Tom Scholz - guitars, keyboards; Brad Delp - lead vocals; Barry Goudreau - guitar, vocals; Fran Sheehan - bass, vocals; John Hashain - drums
In 1975, guitarist/ songwriter/ inventor/ electrical engineer Tom Scholz, with a master's degree from MIT, was working by day at Polaroid. By night, he was recording feverishly with his own rock band, Boston, that also consisted of fellow Bostonians Brad Delp on vocals, Barry Goudreau on guitar, Fran Sheehan on bass, and John "Sib" Hashain on drums.
With Scholz at the helm, they spent most of 1975 writing an album's worth of songs that would eventually transform itself into one of the most successful debut albums by a rock band in history. Those demos, with virtually little overdubs or changes, became the first Boston album, released on Epic Records the following year. The record exploded at radio with four hit singles, and would go on to sell 10 million copies. The group worked on and off (in between Scholz other career as a successful music equipment manufacturer) throughout the 1980s and '90s, but suffered from inconsistent personnel line-ups and music that was by that point becoming dated.
When this 1976 performance by Boston was captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, the band was at the top of their game and in the zenith of their popularity. Although now it is not viewed as much a virtue as a curse, the ultra-success of the first Boston album is credited by many as launching the rise of AOR radio and corporate rock, both of which appeared around the same time in America. This show features most of that debut LP that changed radio forever. Opening with the high energy hit, "Rock And Roll Band," the group is quick to play its biggest song, "More Than A Feeling," which is over nine minutes long here. Lesser known tracks "Peace Of Mind" and "Something About You" are next, followed by another all-out rocker, "Smokin'." Next up are the obligatory band solos, which lead into a steady rockin' 14-minute version of "Long Time." They close with the cynical opus, "Television Politician" which jams into the more hopeful "Don't Be Afraid."
Such a high quality live recording of Boston in their prime reveals that the polish and power they displayed on their studio recordings could be translated to the stage and was arguably, even more compelling. With an emphasis on material from their classic first album plus non-LP tracks like "Shattered Images" and "Television Politician," this is a must-listen for all Boston fans.