Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Boston - Discography

Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts that achieved its most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s. Centered on guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer Tom Scholz. They have sold over 50 million albums worldwide, including 31 million albums in the United States.

Early years (pre-1976)

Boston began when Tom Scholz, an MIT engineering graduate who worked at Polaroid, began to create a series of tape recordings in his home studio accompanied by guitarist Barry Goudreau, drummer Jim Masdea (with whom Scholz played in a prior band), and singer Ron Patti from the band Boston Creme. The roots of the first album were created in these early demo sessions with songs such as "More Than a Feeling," "Hitch a Ride," "Peace of Mind," "Foreplay/Long Time" and "Rock & Roll Band." Scholz soon became frustrated with the limitations of the technology at the time and his inability to capture the sound he wanted. He soon began building and designing his own equipment.
The first tapes Scholz produced were rejected by the record labels. A second set of tapes with Scholz on guitar (which he learned to play in Goudreau's band), newly hired singer Brad Delp on vocals and Masdea on drums, drew the attention of executives at Epic Records, a division of CBS. The label was dissatisfied with Masdea's performance, and he was replaced by Sib Hashian. The label also insisted that Scholz re-record the demo tapes in a professional studio with a full band, which led to the hiring of bassist Fran Sheehan. With the exception of "Let Me Take You Home Tonight," which was recorded in California, Scholz duped the record company and re-recorded the other seven tracks in his home studio.

* * * * * * * * * *
Boston - Boston (1976)
The resulting debut album, Boston, was an enormous success and helped revive the popularity of mainstream rock at a time when disco was beginning to dominate radio airplay and an ascendant punk was attracting critical acclaim. The record ranks as the best-selling debut album in U.S. history, with over 17 million copies sold, a rank it still holds. During the summer of 1976 Boston got much publicity when they toured with Black Sabbath and Moxy. The band then embarked on a worldwide tour to support the new album. This helped establish Boston as one of rock's top acts within a short time. The album spawned one Top 10 single, "More Than a Feeling" and two other Top 40 hits, "Peace of Mind" and "Foreplay/Long Time". Additionally, the album peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts. Eleven years later, Boston would reappear in the Billboard Top 200, reaching #101.

Tracks: (Listen Online by clicking the song or download for Study)
02. Peace Of mind
05. Smokin'
08. Let Me Take You Home Tonight
* * * * * * * * * *

BOSTON - Don't Look Back (1978)
Despite much bickering between Epic and Scholz, the second Boston album had the finishing touches put on it just two years after the debut album's release. The result was Don't Look Back, which was officially released by Epic in 1978. At the time this was considered a long gap between albums, but Scholz still considered Don't Look Back to be a rush job and was unhappy with the album's second side in particular. This was confirmed on the Third Stage episode of In the Studio with Redbeard when he said that "CBS had no confidence in a second Boston album" and "Epic/CBS was trying to cash in on the success of the debut album". Although it sold four million copies in its first month, overall Don't Look Back sold less than half as well as the extraordinarily successful first album. Another tour followed, and the album's title track became a Top 10 hit, peaking at #4. Additionally, two other singles, "A Man I'll Never Be", and "Feelin' Satisfied" went Top 40 and Top 50 respectively. Despite the success, Scholz's relationship with Epic continued to deteriorate steadily. Scholz eventually began the process of working on Boston's third album, determined to complete the album at his own pace.

Tracks: (Listen Online by clicking the song or download for Study)
04. A Man I'll never Be
07. Used to be Bad News
08. Don't be Afraid
* * * * * * * * * *

Boston - Third Stage (1986)
Throughout all of the adversity, progress continued to be made on the still untitled third Boston album. A tape of a song they had been working on, "Amanda", leaked out of the studio in 1984 and was widely bootlegged throughout the fan community who were eager for new material. While the sound was somewhat different from the first two Boston albums, the result was strong praise and support from the band's fans.

"Amanda" became the lead single when Third Stage was finally released in 1986, after Scholz signed a new contract with MCA Records. Loosely built around the theme of life's "third stage" (the onset of middle age), the album was a big hit and was widely discussed in the non-music press. During Boston's subsequent tour the new album was played, in sequence, in its entirety. Third Stage became the strongest charting Boston release to date. The album and lead single "Amanda" both went to #1 on Billboard, and subsequent singles, "We're Ready" and "Can'tcha Say" were Top 10 and Top 20 respectively. Third Stage sold over 4 million copies to date.
Boston also participated in a local charity concert sponsored by Tea Party Concerts to benefit AIDS awareness. This move was lauded by local radio personalities, owing to the stigma attached to AIDS at that time. Boston has continued involvement in a number of charities, including anti-domestic violence groups and local homeless programs. (Boston Herald, 1988; Boston Globe, 1988; bandboston.com). In 1990 a jury ruled in favor of Scholz in the CBS lawsuit, and the court awarded him 1.6 million dollars in punitive damages.

Tracks: (Listen Online by clicking the song or download for Study)
01. Amanda 4:16
02. We're Ready 3:58
03. The Launch 2:55
04. Cool the Engines 4:24
05. My Destination 2:19
06. A New World 0:36
07. To Be a Man 3:30
09. Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still in Love 5:13
10. Hollyann 5:11
* * * * * * * * * *

BOSTON - Walk On (1994)
In the wake of Third Stage, Scholz headed back to the studio to work on an album tentatively titled Boston IV. This was the first album without Delp, because of his prior commitment to Barry Goudreau's band RTZ. The departure of Delp officially reduced Boston to a one-man band, and left Scholz as the last original member. With Scholz working at his usual slow pace, 8 years passed before Walk On was released. Walk On included vocalist Fran Cosmo who had previously performed in Goudreau's band, Orion the Hunter, a project that also featured songwriting and backing vocals from Delp. Unlike the previous albums, Walk On went platinum but only reached #7 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. It failed to reach the usual multi-platinum level or chart in the Top 5 like all their previous albums. It produced no hit singles, although "I Need Your Love" was widely played on rock radio and did enter the Billboard Top 100 Singles chart. Delp left RTZ and re-joined Boston for the Walk On tour, sharing lead vocal duties with Cosmo on stage.

Tracks: (Listen Online by clicking the song or download for Study)
02. Surrender to Me - 5:34
03. Livin' for You - 4:58
04. Walkin' at Night - 2:02
05. Walk On - 2:58
06. Get Organ-ized/Get Reorgan-ized - 4:28
08. What's Your Name - 4:28
09. Magdalene - 5:58
10. We Can Make It - 5.30
* * * * * * * * * *

Boston - Corporate America (2002)
Boston released a compilation album in 1997, entitled simply Boston: Greatest Hits. The album featured all of the band's hit singles except "We're Ready", along with three new songs, "Higher Power," (the first new Boston song with Delp on vocals since 1986), "Tell Me" (with bassist David Sikes on vocals) and an instrumental version of the "Star Spangled Banner." Smith and Sikes left the band in late 1997 after the "Greatest Hits" tour. Scholz headed back to the studio in 1998 to begin work on a fifth album, which eventually turned out to be Corporate America. Two tracks were leaked in 1999, but the album did not come out until 2002. The title track of "Corporate America" was uploaded by Tom Scholz to MP3.com under the pseudonym of "Downer's Revenge" in early 2002 in order to test the album's appeal to a younger demographic.

November 2002 marked the official release of Corporate America on the independent label Artemis Records. This album featured the largest Boston lineup ever; returning members included Delp and Cosmo on guitar and lead vocals, Scholz on lead guitar and organ, and Gary Pihl on guitar, along with the new members: Anthony Cosmo (Fran Cosmo's son) on rhythm guitar, Jeff Neal on drums and Kimberley Dahme on bass and vocals. Dahme, Delp and Cosmo all contributed lead vocals to the album. The group embarked on a national tour in support of the album in 2003 and 2004. Also in 2006, the first two Boston albums appeared in remastered form.

Tracks: (Listen Online by clicking the song or download for Study)
01. I Had a Good Time - 4:15
02. Stare Out Your Window - 3:19
04. With You - 3:28
05. Someone - 4:10
06. Turn it Off - 4:37
07. Cryin' - 5:19
08. Didn't Mean to Fall in Love - 5:14
10. Livin' for You [Live] - 5:07

NOTE:
Boston lead singer Brad Delp took his own life March 9, 2007 at his home in Atkinson, New Hampshire. Police found Delp dead in his bathroom. Police Lt. William Baldwin called the death "untimely" and said that no foul play was indicated. Delp was alone at the time of his death according to the police report. According to a New Hampshire TV website, Delp was preparing for a summer tour. The Associated Press reported that his death was a result of suicide and that he was found by his fiancée. The AP also reported that, according to the New Hampshire medical examiner, Delp's death was the result of suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning (from 2 charcoal grills) as evidenced by carboxyhemoglobin. Delp's last concert with Boston had been at Boston Symphony Hall on November 13, 2006 at a concert honoring football great Doug Flutie.

* * * * * * * * * *
In the spring of 2008, Scholz and Sweet introduced a new Boston lineup, which subsequently did a North American summer tour, playing 53 dates in 12 weeks (on a double bill with Styx). Scholz was the only founding member of Boston to play on the tour, although longtime member Gary Pihl was also part of the band. In addition to Scholz, Sweet and Pihl, the new lineup also featured Tommy DeCarlo, Kimberley Dahme and Jeff Neal.

In January 2009, Greatest Hits was rereleased as a remastered disc, and a new album is in development, expected to be released in 2009. Tommy DeCarlo is expected to be amongst one of the main vocalists for the album. Michael Sweet of Stryper, and other musicians will be part of the album personnel.

* * * * * * * * * *