'great!'"
Pihl said there won't be any new material in the set, but that some older Boston musical chestnuts might make an appearance after many years.
There is also scuttlebutt within the music industry that some vocal tracks from Brad Delp, the band's longtime vocalist, may make an appearance on the new album.
"Tommy DeCarlo was with us on the last tour. And as some people may know, we found him on MySpace. Somebody called us and told us about this guy doing Boston songs on MySpace ... so we checked it out, we loved it and called him up," Pihl explained.
"And he had never been in a band in his life, he just recorded the songs on his own at home and posted them. But he has a great voice and was a heck of a nice guy and we asked him to come on tour. So he's back, and better than ever."
The rest of the Boston touring lineup includes vocalist David Victor, bassist Tracy Ferrie, and drummer Curly Smith, making a return to the drummer's stool after a number of years.
Delp was as much a part of the signature Boston sound as was Scholz's powerhouse guitar licks and production skills, and his passing was a tragedy not only for his family and friends, but also for lovers of melodic rock and roll, as sung by a truly unique talent.
"There was nobody like Brad. He was a wonderful guy. It was Sammy Hagar that first said publicly that Brad was the nicest guy in rock and roll. So we certainly miss him," said Pihl.
"Brad really hit those high notes, and outside of Freddie Mercury, that just wasn't done, because it wasn't the style."
Besides working in Boston, Pihl is also part of a band called December People, which tours the U.S. during the holiday season.
"We had the idea of doing traditional holiday songs, but in the styles of other rock bands. And all the shows would be benefits for the local food banks. So wherever we go, the food bank gets a big donation. And when I was told that I said, 'hey, count me in,'" he said.
"So we start off playing and it sounds like Pinball Wizard by The Who, but we start singing Joy to the World. And we do Santa Claus is coming to town like ZZ Top doing La Grange. And the audience just loves it., and have such a great time doing it. It's a great bunch of guys in the band, and it's for worthy causes."
Returning to the subject of Boston's leader and musical maestro, Pihl said Scholz may just be one of the most underrated figures in rock history.
"When they talk about the 100 best guitarists of rock, Tom is always there. But he is there amongst the top keyboard players of all time. And how about the top 100 songs of all time? There's always a couple of Boston songs there. And he's considered to be one of the top producers and engineers of all time. So he is a very unique guy," Pihl said of his friend of 35-plus years.
"But he is so down to earth, and a wonderful guy to work with ... and very humble. He just really cares about people. And he doesn't really like the limelight. He isn't the guy with the big ego that goes around saying, 'hey, I am a rock star, look at me.' He'd rather just walk down the street and be a regular guy."
Regular guy or not, Scholz and his bandmates can still rock a crowd with some of the best rock riffs ever written. And fans in the Belleville area and Simcoe County will get a chance to find that out first hand.
For information or tickets for the Casino Rama show, visit the box office, or www.casinorama.com.
For information on the Belleville show, visit www.empiresquarelive.com/rockfest/.
Jim Barber is a veteran music industry journalist. Contact him at email@example.com.
In 1976 my freshman dorm at Lafayette College listened to Boston's first album so much, we practically adopted the band. We just gorged on that supersonic smorgasbord of hammering guitars, slamming vocals and party-hearty harmonies.
I had several happy flashbacks to those heady days in McKeen Hall during Boston's concert Monday night at RiverPlace. A near sellout crowd of 6,017 heard rock 'n' roll that pounded the soul and rearranged vital organs.
Guitarist Tom Scholz, the only survivor of the original quintet, created chiming, spooning, buzzsawing duets with guitarist Gary Pihl, second in seniority with 23 years. Bassist Kimberley Dahme and drummer Jeff Neal, both relative babes in the woods, offered a potent one-two punch. Founding lead vocalist Brad Delp, who committed suicide last year, was replaced seamlessly by newcomers Michael Sweet, founding frontman of Stryper, the Christian metalsmiths, and Tommy DeCarlo, a Home Depot credit manager hired because of his deft Delp-like performances of Boston tunes on MySpace.
DeCarlo's tart, ringing singing helped make "Feelin' Satisfied" very satisfying. Sweet's pointy, lusty voice powered "Peace of Mind," which he recently covered with Stryper. He doubled as the evening's best entertainer, bending over his guitar, tossing his long hair and twirling in a punk trance like some Ramone.
The highlight of the night was an orgasmic "Foreplay/Long Time." The former featured an almost anarchic web of sonorities. The latter featured Sweet's foaming voice, Pihl's raving solo and a levitating finale.
Boston's Tom Scholz Still Rockin' with Two Les Paul Goldtops
Tom Scholz's reputation as a technological wizard and gear-hound is well deserved, as the Boston guitarist holds enough electronics-related patents to wallpaper his home studio. That being the case, you might surmise the veteran player owns a commensurate number of electric guitars. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
"I have only two guitars," Scholz says. "They're both old Les Paul Goldtops. I bought them both used, at a time when I didn't know anything about Les Pauls. Somebody told me that these two guitars were made for only six months, during half of 1968, so there are only a very few in existence. The neck on the guitar is completely different from the neck on every other type of Les Paul. It's huge. At first I couldn't play on it at all, and then after finally learning how to play on it, I discovered that there weren't any others available. But the amazing thing is I found two of them, without knowing that the second one was from 1968 as well, from that six month period. This happened before the first Boston album was released. I needed a second guitar before we went on the road, so I snatched it up. I bought both guitars for about $300."
To celebrate the life of Boston lead singer Brad Delp, whose suicide this past March roiled the rock world, Scholz staged a five-hour musical event last month at Boston's Bank of America Pavilion. Titled "Come Together: A Tribute to Brad Delp," the event saw past and present Boston personnel who, historically, have been a contentious bunch, putting aside their differences to pay homage to the much loved singer. Inevitably, any public appearance by Scholz fuels speculation about future Boston studio albums. Given the guitarist's legendary perfectionism, it's doubtful a new release will be forthcoming any time soon.
"Most of what I record, nobody ever hears," Scholz says. "At least 90 percent of it goes into a box, which now weighs a couple hundred pounds. Basically when I start working on something, all I have are ideas. They just come in a flood, and I try as many of them as I can. Sometimes they're very simple things, like whether to double-track or triple-track a part. And sometimes it's more complicated things, like changing lyrics or the melody, or deciding whether or not to use vocal harmonies. Each song takes an awful lot of time."
Coming Together at the Hard Rock
A gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe prior to Brad's tribute on August 19 provided a great atmosphere for BOSTON fans to reminisce and meet fellow fans, as well as some of the musicians. The oldest and newest members of the band, Tom, Jim, Kimberley and Jeff stopped by to join in the festivities for a while before heading off to prepare for the show.
Some dedicated fans took it upon themselves to raise money for the DTS Charitable Foundation in honor of Brad, who was a contributor to the foundation for many years. Photographer Bob Summers (who flew up from the Florida Keys on his own dime just to participate in the event) was on hand to snap dozens of photos. (Bob was the man that shot Tom and Kim's wedding, and captured the magical moment with the Key deer on the beach.) For a slideshow of his Hard Rock photos as well as many others from soundcheck and the concert, visit:
www.photodex.com/sharing/ ; Bob is offering these photos to anyone that might be interested at www.collages.net ; (Username = Come Together, Password = 3243)
A donation from the DTS Charitable Foundation has been made in the amount that was raised, $2800, to Vegan Outreach, which encourages and supports the vegetarian lifestyle practiced by Brad, Tom and Gary. Thanks to each and every person who was involved in this affair, your generosity is heartwarming and appreciated.
A matching donation has been made by Tom to Vegan.com, a site started by BOSTON fan Erik Marcus after he saw the animal rights-related liner notes on Third Stage, spurring his dedication to educating the public about the health, ethical and ecological reasons for adopting a vegetarian lifestyle.
We would also like to extend heartfelt thanks to Stage Manager, Torch Russo, Lighting Director, Bob Morrissey and Front of House Sound Man, Todd Winmill, who generously provided their services free of charge for BOSTON's set at the tribute. Their actions speak volumes about the type of men they are and we are honored to have them be a part of our crew.
photo by Bob Summers
Tom Scholz Honored by FARM
BOSTON Rock Star Receives Celebrity Animal Advocate of the Year Award
Tom Scholz, founder of the rock band BOSTON, was honored for his philanthropy work by the annual Animal Rights National Conference this evening in Los Angeles. He was presented with the Celebrity Animal Advocate of the Year Award in recognition of his long-term support of animal rights. Scholz was accompanied by his wife Kim. Past recipients of this award include Alicia Silverstone, James Cromwell, Linda Blair, Charlotte Ross, Casey Kasem, Wendi Malick, Bill Maher and Dennis Kucinich.
In his remarks, Tom Scholz paid tribute to his friend and collaborator of 35 years, the late Brad Delp. Over the years, Scholz and Delp, also a longtime vegetarian and animal rights advocate, supported similar causes through their contributions they made to Scholz's DTS Charitable Foundation. Scholz dedicated the award to Delp, who supported his work through the DTS Charitable Foundation to help protect all life from needless suffering. He explained that Brad Delp was a principal contributor to the foundation, which has helped many organizations like FARM USA. "His commitment to ethical vegetarianism over thirty years ago was a major factor in my emerging awareness of the unnecessary cruelty to animals in our society," Scholz said.
A tribute concert and event, "Come Together," featuring RTZ, Orion The Hunter, Godsmack, Beatlejuice, Farrenheit, Ernie and The Automatics and BOSTON with special guests Michael Sweet, Mickey Thomas, Sammy Hagar and more is set for August 19, 2007, at the BOA Pavilion in Boston, MA will honor Brad Delp's memory. For tickets and further information, visit Livenation.com or www.Ticketmaster.com
Nearly a thousand animal rights activists from throughout the U.S. and eight other countries rallied in at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles, CA on July 19-23 to review progress and to map national strategy for the coming year. Highlights included special sessions to defeat the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and reduce global warming, as well as eyewitness accounts of confrontational campaigns to save seals and whales. The annual Animal Rights 2007 National Conference featured more than 100 speakers representing 60 organizations from every sector of the animal protection movement. The Headliners included Elizabeth Kucinich, John Feldmann of the band Goldfinger, Tom Scholz of the rock band BOSTON, Paul Watson who confronted Japanese whalers, and Marianne Thieme elected to the Dutch parliament on an animal rights platform.
The program featured more than 100 sessions, including keynote addresses, video briefings on various forms of animal abuse, workshops on organizing and outreach skills, ideological 'rap' sessions, and campaign reports. Nearly 100 tables exhibited animal rights literature and merchandise. Scores of videos documented animal abuses and movement actions. The closing Awards Banquet featured winners of the Animal Rights Hall of Fame, Grassroots Animal Activist, and Celebrity Animal Advocate of the Year Awards. A day of intensive skills training, lobbying, and demonstrations followed the Conference. The timing of the conference marked a massive shift toward public acceptance of animal rights. This is reflected in public opinion surveys, enactment of animal protection legislation, reduced use and improved care of animals in laboratories, and growing popularity of vegetarian foods. Animal Rights 2007 is sponsored by FARM (Farm Animal Reform Movement), a national public interest organization advocating wholesome, nonviolent plant-based eating. Cosponsoring organizations include In Defense of Animals, The Vegan Sage, VegNews Magazine, Vegetarian Times, and E/Environmental Magazine.
Florida Keys Deer, Kim and Tom Scholz. Photo credit Bob Summers
Kimberley at the In My Life concert for Brad Delp
Tom, Gary, Jeff and their spouses were at the Regent Theater May 4th to watch Kimberley perform with Beatlejuice.
She was one of a dozen singers who wanted the opportunity to celebrate Brad's life in music and his affection for Beatle songs.
Kimberley was dressed in 60's style Go-Go boots and did a terrific job with the three songs she sang with Muzz, Steve, Joe and Dave. "It was very emotional for me" she said afterward, "and hard to keep from crying remembering how I'd seen Brad sing these songs".
There will be more photos on the www.muzzdrums.com website shortly. This photo courtesy Ron Pownall.
Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has asked me for some recollections about my experiences with Brad. An edited version of the reply I sent him appeared on rollingstone.com with questions inserted in the text. Here is the complete unedited note I sent to Andy:
Thank you for allowing me to answer your questions by e-mail. I haven't been in the mood to talk to people much for the last few days as you might imagine, but I appreciate you turning to me for this. Brad and I were friends and collaborators for 35 years. Both of us being vegetarians, non-drug users and more interested in music than money, put us in a very small minority in the music business; our bond ran much deeper than just BOSTON music.
In answer to your questions:
I met Brad, soft spoken and unassuming, when he auditioned in a recording studio outside of Boston one night to sing several songs I had written. Back then in the early seventies recording a song demo meant coming up with a significant amount of money, several weeks of my day job savings, to buy a few hours of 8 track time.
Having endured countless sessions with other singers, most with undeserved egos, I had only the faintest glimmer of hope that he might be good enough to squeak by as a suitable vocalist.
He didn't warm up; he just listened to the prerecorded instrument track once. Then he started to sing. I don't know if it took two seconds or three, but before he finished singing the first line I knew that some guardian angel had just delivered to me one of the best vocalists ever to step up to a microphone! Then he kept going and I realized he wasn't just one of the best, he was amazing! High notes I hadn't heard before followed by harmonies, and overdubbed exact duplicate layered tracks, all with ease, all with emotion, and yet all technically precise.
Before we left that night he had rewritten the lyrics and the melody, sung all the vocal parts, and with the magic of his voice turned my stark guitar riff into a song! From that moment on I only hoped I could write and record music worthy of his attention and interpretation.
There were soulful notes that pulled you into the song, stratospheric screams and angelic high notes, and after hitting these record breaking notes he'd go back and sing a harmony part above it! He didn't rehearse any of these parts, he could jump back and forth between harmony parts, double tracking parts, and then go back and do it again exactly the same with one tiny change, adjusting all the other singing parts to fit with bionic accuracy.
You'd think anyone with this super human talent would be an insufferable egomaniac. But Brad was just the opposite, and amazingly he remained honestly humble in spite of the incredible star pressure that followed BOSTON's success.
Brad and I banged our heads against the wall trying to get a break with record companies for five years. During that time he and I did a lot of basement recording; we received absolutely zero recognition locally and complete rejection submitting our demos to national record labels. I think this experience put our future success in perspective as we both realized that after so many years of insult, we were just very lucky to be able to record and play music above ground! Unlike many other individuals eventually involved with BOSTON, Brad's down to earth personality never wavered; it was his natural demeanor.
When someone asked me what Brad was like, the first words that always came to mind were "nice guy." Oddly, his incredible performing abilities seem barely worth mentioning compared to his attributes as a human being. He was soft spoken yet very quick and funny. Although I rarely remember seeing him in the throws of a good belly laugh, he could keep the people around him in stitches effortlessly, and did so on a daily basis. When he wasn't making someone laugh, or giving his time to a fan, he was a tireless worker, both in the studio and on stage.
He and I had a very strong personal connection because of our moral beliefs, yet we were drastically different kinds of people. While I am rebellious and easily provoked to an unyielding defense, Brad was passive and studiously non confrontational.
Somehow over the years I think we both grew not only to accept this in each other, but to respect it; I think this is part of the reason we were able to work together for so much of our lives. In an odd parallel we were also opposites in the studio. Once Brad would laid down a vocal track he became instantly committed to it and would dig in if challenged, whereas I would want to change everything and never be sure. We were usually at odds on how vocal arrangements should go also, which in early years caused heated debates. Later we both developed such respect for each other's abilities that the collaboration, so important to the eventual outcome of BOSTON's music, became much easier. It was largely my music, but it was Brad who brought it to life, and this struggle we both had to endure was part of what made it so many people's favorite.
I last saw Brad at rehearsal last month where we prepared several old and new songs for our upcoming summer shows. These are my fondest memories, playing music with my friend and the greatest singer in rock and roll.
Andy, Brad and I have been used and abused throughout our adult life by the music business, it continues even in his death. Please do the right thing with this. Sorry I wrote you a tome.
NARM and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announce the Definitive 200
After months of speculation, NARM and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have finally unveiled the official list of the 200 albums and soundtracks that comprise the Definitive 200. The Beatles' massively influential "St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" tops the list, followed by "Dark Side of The Moon" by Pink Floyd, "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin's "Led Zepplin IV" and U2's "Joshua Tree."
"The Definitive 200 urges people to remember that most of their favorite songs are part of a unique art form, the album," said NARM President Jim Donio. "In an era when record stores and album sales are somewhat embattled, NARM thought it was the perfect time to release this list, and have retailers promote these great, classic albums. There are no "Greatest Hits" or "Best Of" compilations. We are reminding folks what we already know to be true: albums, just like record stores, aren't going anywhere!"
The list was chosen by a committee of NARM retailers. Their selections spanned the past 50 years of modern popular music. A handful of artists have multiple albums on the list. "In compiling the list," continues Donio, "we asked retailers to think about the titles that fans keep coming back to, the titles that stand out for them. It's not just about sales, although albums that have sold well are obviously represented here. It's really about the passion that music buyers have shown for these particular titles and the albums' potential for enduring popularity today with new audiences. From Pop, Country, R and B, and Hip Hop albums just a few years old, to Rock, Blues, and Jazz classics released decades ago, the Definitive 200 are the albums everyone should own."
"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was really pleased to be asked to be part of this celebration," said Rock Hall President and CEO Joel Peresman. "The Definitive 200 honors a very diverse group of releases, and encourages fans to look to their own record collections and see what they are missing. Many of the Definitive 200 albums are by artists we have inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and others are by artists we may be inducting in the future. In fact, this year's induction ceremony on March 12th, will honor two bands with albums on the list: R.E.M. and Van Halen." This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions will be broadcast live for the first time, on both AOL and VH1 Classic."
The release of the Definitive 200 list is being celebrated with events in Los Angeles and New York. On March 7, 2007, Brian Wilson will perform songs from the Beach Boys' classic album, "Pet Sounds," at a press conference in Capitol Studios' historic Studio A. Not to be outdone by the rich tradition of music in the great city of Los Angeles, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has declared March 12th "Definitive 200 Day." To celebrate, legendary rapper/activist Chuck D will speak at a special event at J and R Music and Computer World. With his group, Public Enemy, Chuck D redefined music by addressing weighty issues about race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence never seen before. For additional information visit www.definitive200.com.
Brad Delp and Kimberley Dahme at the WZID Christmas Show
WZID put on their annual Christmas show at the Palace Theater in Manchester, New Hampshire on Dec. 14th. The sold out show was broadcast live and raised money for the Make A Wish Foundation.
Other performers included Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block, Lisa Guyer from Mama Kicks, Sal Baglio, the cast of A Christmas Carol and many more.
Kimberley's got a sombrero on for "Feliz Navidad". The entire cast of singers and musicians joined them and did a conga line up and down the aisles!
Brad sang the John Lennon song, "So This Is Christmas/ War is Over" with Kimberley and Lisa doing backup with the Christmas Carol singers
Kimberley sang "Santa Baby" to a chubby guy who dropped in for a while.
A wonderful time was had by all. You can hear it rebroadcast this Friday on WZID.com. There are more pictures there, too.
Doug Flutie Day in Boston
The city of Boston celebrated Nov. 13, 2006 as Doug Flutie Day. Flutie is seen here accepting the 2006 Red, White, and Blue Award for his work in promoting awareness and support for families with autism. The award is given each year to one of Boston's "local heroes."
The award was given to Bruce Springsteen in 2004 and Oscar Robertson in 2005. In addition to receiving the award, a concert was held at Symphony Hall featuring Keith Lockhart (conductor for the Boston Pops) and the rock group Boston. All benefits will go towards The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. Also on the show was the James Montgomery Blues Band and Special Guests.
In 1998, Flutie and his wife, Laurie, began raising funds for autism. In 2000 they established the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism to honor of their son Doug, Jr., who has autism.
The foundation, which to date has raised over $8 million, strives to provide aid for disadvantaged families affected by autism, fund education and research about autism, and serves as a forum for new programs and services relating to the disease.
The band Boston performed some of their favorite songs including "To Be A Man" as a tribute to Doug. About a dozen musicians from the Pops provided orchestral backing with strings, horns and percussion to make it a truly special performance.
Flutie even sat in on drums while drummer, Jeff Neal, picked up a guitar for the last encore of the night, "Smokin'". Big smiles were all around and a great time was had by all!
30 Minutes with Tom Scholz of Boston
Two of rock's Holy Grail albums, 1976's Boston and 1978's Don't Look Back are finally remastered by the band's meticulous mastermind, and he tells us why they're totally worth the wait. Plus, Tom sounds off about MP3s and surround sound.
by Mike Mettler
Before I had a chance to listen to them, I read a wonderful, telling statement in regard to the reissues of Boston and Don't Look Back: "remastered under Tom Scholz's supervision."
It's true. I did them up here in New England with a couple of trusted engineer friends of mine, and we more than supervised, we took those things apart piece by piece. Every nut and bolt came out of those songs. We tweaked all of the things that couldn't be done with the mixes in the '70s. I hadn't been able to listen to either one of those albums since they were first released on CD in the '80s, or whenever.
There were also Super Bit Mapped CDs of both albums that came out in the '90s.
You know what? It doesn't really matter. I mean, 16-bit audio absolutely destroys the waveform, especially in the high end. A lot of things that I thought were fine on vinyl or cassette tape parts that had a lot of brightness and sibilance in them sounded horrible on 16-bit CD. I literally could not listen to those albums on CD all these years. I saw this as a huge opportunity. I dropped everything, I shut down a 10-day vacation I had just started around my birthday [March 10] and went to work. We just literally went through those things second by second or, I should say, millisecond by millisecond and did all the things you can do now with automated EQ and other signal-processing techniques. Since it was going to be in the digital format anyway, there was nothing to lose.
Did you have the original masters yourself?
I didn't. They [Sony] had the original, quarter-inch-tape stereo masters, and did a very good job of doing the A/D conversion. I have to tell you, I would have been sweating bullets doing that myself. So we had good 24-bit transfers to start with. I'm really excited about how they came out, and I never thought I'd get excited about something I did 30 years ago. I can finally listen to these mixes on CD now. [laughs]
What kinds of problems were apparent to you on the original CDs?
First of all, expectations for the tone balance on recorded music has changed considerably over the last 30 years. For example, the amount of low end in a bass instrument is a helluva lot higher in mixes today. And there were a lot of problems in the treble ranges, which I attribute largely to the trouble with 16-bit audio in general and maybe somewhat to the fact that vinyl and tape did a good job of toning those things down for reproduction back in the old days. What I did was correct everything that I didn't like: things that couldn't be done in the original mix, which was all done by hand, and things that couldn't be done in the original mastering, which, of course, was done by hand as well, and, back in those days, was quite limited. Even in a nice mastering room like Capitol Records, you had very little opportunity to make adjustments or changes. Of course, going into a 24-bit, modern-day editing program, you can basically do whatever your knowledge, imagination, and time will allow. And we did have a very severe time crunch since we had gotten Sony to stop going forth with their own remaster.
That would have been a disaster.
Yeah. It did sound terrible. So we got into it, and did nothing in between working on these mixes except sleep. Remastering the whole thing took 8 days of 12-14 hours a day, straight through. I was really happy with what we got. You hear a lot of things you didn't hear before, and things that used to irritate me or sound screechy now sound full and natural. For example, [singer] Brad [Delp's] voice was warmed up the way it should be. And you can really feel that bass guitar instead of just hearing it.
Any other specific examples?
We made thousands of changes, thousands: every vocal line, every guitar part, the whole bottom end. The bass has been brought up in the mix relative to the bass in the kick drum, which gives a heckuva lot more punch from the bass instruments. The vocals in many of the songs appear louder. Even though there's a lot more bass, the vocals appear louder than they did before, which is usually something you fight with when you bring the bass up, the vocals disappear. And all of the shrill guitar parts have been fixed. The reason it's hard to pick out specific instances is because there literally isn't one second of any song on either of those albums that wasn't touched. [laughs] At the outset of Boston, when that first bass-guitar note hits in "More Than a Feeling," it's a lot fuller and a lot bigger. And when Brad starts singing, his voice is louder. It's hard to achieve that, especially when those rhythm power-chord guitars are playing at the beginnings of songs, or breaks between chorus and verses, the guitars are much more powerful. That power was something that slipped through the cracks when I was making the original master tracks. It was a mistake. I knew about it after the fact, but back then, in the '70s, it couldn't be fixed. Also, a lot of cymbals, lead-guitar parts, and some vocals got very, very screechy in the 16-bit product, and those have all been brought back into range. They all now sound pretty good to me on CD, and I don't usually like the way anything sounds on CD.
In general, you've never been a fan of digital.
I work only in an analog studio, so I hear music at its very best. I mean, there's nothing like the sound of an analog multitrack recording playing back. You'll never hear it sound so good again because it actually is the real thing. It's the real music by the real musicians, the phase hasn't been all screwed up by the A/D conversion, and the high end isn't all messed up trying to fit a 16-kHz tone into three pieces of a 44-Hz sampling rate. In an analog studio, you're hearing pristine, real-world sound, the way it would sound if it was coming through the mikes, and you were listening to them in headphones right there in your room. 24-bit digital sounds pretty good to me. But as soon as you make the conversion to 16-bit, it sounds like crap. [laughs] I have a hard time listening to CDs after working on an analog original because of what they do to the depth perception. The phase-angle errors caused by the A/D conversion really bother me. They bothered me the very first time I heard digital next to an analog original. I was always amazed that people didn't perceive that something that once sounded like it was located way beyond their speakers now sounded like it was on a flat plane...
All collapsed, basically...
Yeah. That's what digital does. It changes the audio waveform. People think digital is an accurate representation of music, and it's not. And because of the phase-angle error, all the things that your ear and your brain do normally to figure out where sounds are coming from to form a mental aural map, if you will, of your audio surroundings, it takes that and completely fools it. It turns something that had enormous depth and was recorded in a natural, beautiful hall and puts it into a little flat thing in front of you. So, as you can see, I've hated digital from the beginning. But it's cheap, and it's got a lot of features, and that's what sells.
If audiophiles had our way, we'd just go back to reel-to-reel tape.
I wish! There was nothing as good, and nothing ever will be, probably. But, in the meantime, I think we did a pretty good job of making the adjustments so that those early albums come across really well on CD. And in some ways, because of the improvements we made in the mastering, I prefer the new CD version over the original vinyl.
What compromises did you have to make when you originally mastered the album to vinyl?
The compromises in those days were huge. Every song was, basically, "Well, this is the best we can get with what we've got." Even though those mixes were done at what was considered a well-equipped mixing room [Westlake Audio in Los Angeles], there was only so much you could do. We were doing it manually. The outboard gear available for signal processing was really crude by today's standards, so we did the best we could.
But I knew what I would have done if we hadn't had all those limitations, and I finally got a chance to do it. It was a little more difficult working with the 2-track as opposed to being able to take the multitrack and remix it, but I think we made enormous improvements. The tracks have a lot more power. That was the thing I was looking for.
These two albums are all about power. I remember in the days of vinyl, we just used to turn them up as loud as we could go...
Sure. A little speaker distortion always helped. [both laugh] Well, the differences in the new masters aren't subtle at all. When you put on album one [Boston], right away, you'll hear a difference in the listenability and the impact of the power chords and the bass instruments. It made a world of difference to me, listening to them. And I think we made even more improvements with Don't Look Back, the whole album.
Switching gears here, what's your take on digital files and iPods?
Don't get me started on MP3s...
No, please, do get started! This is what we live for!
[laughs] I'll just leave it at... [pauses] I hate them. People find it hard to believe, but other than the obvious noise-floor considerations, cassettes sounded much better than any of this digital crap. For everyday use, I still use constant quick-reference mixes in the studio, different arrangements, different guitar parts, different singing parts, different mix ideas, so I always have a loaded, ready-to-go mix deck hooked up to my stereo bus. At any moment, I can push the button, record, and sit back and A/B the different parts and ideas. If I didn't have a cassette deck doing that job, I'd be lost. I was so worried about it that I bought a second cassette deck and then I bought boxes and boxes of the Maxell tape that I use since I figure at some point they'll stop making it. I depend on it so heavily.
There's nothing else that will quickly reproduce an accurate representation of sound to exacting standards.
Like you said, reel-to-reel was the best, and I always have to put cassette right behind it, the only thing being the noise-floor issue.
I remember Columbia tapes back in the day wearing out after many repeated listenings.
Right. Not only that, but I used to get half a dozen tapes of an album and I'd put them on one after another, and the differences in the EQ and the high end between them would be all over the lot.
Are CDs in danger of becoming extinct? Do you think we're moving to a purely digital-delivery age?
There's no question in my mind that the companies are going to be able to sell low-quality audio product in massive numbers far more easily than they can sell a true high-quality reproduction. Unfortunately, people have shown by their dollar votes that they don't care about quality nearly as much as they do features, convenience, and cost.
It's a little ironic, because I remember when I was in school [in the late '60s], the thing to do was buy the parts or kits and spend hours and hours building your own amplifiers and preamps and all this stuff so that you could get absolute, primo, best possible sound. I did it, and most of the college kids I knew did that. They were the first to embrace stereo broadcast with full-frequency reproduction. Today, college kids are buying this low-grade, cheap, kinda crappy audio sound. It's bizarre. I'm still trying to figure out what happened.
To the current generation, music is in the background rather than the foreground. Growing up, we put aside everything to listen to a new album. People don't really do that anymore.
That's probably true. I suppose convenience has a lot to do with it, too. Music production is pretty bad for the delivery that's available. Eventually, it could be only something really horrible, like MP3. But there will be a very small, and very expensive alternative, just like there is today. You can get audio on a DVD that's at least in 24-bit. And 24-bit digital audio is not bad. So I imagine there may be a direct electronic-delivery system that will be at least 24-bit with hopefully a higher bit rate that some people would be willing to pay for, like those who do for half-speed masters.
What do you think of surround sound?
Surround sound is nice, but what the hell do you need five speakers for? They did it with four early on in the '70s, quad, and it sounded awesome. It was four real channels that people would mix to using real reverberation and real instruments, not some conjured up, delayed, fake thing to give it false, spatial effects. It's fine, and it sounds neat, but what do you need five speakers for? I'll take that thought one step further: 10 years after quad came out, people were understanding sound interpretation in the human ear and mind well enough to be able to locate sound from a pair of speakers anywhere in a room, and some of it was quite strikingly good. For that, you had to have very, very good analog reproduction, none of this digital crap where you change phase angles with respect to frequency, because as soon as you do that, you destroy it. It was actually possible in the analog world to have surround sound with two speakers. So I look at it and I think, "What a scam for selling five speakers and five channels of crap to people for what could have been done with two speakers."
Actually, it's six, because you have a separate sub channel...
Of course... still, it's a scam, and it sounds neat, but it can be done with fewer components. I don't want to sound overly cynical, as it's one of those things you can have fun with, but it's not an eloquent solution for doing the job of surround.
Doug Flutie to be honored at Symphony Hall
By Kathy Uek/ Daily News Staff Monday, October 2, 2006
NATICK -- Highlights of Doug Flutie's career which included his Hail Mary pass at Boston College and his conversion of the first dropkick in 60 years for the New England Patriots, will now include a retirement celebration at Boston's Symphony Hall.
The Heisman Trophy winner will receive the Red, White and Blue Award for his unyielding support of the Boston community. The prestigious award given to Bruce Springsteen and Oscar Robertson in past years will be presented to Flutie at a benefit concert featuring Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart.
It should be "more than a feeling," for Flutie when the legendary rock band Boston, featuring founding members Tom Scholz and Brad Delp as well as other special guests, pick up the tempo at Symphony Hall.
The award concert will also serve as a retirement celebration for Flutie on Nov. 13, designated "Doug Flutie Day," by the city of Boston. "...It is only fitting that we recognize a man who has never wavered in his commitment to his own hometown," said Lisa Gregg, vice president of marketing for American Express Establishment Services, who, along with Delta Air Lines, will sponsor the event. "In all that he does in raising awareness and support for families with autism, Doug Flutie has been an incredibly positive influence both regionally and nationally," she said.
The Red, White and Blue Award is an ongoing program that honors local heroes and gives communities the chance to say "thank you" to those homegrown musicians, artists, athletes and dignitaries who never forgot their roots, according to a press release. During his 21-year-career, Flutie inspired thousands of Boston-area kids to defeat the odds and pursue their dreams.
Concert tickets go on sale today with proceeds going to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism to help the Foundation further improve the lives of those touched by autism. Tickets for the concert are available at the Boston Symphony Orchestra Box Office and by phone at 888-266-1200 and are $55, $85 and $150. American Express Cardmembers are eligible to receive a 15 percent discount on tickets when purchasing with an American Express card.
Click Here For Classic RockROC97 article in PDF format
Some of you may have heard that Boston and Don't Look Back have been remastered by Tom Scholz, and are finally available! For information regarding the rereleases, check out Tom's interview with Joe Benson.Joe says, "It's not the same as the Canadian package - the liner notes are completely redone (not sure on the art) and the remastering is completely different (Tom did it, not some gumba from down the hall). The "Live Bonus Tracks" sucked, and only a fool would want them. The sound improvement of the music is mind boggling (and I've heard a lot of music in my job).
June 29, 2006
In 1976, a garage band called Boston released their debut album, self-titled Boston. In what is now classic rock history, it took the charts and the world by storm, going to number one and becoming the best selling album of all time, a title which was held for many years.
Two years later and having already catapulted into the classic rock pantheon, Boston released their follow-up album Don't Look Back. The album was rush-recorded at the studio's insistence, a far cry from the seven-year long ordeal that was Boston, which explains the albums short, 33-minute running time. Both Boston albums have now been remastered for the first time each, by head band member Tom Scholz.
The classic CD. Consistently ranked one of the best classic rock CDs ever, although for a while was unfairly criticized as "corporate rock." It's not hard to hear why these accolades are laid on one after the other.
No matter how anti-classic rock you happen to be, it's hard not to start tapping your feet and acknowledging the greatness of the classic beat from "More Than A Feeling" when listening. The vocals soar around you and you realize that no matter how many times you hear the song, it will never turn stale.
Next up comes "Peace Of Mind," a slightly faster song with quicker vocals and another classic with great lyrics and guitars. It's almost impossible in this review to simply go through the songs, as each one is a hit. All have been played countless times and are mostly likely all worthy of their own individual reviews.
The only song that's not quite up to par on Boston is "Rock N Roll Band" which seems more like an echo of the surrounding songs. It's worth saying though that the song isn't all that bad ‚Äî in it's own right it's a fine song ‚Äî but on an album that's this good, it falls by the wayside to some extent.
Probably the best thing I can write about Boston is this: If you don't own it, there's no better time to repent your ways and buy this album. If you do own Boston, there's no better time to update your old CD with a new, remixed, and sonically superior version.
Don't Look Back
While most praise is generally directed towards their first album, that doesn't mean Boston's second outing, Don't Look Back, is unworthy of attention. The name is ironic in this case. What Boston is in essence doing on this album is not expanding into new territories and instead further compacting and solidifying their unique style. While most bands would be (and are) chastised for essentially staying put musically, it's tricker to do so with Boston as the music is just so good.
The title song, "Don't Look Back", is a Boston classic and deservedly so, containing the uplifting tone, unique vocal harmony, and guitar riffs that make the band great. The overall feel to Don't Look Back is slightly slower paced than that of Boston with songs such as "A Man I'll Never Be" and "Used To Bad News."
There's¬†a noticeable amount of filler material on this disc ("It's Easy" and "Used To Bad News") and an instrumental track "The Journey" that, even at a short 1 minute and 46 seconds, seems to drag on and on. These flaws are probably due more in part to the rush recorded status of the album rather than an actual drop in quality.
Even with these complaints, it's worth owning the album for the amazing times when everything clicks (which thankfully is fairly often) on tracks like "Feelin' Satisfied," "Don't Be Afraid," and of course "Don't Look Back". The sound quality is again very good on this new re-mastered disc. Highly recommended for both Boston fans and those new to the band or classic rock in general.--Sound and Vision magazine's Vice President/Editor in Chief Mike Mettler recently did an interview with Tom as well. He states, "You've never heard Boston and Don't Look Back like this before. These remasters show just how far ahead of his time Tom Scholz was (and still is) -- they're two of the best-sounding CDs I've ever listened to. Run, don't walk (and don't look back!), and go buy these two classic discs immediately. Your ears will be glad you did.
I spent about 50 minutes alone just on 'More Than a Feeling.' What a difference! The bass on the intro is indeed much fuller. Brad's vocals are also much fuller, and even wider in scope. On previous CD versions, it's almost like he's singing through water. The difference is quite noticeable when he sings 'away' at the 0:40 mark, and especially 'away - hey' @2:26. The drums are punchier (you can feel the kick right in the gut), and cymbal and stickwork are crisper. In general, Brad's vocals are a revelation throughout both albums, making me feel like he was singing right in front of me. "A live interview with Tom will be broadcast in the future at soundandvisionmag.com in the near future. Check the site for further information.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Boston - 'Boston' and 'Don't Look Back' - (Epic/Legacy)
Those who go beyond the music and read the liner notes of these two reissued albums might laugh when the writer suggests a kinship between the joyous energy of Boston's radio-friendly classic rock and Nirvana's infectious '90s hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Hardcore fans of one or the other band might even find the idea blasphemous, but an open mind will see the truth to it. Beneath Boston's polished layers of guitars and Nirvana's stubbornly distorted pop-punk beats the same youthful exuberance - different decade; same idea. Even Steve Jones, guitarist for iconic punkers the Sex Pistols, has admitted to secretly liking "More Than a Feeling" at a time when his band was supposed to be tearing down the "dinosaur rock" of bands like Boston.
What Boston mastermind Tom Scholz and his bandmates did on these two albums was marry the youthful energy and concerns of early rock 'n' roll to the big sound of heroes such as Led Zepplin, but ditching all the mystical pomp and circumstance of mid-'70s hard rock. In a way, Boston was an alternative to the alternative, giving kids who were turned off by the rigid ideology of punk and the vapid pulse of disco a way to rock.
Although there are no bonus tracks and the liner notes will interest only the historically-minded, the updated sound quality alone makes this pair of reissues worthy of purchase.