(NOTE: MTS is the opinion of the author, who is always right. If you disagree I hope you drown in the Charles River.)
**This is part one of two-induction MTS Boston, MA special**
As my closest internet friends know, I just recently moved from the DC area to Boston. As a born-and-bred New Englander (from CT), it has always been one of my dreams to someday live in The Hub. As I sit here not too far from Fenway Park home of the World Champion Boston Red Sox, I have decided to pay tribute to Beantown as only I can: with a two-induction MTS special featuring groups from the city. The second group will be revealed when the induction is posted, but I'll give you a hint and tell you that it is a huge one.
If you've read my previous inductions of groups like Foreigner, Journey, and Styx you'll know that I cannot stand the bullshit Corporate Rock (known as Arena Rock to fans of this shit) of the mid-late 1970's. The rock group Boston might or might not have been the first of the cookie cutter rockers, but they were the first to top the charts in a major way. Thusly I dub Boston the Fairy Godmothers of Corporate Rock.
Our story begins and revolves around one man, Tom Scholz, who was originally from Toledo, Ohio, but began writing songs while attending MIT. After attaining his Masters degree he joined a local band led by guitarist Barry Goudreau. Scholz began on keyboards, but apparently learned how to play guitar pretty quickly and eventually took over as band leader. Around 1975 Scholz built a 12-track recording studio in his basement and began recording demos with his band that included Goudreau, Brad Delp on vocals, bassist Fran Sheehan, and drummer John Hashian. The only thing left to do was to come up with a name. After spending an entire weekend trying to brainstorm, rejecting such names as "Tom-Tom and the Jizz Drinkers" and "No Talent Required" the group decided to take a page from Chicago and just name themselves after the city they were in.
Boston signed with Epic Records in 1975, and released their self-titled debut album the following year. Boston the album shot up the charts as if it came out of John Holmes' cock, backed by hit singles "Long Time", "Smokin", "Peace Of Mind" and "More Than A Feeling" which reached #5 on the Billboard charts. With instrumentation that I will kindly describe as extremely weak, and the clitorally enhanced vocals provided by Delp, Boston's sound helped start a wave of imitators. The fact their debut album became the best-selling debut album of all-time (currently up to 17 million) until it was surpassed by Whitney Houston a decade later might have had something to do with it as well.
The story of Boston is filled with long periods between albums. Their sophmore effort, Don't Look Back, came two years after their first album, and it would have been longer if Epic weren't pressuring Scholz to release another album. Although the album went platinum seven times over, topped the album charts, and the title track reached #4 on the singles charts, Scholz was not happy with Don't Look Back and vowed to finish the next album at his own pace. Meanwhile the groups that Boston helped spawned were strinking while the iron was hot and making beaucoup bucks as well. Corporate Rock was at its peak.
Scholz's pace is apparently very fucking slow as the group's next album, Third Stage was released in 1986. The album was another hit, selling over 4 million copies thanks mostly to one of the most douchey pseudo-rock songs of all-time, "Amanda". Delp (the only other remaining original member besides Scholz by this point) is at his girlish worst here, as it sounds as if he's actually crying while he sings. I'll say this once and for all, if you want to start a rock band, don't hire a fucking Castrato to sing the songs! Despite the obvious pussiness of the song (or maybe because of it) "Amanda" became the group's first and only #1 hit.
Boston had succeeded despite piss-poor instrument playing, shitty songwriting, and singing that made the one-hit wonder/transvestite Sylvester seem masular by comparison, due in part to Scholz and his ultra-slick producing. It is evident by the large gaps between albums that Scholz would make even the most anal among us shake are head in disbelief. The signature polish of Scholz would lead to the downfall of Boston's success. By the time their fourth album Walk On (without Delp) was released in 1994, the music world was a much different place. Going overboard on production and polishing every little detail was shunned upon as alternative and grunge music dominated the airwaves. Needless to say that Walk On was a complete failure.
In 2002 Boston, with Delp returing to the mic, recorded their fifth album Corporate America. Boston's glory days were well behind them at this point, and the politically-minded album didn't make any noise. The sound of Boston spawned a slew of imitators that helped to hasten the downfall of rock music as a whole. Hell, Journey went so far as to bite Boston's sci-fi album cover style. One thing is for sure, if I were running this country Tom Scholz would be crucified, castrated, and be force-fed his dismembered testicles. Boston unleashed a Pandora's Box of rock upon the world, and rock hasn't been the same since.
Boston, music...that sucks!