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Boston

scholz band album record

Boston, an MIT grad’s high-tech idea of a rock band. MEMBERSHIP: Tom Scholz, voc, various inst. (b. Toledo, Ohio, March 10, 1947); Barry Goudreau, gtr. (b. Boston, Nov. 29, 1951); Brad Delp, voc. (b. Boston, June 12, 1951); Fran Sheehan, bs. (b. Boston, March 26, 1949); Sib Hashian, drm. (b. Boston, Aug. 17, 1949).

Boston started in the Tom Scholz’s basement. Scholz had moved to Boston after earning a full scholarship to MIT, graduating with a 4.8 GPA. Polaroid signed him up to work on their ill-fated instant sound movies (obviated by the rise of videotape). During his off-hours, he recorded his songs, paying meticulous attention to the sound. By the time the Boston demos reached Epic Records, they had been in the works for six years. Epic signed the “band,” which forced Scholz to put a band together! He brought in some local scene bar band cronies—Brad Delp, voc. (b. Boston, June 12, 1951); Fran Sheehan, bs. (b. Boston, March 26, 1949); Barry Goudreau, gtr. (b. Boston, Nov. 29, 1951); Sib Hashian, drm. (b. Boston, Aug. 17, 1949)—to work as the actual band, but in the studio, nearly everything is played by Scholz. He took a leave of absence from Polaroid to promote Boston’s debut—and never returned.

Capitalizing on this element of Scholz’s past, Epic’s marketing department began selling Boston’s debut with the slogan “better music through science” in an ad featuring the 6’ 5” Scholz in a space suit. One critic called the band’s sound “non-violent hard rock.” On the strength of the singles “More Than a Feeling” (#5), “Long Time,” and “Peace of Mind,” along with album rock staples like “Rock and Roll Band,” Boston’s debut sold over 16 million records, holding the record for sales by a debut album for nearly a quarter of a century. The album got as high as #3 on the LP charts. The band went on tour, opening for the likes of Sammy Hagar, even though their album sold much faster than his. Scholz brought some of his technical inventions on tour to help them approximate the band’s studio sheen.

Epic released the follow up Don’t Look Back in 1978. The title track went to #4, and the album topped the charts for two weeks. A second single, “A Man I’ll Never Be,” went top 30. However, “Feeling Satisfied” didn’t fare that well. The band toured through 1979 and then disappeared for eight years.

In part, the layoff was due to a wave of legal problems. A management deal went sour. Then Scholz started having problems with his record company. First, they refused to let him produce a record for Hagar, ordering him into the studio to complete an album for Boston. Goudreau, growing impatient for a new Boston project, recorded his own solo album with the help of Delp and Hashian. The album bombed, but Scholz took exception to his record company marketing it as “Almost Boston.”

Scholz’s work on the third Boston album did not proceed quickly enough for Epic Records, who needed their million-selling acts to record with somewhat more regularity. By 1982, the company started to withhold royalties in hopes that might motivate Scholz to finish the third Boston album. When Scholz complained, they laid a $20 million breach of contract suit on him. Scholz countersued, and the artist and his label spent the next five years in various legal wrangling. The record company got an injunction preventing the release of any Boston album, which didn’t get lifted until 1985.

In the meantime, Scholz formed Scholz Research and Development and started to work on technological solutions to problems he had as a musician. He came out with the Rockman line of amplifiers, effects, and personal practice units. They had 3, 000 orders before the first unit left the factory and did millions of dollars worth of business a year, helping to finance the third Boston album. In the mean time, Godreau left the band to form Orion The Hunter, a band featuring vocalist—guitarist Fran Cosmo.

By 1986, Boston’s Third Stage came out, zooming to the top of the charts and staying there for four weeks. The single “Amanda” topped the charts, and the fol-lowup, “We’re Ready,” reached #9. The album became the first compact disc to go gold, and sold four million copies in four weeks. The band toured off and on through 1989.

In 1990, Scholz started working on a fourth recording. None of the original members of the band remained. Hashian, Sheehan, and percussionist Jim Mas-dea sued Scholz for royalties (he settled out of court). He finally won his suits against the record company, but lost against his old manager. Meanwhile, Delp and Goudreau, along with several others, formed a band called RTZ. Their first album Return to Zero, spent the years 1991–92 on the verge of breaking through, but never quite made it.

Four years in the making, Boston next released Walk On . Fran Cosmo replaced Brad Delp. The record debuted at #7, got as high as #5, then plummeted off the charts. Still the band did a spectacular tour, featuring a massive pipe organ that Scholz would swing to on a rope during the show. Another tour in 1996 got cancelled when Scholz hurt his hand playing basketball.

The band hit the road in 1997, supporting a Greatest Hits package. Delp returned to the fold and shared vocal and guitar chores with Cosmo. Boston went into the studio sometime in 1998, but as of yet, nothing has been released.

Boston, Ralph(1939–) - Chronology, Becomes Business Executive and Receives Additional Honors, Receives Special Recognition during Atlanta Olympics [next] [back] Bostic, Earl

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