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Elizabeth Zharoff on The Charismatic Voice YouTube channel covered Boston's More Than A Feeling and Brad Delp's vocals.
By Jay Smith
Boston's self-titled debut album, which was released in 1975, has been certified for sales of 17 million in America. Until 2008, it was ranked as the top-selling debut album of all time. Tom Scholz wrote and produced the album himself, as well as played most of the instruments on it. He recorded it in his basement.
Creating one of the greatest rock albums of all time wasn't the only thing Tom was doing in his basement. He also designed and built model airplanes. His love of aviation began in his childhood. While growing up in Toledo, Ohio, a chance to attend the Weak Signals Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo further cemented his interest in the hobby and made him think about the cool airplanes he could build.
When Tom was 6 or 7 years old, his mom bought him his first model airplane kit. After successfully building and flying a few Free Flight (FF) models, he started designing his own aircraft. He said, "My designs all center around the way I would like an airplane to look, believe it or not--oh, and brute-force power.
"I've had luck with the axiom: Airplanes that look right usually fly right. Creating a new design, solving the aerodynamic and structural problems, the reward of seeing a finished airplane, and the thrill of watching it fly are my motivations.
"Each song on the album is three to four months of work. It's like when you build an airplane that's a difficult build and you love that plane. I ‘m very fond of all my music because each song is a labor of love."
FF led Tom to start flying Control Line (CL) at the age of 10 or 11. The next logical step would have been RC, but the cost kept that side of the hobby out of reach until he was older. He continued to dabble in FF and CL until he was 16 or 17.
A song recorded in the seventies but never released became a viral hit.
Boston drummer Curly Smith's 19-year old son Zach Smith, who goes by Zach Montana on TikTok, discovered the long-lost track by accident when a disc that was in the car's CD player began playing. Zach posted a TikTok video playing the track and reacting to it. The song is called Surrender To Me (not to be confused with the Boston song of the same name) and was originally recorded in 1978. On the video he posted "Guys PLEASE blow this up to convince my dad to release this song." The video immediately got thousands of plays overnight. To date, it has over 3 million views.
The song has been remastered in the personal studio of the band Chicago, according to an update Zach posted. The song was released under the band name FireCityFunk on February 4 through multiple digital music services. Zach and Curly appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 16 to perform the song.
On why it was never released, Curly told Jimmy Kimmel "Well, it was very tough in those days to get a record deal. You know, especially with people like The Bee Gees dominating the charts. So I couldn't get it signed, so I just put it on a shelf for 43 years."
If you've got lots of money, here's your chance to own a piece of BOSTON history.
Gary Norman, the artist who created the LP cover art for BOSTON's second album Don't Look Back, is auctioning off the original illustration, and it can be yours, if you have enough money to win the auction.
Heritage Auctions is the auction house hosting the sale of this item. The original acrylic-and-airbrushed original artwork Gary Norman created for the second BOSTON album measures 25 x 46 inches (63.5 x 116.8 cm). The artwork was never framed, and according to Boing Boing, it's been sitting in his extra bedroom for almost 40 years.
The bidding has already surpassed the estimate of $5,000 to $7,000 (at the time of this writing, the current bid is $13,500). The auction ends April 30, so if you can afford it, you can make a bid. And who knows, you may be lucky enough to own it!
The Boston musician locked himself in his basement and came up with one of the most stunning albums -- and guitar tones -- of the past 45 years.
BOSTON ARE OFTEN maligned as "corporate rock," an ironic categorization for a band whose debut album was conceived largely by one guy working alone in his wood-paneled basement after getting off work as a product design engineer for Polaroid. That guy, guitarist and songwriter Tom Scholz, not only managed to come up with Boston's self-titled, multi-Platinum-selling 1976 debut album -- he also revolutionized rock-guitar tone using little more than a goldtop 1968 Les Paul with a "neck like a log" that he recorded at extremely low volume due to his less-than-adequate studio environs.
Scholz has identified that tone -- characterized by a sweetly distorted and heavily sustaining guitar sound -- as the combination of his Les Paul running into an old 100-watt Marshall head and a prototype power soak that he built "because of the need to bring down the gain, but without losing the saturation of the sound."
It wasn't just the sound of Scholz's guitar that was unique, however -- it was also the notes he played on it. The solos he constructed for Boston (and co-guitarist Barry Goudreau must be recognized here as well) are towering marvels that dip, soar and mount to explosive climaxes. Spiked with unusual harmony lines, bends and note choices, and just the right amount of flash, they can be listened to as mini compositions in and of themselves.
Despite the corporate rock tag, Scholz's influence on critic-approved artists is now widely recognized. (Consider Kurt Cobain, who put more than a little of "More Than a Feeling" into Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit.") Scholz also changed guitar tone with his development of the Rockman, the pocket-sized headphone amp simulator used by, among others, Def Leppard on their bajillion-selling 1987 album, Hysteria.
After more than 40 years, Scholz' tone and touch remain as unique and awe-inspiring as ever. "That sound grew out of what I did naturally," he has explained. "It's that simple. Left to my own devices, with no outside interference, the sound of Boston is what I come up with."
TOP TRACK: "HITCH A RIDE"