No love for Boston?

Discussion in 'Music' started by MikeH1, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Reading that classic rock thread I noticed no one had put down Boston as one of their top 5 bands from that era. Being 30, I missed the 70's scene completely but as a teen in the early 90's started to really dig Boston and snapped up their first 3 releases. From what I read here at HTF is that many do like Boston (but not enough for it to make anyone's favorites) and that they were the "original corporate rock band". Is this true? Since I missed it, whats the story?

    I just figured Boston would get a few top 5 votes...
     
  2. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    I like Boston a lot but mainly their first album. I tend to put them in a Classic Pop Rock catagory though along with the likes of Journey, Loverboy etc...
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I nearly put them in my list as well, but they didn't make the final cut. I saw them live in 87 in Worcester at the Centrum during their sold out, NINE night run there. Prior to their third album, we used to joke about owning "Boston's Greatest Hits, Volume One AND Two". In New England, rumours of reunions and tours were almost a daily affair and seemed about as likely as the Red Sox winning the World Series. As for the corporate rock band, I've never heard that label attached to them and find it unlikely, as they (they being Tom Scholtz) went about a decade before releasing an album and the talk back then seemed to revolve around contract disputes and the like (this is a somewhat hazy recollection of my high school years, so don't take any of this as gospel). Anyway, I'm sure if the list thread lasts long enough, Boston will make someone's top 5 (though later efforts were not as well received and might be damping people's enthusiasm for them).
     
  4. Jason Kirkpatri

    Jason Kirkpatri Second Unit

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    Boston is a staple amoung my collection. Since my collection is all metal, I wasn't going to post with one band - Boston - and blanks on two through five. Love Boston.
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I don't think "corporate rock", whatever that means, applies to Boston.

    All the stuff I have read suggest that they were not really a band in the traditional sense, and were really the brain child of Tom Scholz....no Tom, no Boston. The band was needed so they could play live.

    Folklore says that the 1st LP was more or less what Tom did in his personal studio, moonlighting from his job at Polaroid....cleaned up a bit in some pro studios. That may or may not be just PR B.S., but the tracks on the 1st LP hold up well, and there is some pretty good musicianship and song craft on display there.

    It was melodic, but heavily guitar/organ driven...which gave it broader appeal that a lot of their contemporaries.

    I actually just bought the SACD of the 1st one, and while I had not listened to it in a long, long time, it held up pretty well.

    And Tom was/is a technical genius. You may or may not like the guitar tone that is Boston's signature, but I was pretty jazzed when the 1st Rockman came out in the late 70's /early 80's......Boston in a Box. A one trick pony, but it was a damn good trick. Having read a Guitar Player interview with Tom, I was happy to be able to cop that tone without having to assemble a wall of gear.

    Even ZZ Top used one on a lot their 80's stuff.

    I have not heard anything beyond 3rd Stage, but up to that point, the rub was that they were just rehashing the 1st LP.

    BGL
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Boston has and will always be in my top 5. While the later albums do get derivative of the earlier work, Don't Look Back is one of my favorite albums of all time.
     
  7. Patrick_L

    Patrick_L Second Unit

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    it was '82 when it came out. definitely not the 70's, iirc
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Agreed....I would have thought maybe '81, but Google does say '82....time sure flies.

    I did get the first one sold at Union Music in Worcester, MA....later sold to a Polaroid Engineer who knew someone who knew someone who knew Tom....

    BGL
     
  9. Patrick_L

    Patrick_L Second Unit

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    lol nice. i worked at a small music store a few years after it came out and had a blast with one, although i wasn't fond of sounding like Tom.
     
  10. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

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    I was about 12 when the first Boston album came out, and just getting into rock. That, and Kiss's Rock and Roll Over were my first 2 records. Boston remained my favorite record for a LONG time, and Foreplay/Long Time is probably the first track I heard that pushed me into instrumental/prog oriented music (and then jazz). I got a friend to airbrush their first album cover on a baseball jersey, and that was my favorite shirt for a long time. But I never liked anything they subsequently did all that much.

    I found a website for Boston a year or two ago, and IIRC it had some info about the legal problems they (Tom) experienced. It also had photos from recent gigs, so Tom hasn't completely given up the ghost. A couple of the original band members were still around, with some new ones and a female vocalist. (Found it... www.boston.org , not much different than I remember.)
     
  11. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Cool link Paul....I will need to spend some time looking through the stuff there.

    I missed them when they played this summer in my city, but I read some stuff over at Steve Hoffman's forums that said that they were doing a pretty good show.

    BGL
     
  12. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

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    Boston is re-releasing their most recent CD "Corporate America"

    I would believe a band like Boston would be hard for its original fans to follow. For example if you were 17 when the band released their first two albums, you probably kept up to date on their happenings. Then they had their dispute with CBS which led to them taking years to release 3rd Stage in '86. By then that fan is 27 and probably had changes in musical tastes and is busy with other things besides rockin' out. Then its another 8 years before Walk On is released, so that fan now is 35. A greatest hits album comes out before Corporate America is released in 2002 which is another 8 years, now that fan is 43.

    I guess my point is how does a band like Boston who sporadically releases albums keep a fan base? How does a band whose members are in their mid 50's attract that younger audience? What about the older fans, do they come back after all these years, to see new faces in the band and the one reaction i found on some websites was "What Boston has a woman in the band" (I enjoy kimberly in the band, she has a great rustic voice!)I've enjoyed the music that Boston has released, my biggest gripe is that I wish Tom had been more apathetic when it came to dealing with music labels and would just make music, keep its fan base happy with the music on a regular basis.

    I'm not sure how their concert attendance is, but their last 2 full length CD's really didn't do well. I remember seeing a quote (i'm not sure of the exact quote)in a music magazine when Walk On was released, and it was from a Executive at MCA who released the album, that he didn't even know Boston was signed to the label or had even released an album through MCA.

    Paul
     
  13. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    I was a big Boston fan as a teenager and still love the first two albums. They didn't make enough music to make my top 5 classic rock bands, or even top 10.

    To my memory, Boston was labeled an arena rock band which I believe was a term used along side corporate rock.

    From that era, bands like Boston, Foreigner, Kansas, Styx, Journey, REO Speedwagon for a time, and even Chicago (under the lead of Peter Cetera) were all kind of lumped into the same arena rock category...Simply because they played to sold out arenas, despite making what critics often called formulaic, unispired music.

    Back then, the music critics scoffed at these bands, but rock fans couldn't get enough of them. Aside from Boston, they all put out albums every year and they all sold well by the standards of that era.

    Far as Boston being labeled the original corporate rock band...First time I ever heard that term it was applied to Styx on their Grand Illusion tour.

    In retrospect, I'm a little surprised Foreigner doesn't get much mention. The first 4 albums were pretty kick ass.
     
  14. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Well, it would be hard for me to be apathetic about a company that owed me more than thirty million dollars in royalties (that was the figure Brad Delp mentioned when I met them on the Third Stage tour - the same time I was negotiating with their former label). As for just making music, Tom, like some other artists I know, is a perfectionist, and a do it yourselfer. In order to make the records he wanted to make, he had to innovate, which included all the R&D on the Rockman products, the sales of which also served to finance his work, given that the label was less than forthcoming in paying what they owed.

    I still count the first two albums as favorites, and while I'll buy the later releases, they just don't have the same thing going for them.
     
  15. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    I saw RTZ several years ago which had Brad and Brian I believe and they sounded like Boston.
     
  16. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I actually purchased RTZ when it was released in 1991. It was ok but nothing spectacular.

    Thanks for all the info everyone, I have a better understanding now of Boston. I think I would have fit right in during the arena rock era. [​IMG]
     
  17. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I agree the reason they haven't been mentioned in the Classic thread is that they didn't release enough material. But their first is one of the best debut albums ever. I bought "Walk On" from the early 90's, and while it can't be considered as good as their earlier stuff, it did kind grow on me. It's a shame they didn't produce more music though. They could have been HUGE had they played their cards right. Their first two albums are listed as #4 and #21 in sales of albums released in the 70's according to a little book bought at Barnes and Noble.
     
  18. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    That pretty much matches my opinion of Boston.
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    They were/are huge. Their debut broke records for sales at Epic, and I;m sure is still one of the top selling debut albums ever, and is still a mainstay of radio.
     
  20. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Couldn't agree more. After all, I did mention it's the fourth best seller that was released in the 70's. Sales of their first are @ 17,000,000 and counting. But can you imagine how much more popular they would be had they released a good album every year or two instead of one or two every decade! Whether the critics call it corporate or others call it un-inspired is O.K. with me. I still like it, along with Styx, Journey, Van Halen, and all the others that may fall into those categories. I like music that sounds good and puts me in a good mood. And Boston does both very well.
     

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