Classic 70's albums bring into mind Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Led Zeppelin's fourth album, and Blondie's Parallel Lines, to name a few. Add to that Boston's debut album, which sold 16 million copies in the US and was in the album charts for two years. Much of the success was due to the intelligent songwriting of Tom Scholz and rock vocals of Brad Delp, who by the time of their third album Third Stage, were the only two from the original lineup left.
The remembrances of summers past and a girl named Marianne is embodied in their first single "More Than A Feeling," one of the best known rock singles of the 70's. Reaching #5 in 1976, it featured all the components that made Boston a force to be reckoned with. Delp's soaring vocals, accompaniment from other members, and Tom Scholz's distinctive squealing and revved guitars, particularly during the chorus.
"Peace Of Mind," the third single, which barely showed its face in the Top 40 (#38), is more a rocker throughout. It's a song showing the wisdom of not getting caught up with the fierce competition in the music world: /Can'tcha you see there'll come a day when it won't matter/Come a day when you'll be gone/ I sometimes find myself liking this song more than "More Than A Feeling." Why didn't this get into the Top 5 as well?
The second single, "Long Time," has as an accompanying prelude "Foreplay," with its rambling organ solo and snarling guitars. After 2 mins 23 seconds, "Long Time" begins with a squealing guitar and Brad singing. This #22 song has the long-term dream or vision, much like "Peace of Mind" and the need to move on from one place to another to find it. The "got to move on" dynamic is also explored in "Hitch A Ride," only on a more cosmic level, where hitching a ride to the other side and leaving for the last time is the final departure.
"Rock N Roll Band" is an autobiographic song of how the band made it from local gigs till their discovery. Just as engaging if not more than "Peace of Mind." There are some nods to old-fashion R&R in the verses of the jamming "Smokin'." Jamming, or should I say smoking?
All the songs are singleworthy, due to a consistent strong guitar, heavy bass, drums, in other words, the forerunner of what would later be termed arena rock. Corporate rock is another term that comes to mind, although later, Boston's most recent album would be named Corporate America in denunciation of the type of music his band had been a part of.
Not many artists have a best-selling pop debut album like Boston, although two that come to mind are Whitney Houston and Hootie & The Blowfish. An enduring classic that still hasn't lost its touch all these years.