Review Summary: More than just another band out of Boston.
Although there are plenty of examples of fun, easy listening rock and roll, few have stood the test of time like Boston’s self-titled debut. Ultimately selling over 15 million copies, it is one of the most successful debut albums of all time, and it is with good reason that it was so successful. Led by Brad Delp’s distinctive high-pitched vocals, Boston’s debut is a collection of catchy, memorable, and uplifting songs that still retain their charm and appeal decades later.
Delp’s soaring melodies are only one half of the equation, as Boston’s debut wouldn’t be complete without Tom Scholz’ fantastic instrumental compositions. His songwriting skills were at their peak on this album, as he delivers well-crafted melodic guitar riffs and solos throughout the album. Scholz was an expert at creating complex arrangements with multi-layered guitar and vocal tracks but he was always able to keep it within the context of radio-friendly rock songs. He was also able to show off a bit with the lengthy intro and subsequent guitar solos in Foreplay/Long Time
and the keyboard-driven jam session in Smokin’
, but he never got carried away in displaying his technical prowess, working alongside Delp to craft songs that would be remembered long past the era in which they created.
It’s fair to say they have succeeded. The fact that the first five songs have been radio staples for so many years is telling of the staying power that the album has had. It didn’t stop at the singles either, as even the lesser known tracks in the latter half of the album are excellent, particularly the more laidback Hitch A Ride
. Although this album was not the only successful effort in the band’s career, they would never reach these heights again. Boston’s self-titled debut is the epitome of classic rock and an essential listen for any fan of rock and roll.