Boston - 70s Band

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by ABQCOWBOY, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Regular Joe....

    49,017 Messages
    16,271 Likes Received
    So it's interesting, the other day, my youngest Son's really good friend and a kid I've known since he was like 12, was talking about music with my Son's and he said he really liked this band called Boston. I was really surprised. I mean, both my Boys know Boston but I was really surprised that this kid (24 now) would say Boston. More surprised because he's African American and he kinda listens to a lot of Hip Hop and R&B. I talked with him for a little bit and kinda asked him why or how? He said he was watching this video and heard Boston and thought they were really good. He said that they kinda had a lot of Jazz/R&B sounds to them, which I never really got with Boston, so I kinda threw in Boston's debut album and listened to them again and he's right, they do.

    I know, I know, only one good album, studio band, terrible live, I've heard all of it. But honestly, I don't really think any of that is deserved or true. Boston's debut album Boston was so good, that it kinda made the rest of their albums seem lessor. This is not to say that all of them sucked, it's just that the debut, every track on that album was a hit. All of them got significant radio play, some say that that debut album is the best debut album of all time. I understand that because I understand the way the music was made. Boston was not a "Studio" band. On the contrary, if you want to say a garage band or basement band, that would actually be more accurate but not really a "studio" band. In fact, just the opposite. If you know the story of Boston, Boston was really a guy named Tom Scholz. Scholz was a mechanical engineer, who also happened to be a Genius from MIT. Scholz was so talented, was so visionary that he wrote, produced and performed all of the music himself, with the exception of the Drums, which were Sib Hashian and the Vocals, which were of course Brad Delp. But not only did Scholz do all of that, he also used methods in his recording that were truly revolutionary. Things that at the time, had never been done before. His usage of Double Tracking, Matching, the way he used accoustics and harmoneys, together with cutting edge baselines and backgrounds, his ability as an actual musician and strength of composition were unique but marrying this up with his engineering genuis and you created something that had never ever been seen, before or since IMO. Scholz, because he was an engineer, was a perfectionist so everything he did, everything he wrote and produced, he did to perfection in every detail. That is why that debut album was so good and it's also why the followons were not as good. See, scholz did all of that producion in his basement, using his own home made equipment. The ability to reproduce the quality or the sound of the music, simply didn't exist, anywhere in the world, besides his own basement. That's why they were never ever as good on stage and that's also why none of their follow on albums were as good. The lable made them record in Studio and brought in industry producers to put the albums together and simply put, none of them were as good as Scholz, none of the facilities were as sophisticated as what was in Scholz basement so the sound could not be reproduced in the same way. They basically took a one of a kind, revolutionary thing and ruined it by trying to turn it into another of the 100 bands already out there. Stupid, stupid, stupid but hey, we've all seen this happen before right?

    Brad Delp, he was the missing link in all of it. That one ingredent that creates the world class dish, rather then the plate of ravioli you can get at Maccaroni Grill. While Scholz was a genius in terms of all that I've just laid out, and more, Delp was a Savant in terms of his vocal genius and his understanding of how vocals work with compasition. His voice was unique. He had as good a range as any vocalist I've ever heard but he had this ability to bring it and he was unique because he could hit notes that very few could. Unlike other vocalist, who could also hit those high notes, he could sustain it with power. So he could sing at any range and just be strong and that's not common at all. Now you might think that this is what set him apart and made him great, and it would be if that were all but it wasn't. See, Delp understood the same thing that Scholz understood but with vocals. All the things that I said about Scholz earlier, was also true of Delp, but with vocal accompaniments. Scholz showed Delp what he wanted to do with the music and Delp did it with Vocals. Another words, when you listen to Boston's early work, you are listening to not only instrument accompaniments, Double Tracking and Matching with the instruments, you are listening to it with those same techniques in the vocals and in a instrumentals but also with a vocal/instrumental Double Track and Matching technique, which was unheard of at the time. You can do that now because the technology is there to do it but then, that technology was not available, which meant that Delp had to do every track, uniquely and make it work with not only the natural god given singing ability but his understanding of harmonies and acoustics. I mean, I can't even begin to explain how talented, how hard that would be. Nobody else could do that. That's what made him a Savant and the marriage of those two, that's why Boston's early work is transcending, musically IMO.
     
    catiii, Idgit, Hardline and 9 others like this.
  2. Runwildboys

    Runwildboys Well-Known Member

    17,076 Messages
    32,822 Likes Received
    It was the number one selling debut album for a long time, and that's without MTV helping it out.....but IMO, it's very overrated. The sound was unique, and I loved it when it first came out, but every song has very similar harmonies, which makes them monotonous, to me. I can only listen to one song, without getting bored of them.
     
    Sarge and Vtwin like this.
  3. Bizwah

    Bizwah Well-Known Member

    7,221 Messages
    2,191 Likes Received
    Love this band! Their first album was unbelievable! Song after song of pure rock music.

    So many great songs.

    I think my favorite may be "Hitch a Ride".
     
    catiii likes this.
  4. cowboyec

    cowboyec Well-Known Member

    11,908 Messages
    13,718 Likes Received
    excellent band.
    some really great tunes.
     
    SlammedZero likes this.
  5. roughneck266

    roughneck266 Well-Known Member

    4,198 Messages
    2,553 Likes Received
    First album was definitely one of a kind. The vocals and guitar work on there to me were very unique.
     
    SlammedZero likes this.
  6. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

    45,255 Messages
    32,132 Likes Received
    The “Boston” album was and is a masterpiece
     
    SlammedZero likes this.
  7. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

    75,565 Messages
    41,660 Likes Received
    Great write up ABQ. LOVE that band. Spent countless hours listening to their 8-tracks and cassettes through the years. Was genuinely sad when Delp died. Wish I could have seen them live one more time.
     
    SlammedZero and JohnnyTheFox like this.
  8. JohnnyTheFox

    JohnnyTheFox Achilleslastand

    5,693 Messages
    7,795 Likes Received
  9. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

    45,477 Messages
    22,472 Likes Received
    Amazing story.

    I remember when my buddy bought the first album– And even though I was more of a fan of 60's music, even I could tell Boston's music was special.

    If they had been able to keep the magic going for a few years we would probably be talking about them being the greatest American rock group of all-time.

    But alas, it didn't happen, but I still smile when I hear one of the songs from that first album.
     
  10. OmerV

    OmerV Well-Known Member

    13,156 Messages
    10,442 Likes Received
    That first album was huge, and I wore it out playing it so often. It was far and away the most often played in our baseball locker room - so much so that I still associate that album with my high school baseball teams.
     
    Runwildboys likes this.
  11. OmerV

    OmerV Well-Known Member

    13,156 Messages
    10,442 Likes Received
    The second album wasn't bad, and probably would have done better if it had been the first because the sound would have been something new to people. As it was, the sound was so similar to the first album, and the songs were not at the same level, so to me it came off as a somewhat lower tier knockoff of the first album.
     
  12. jsb357

    jsb357 Well-Known Member

    1,813 Messages
    2,065 Likes Received
    Foreplay/Long Time was a favorite of mine for years.

    After the fact, go and listen, on all three albums, it's all there.

    Almost like a warning.

    Tragic ending to a great singer.

     
  13. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Regular Joe....

    49,017 Messages
    16,271 Likes Received
    It's interesting because Scholtz was actually a base player. If you listen to the back track of those songs, with just the base, you can really tell how creative he actually was. The strings were not as complicated as some bands and you can really understand that once you understand that Scholz was the guy who was basically playing all of those pieces. The sound was really in the way he double tracked. Essentially, he played a piece of music several different ways but then he went back and manually matched them to create a really rich, vibrant sound that you can't replicate on stage. I mean, it's the same guy playing all of the instruments but double tracking on virtually all of them. Then, you have Delp who essentially looked at what Schultz was doing instrumentally and says, "Hey, I can do that vocally at the same strength as the instruments." I mean, think about that for just a second. We know that a good guitarist can produce some very unique sounds. If you have a guy who can match that with his vocals, not only in pitch but in the actual strength of the sound, you've got something really really special. That is so hard to do! So when you listen to early Boston songs, what you are really hearing is Scholz double tracking all the instrumentals but also Delp singing along with the actual pitch of all of those instrumentals with his voice. So singing but no words. He's basically mimicking the musical instrumentals with his voice or adding designed undertone in all of those pieces in order to accent a specific sound. The matching of all of this, and think about how complex that is, is masterful. You are talking about multiple tracks on every instrument and vocal tracks all being manually matched to create a single sound and just listen to how clean it is. That's the thing about Boston's music. I mean, today it is not nearly as impressive because we now have digital equipment that does this stuff easily but in 1976 and before, that didn't exist. There was none of that. All of that had to be done manually and you actually had to lay down track after track exactly right to get it how you wanted. There was no way to dup a good piece of track. And listen to how well composed all of those pieces are. Everything fits, there is purpose to every piece or every part of every song, all designed to create a feeling or intro a sound or transition to another piece and another sound. Think about how long Boston's songs are, in comparison to other music. Long Time For Play is like 8 minutes long.

    Anyway, I've talked too much on this. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 12:48 PM
    JohnnyTheFox likes this.
  14. Plankton

    Plankton Well-Known Member

    8,541 Messages
    10,406 Likes Received
    Scholz was such a perfectionist that he couldn't turn an album quickly. The group actually began laying the tracks for the self titled first album in 1969, and the album wasn't completed until 1976. The second album, Don't Look Back, took two and a half years, which Scholz indicated was quick for him. The third album, Third Stage, didn't drop until 1986, mostly due to lawsuits between all of the members of the group. by this time, only Delp and Scholz were still in the group - the rest of the members (Barry Goudreau, Fran Sheehan and Sib Hashian) recorded an album called Barry Goudreau, with Delp on lead vocals. It sounds like Boston, but a lot rougher.

    Delp committed suicide a number of years ago. Real shame - he was a terrific vocalist.
     
  15. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Regular Joe....

    49,017 Messages
    16,271 Likes Received
    This is true. Scholz was over the top about the fact that the label "rushed" him to get a follow on out the door. Goudreau and Sheehan were basically studio artists so they pretty much had to work. They couldn't wait around for the second album to drop. That's the Engineer in Scholz showing up there. He had to have everything perfect, no half measures. That's why the original was so great but it's also why Boston never became a Super Band.
     
    JohnnyTheFox likes this.
  16. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

    75,565 Messages
    41,660 Likes Received
    Goudreau started Orion the Hunter and then Goudreau and Delp formed a band called RTZ.

    I still remember buying those albums. Some of their stuff was very good.

     
  17. SlammedZero

    SlammedZero Well-Known Member

    5,693 Messages
    13,721 Likes Received
    I always liked Boston. I remember listening to them a lot growing up as they were my parent's favorite band (my little sister's name is Holly Ann if that tells you anything). I like the majority of their work. I even enjoy their Walk On album without Delp, though, I do prefer him as their lead vocalist. I haven't given their last album Life, Love, & Hope, a chance though. I keep forgetting about it. I will have to put it that on my agenda now that I am talking about it.
     
  18. jimmy40

    jimmy40 Well-Known Member

    16,705 Messages
    1,664 Likes Received
    you deserve screaming diarrhea for a week.
     
  19. Runwildboys

    Runwildboys Well-Known Member

    17,076 Messages
    32,822 Likes Received
    Way ahead of ya!
     
    jimmy40 likes this.
  20. JohnnyTheFox

    JohnnyTheFox Achilleslastand

    5,693 Messages
    7,795 Likes Received
    Yep, a lot of the stuff{vocals and guitars} were often multi-tracked and harmonized in thirds which gave them a unique sound. Not a huge fan of his playing as it wasn't as difficult as some of the stuff his contemporaries were doing. He was however a wizard in the studio as well as modifying and building his own equipment.
     
    Runwildboys likes this.

Share This Page