On this day, 18-September 1976, Boston released their first hit single ‘More Than A Feeling.’ MIT graduate Tom Scholz worked on the recording for five years in his basement before signing a record contract. Scholz says the song was inspired by “Walk Away Renee,” the 1967 hit song by The Left Banke. In fact, “Walk Away” is a key line in the chorus of “More Than A Feeling.” The song wouldn’t be complete, nor would any Boston tune, without the fantastic vocals by Brad Delp. Together with some of the then ground-breaking guitar work, Brad’s vocals were both haunting and alluring.
I was a high school student when the song and the LP came out originally. I was cutting my baby DJ teeth oat our high school radio station, as well as interning at the Boss Top 40 AM station in Salinas-Monterey, California: KDON. We must have played “More Than A Feeling” every 90 minutes on KDON, and soon the rest of the hits from that original Boston LP were playing over the next several months. I remember the “rumor” that it took Tom Scholz five years to get a contract, and that he had played all the instruments on those basement tapes that would eventually become the mainframe of the debut Boston LP. Unbelievable!
What I remember most about “More Than a Feeling,” and the rest of the LP was that the sound was unlike anything we had heard before. And think about this: Tom Scholz started working on the project in the early 1970s. So to achieve such a modern sound all those years later is really remarkable, dare I say complete genius. Of course, “Boston” the LP went on to be one of the most successful of all time and the term “Corporate Rock” most likely can be attributed to their sound. But every teenager in 1976 owned a copy of the LP or the cassette, and we knew every word to every song, every nuance in those lush rock intros and if we close our eyes we can see “Mary Ann” walking away.