I was first introduced to Boston during high school, when the sounds of "Foreplay/Long Time" blew my mind with its smooth, engineered sound. After diving into the eponymous album, my only growth was through "Third Stage" until late in college. I finally expanded to all the albums during the next couple years. This finally culminated in seeing Boston live in 2016 in Cleveland, at one of the most impressive live concerts I've ever had the pleasure of attending.

Boston's sound is mainly thanks to Tom Scholz, a graduate of MIT whose meticulousness with the band's sound allowed for only six albums over the years, but each album's sound is absolute perfection. He made sure of it. The soaring vocals are the work of Brad Delp, who was on all albums until his untimely passing in 2007.

Nate's Epic Boston Playlist

  1. Foreplay/Long Time (Boston 1976)
  2. More Than a Feeling (Boston 1976)
  3. Walk On (Walk On 1994)
  4. Peace of Mind (Boston 1976)
  5. Cool the Engines (Third Stage 1986)
  6. Feelin' Satisfied (Don't Look Back 1978)
  7. Hitch a Ride (Boston 1976)
  8. We're Ready (Third Stage 1986)
  9. Rock and Roll Band (Boston 1976)
  10. Don't Look Back (Don't Look Back 1978)
  11. Corporate America (Corporate America 2002)
  12. Get Organ-ized (Walk On 1994)
  13. Smokin' (Boston 1976)
  14. I Had a Good Time (Corporate America 2002)
  15. Something About You (Boston 1976)
  16. I Need Your Love (Walk On 1994)
  17. Let Me Take You Home Tonight (Boston 1976)
  18. Didn't Mean to Fall in Love (Corporate America 2002)

Boston (1976)


Hands down the best Boston album (unfortunately). Unofficially, 99% of humans can name at least one song off this album. Fact. The vocals and guitars are absolutely perfect, taking you to a magical place you'll never want to leave. Honestly I can't put into words how amazing this album is. Pretty much every song on this album is excellent. My favorite songs are "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind," "Foreplay/Long Time," and "Rock and Roll Band."

More Than a Feeling: The first song on the first album, "More Than a Feeling" blows you away. Everything just feels so darn smooth, capturing the musical emotions perfectly. There's something wonderful about the drum fills, crafted to perfection. The guitar solo is like something from another dimension. Hands down the best part of the song is after the solo, when everything drops down. Suddenly, the song quintuples in intensity as he sings "I closed my eyes and she slipped away." If you don't get chills right after with the guitar riff and the echo of "she slipped awayyyyyyy"...well, you're just not human.

Peace of Mind: I think the combination of acoustic and electric guitar parts creates a great contrast here. There's also a greater simplicity and repetitiveness to the drum fills, which works nicely. Turns out the lyrics in the first verse are "you want to run but somehow..." not "you want to rub my tummy" like I thought. Feel free to use whichever you prefer. This guitar solo kicks major ass, made even better when you listen to it in stereo. The best part is towards the end, where everything drops out except for the guitar with occasional snare accent. Then it's go big or go home.

Foreplay/Long Time: What's better than one awesome Boston song? Two Boston songs smooshed together! Foreplay is just an anarchy of 70's guitars and organs going nuts. Love it or hate it, it's unfortunately over in the span of less than 2 minutes. From there, everything drops down, with the steady beat of the bass drum heralding the main song. And what an amazing song! The guitar is a masterpiece. For some reason, the heavy bass quarter notes have always stuck out to me. Again, if you don't want to sing along with the chorus, you're not human. And I don't care if you work in a hospital, because this guitar solo is the sickest thing you've ever seen/heard. That final drum fill before the outro helps bring it all home. Quit reading and give it a listen!

Rock and Roll Band: I've always liked this song for a couple reasons. One, it sounds more like a regular rock song with the Boston sound perfection. Two, I like how it tells the story of the band's rise to fame. The best moment is when he sings "boys I think this band's outta sight...WAAAAAAAAH!"

Smokin': I like how this song has a swing feel, a big change-up from the straight beats on the rest of the album. The majority of the song is taken over by a crazy never-ending organ solo that will blow your mind. Words cannot describe the mind-blowingness.

Hitch a Ride: This song has an almost sleepy, dreamy quality both in general feel and lyrically. The last 90 seconds are pure guitar solo, and I love how each new phrase tweaks the same riff. The song finally slows down and almost seems sad to be over. I know you're sad it's over too, but feel free to play it again.

Something About You: Wow, when those first guitar harmonies hit your ear, it sounds like heaven. The song has a great call and response between the vocals and guitar parts. The best part is the stop-time "gotta gotta have you" before it dives back into the guitars.

Let Me Take You Home Tonight: This song has always stuck out from the rest of the album, not that it's a bad thing. The abrupt guitar introduction always makes this song feel like you missed the actual intro. The song has a folksy feel at times, and the double-time outro seems different than the rest of the album as well. But it's still a great song!

Don't Look Back (1978)


It took only 2 years to put out the second album. Boston will never be that quick again. This album is strong with plenty of feel-good hits to give you that warm fuzzy Boston feeling. My favorite songs are "Don't Look Back," "Feelin' Satisfied," and "Party."

Don't Look Back: That guitar rhythm intro tells you this is gonna be a good song. I love when the guitar drops a bomb with the half-time part. The chorus is simply beautiful. The song drops down during the interlude with the drums subdividing the beat and the guitar riffing over the top. Everything builds back up to blow you away with the guitar solo. I like the mini guitar fills in the last chorus/outro.

It's Easy: It feels like a faster version of "Hitch a Ride." The song might be easy, but those "heyyy-eyyyy" high-pitched vocals sure aren't. I think the guitar and vocals complement each other well.

Feelin' Satisfied: The guitar riff is super strong in this song, it definitely makes the song. The chorus makes you want to clap along...probably because there's already clapping on the track. The drum fills are simple yet excellent.

Party: I really like the chorus in this song for whatever reason. Great guitar synchronization. The guitar solo is a little interesting, it lacks that "Boston" quality at times, maybe because the harmony is lacking in parts.

Used to Bad News: This is a great Boston ballad, with more emphasis on the acoustic guitar parts. The organ gets a nice solo to switch things up.

Third Stage (1986)


Third album, third stage...get it? I think this album is overall more subdued than the first two but it has its perks. My favorite songs are "We're Ready" and "Cool the Engines."

Amanda: I'll admit I'm not a huge ballad guy, but this is a great ballad. I don't know who Amanda is but she's one lucky lady. It's also a great lighter-waving concert song. I really enjoy the part after the key change, it creates a bit of a mood shift.

We're Ready: I love how this song opens, with the 32nd note subdivisions. The chorus captures some excitement, but it takes a couple rounds to build up the excitement to peak levels. That last guitar solo after the chorus is the best one by far.

Cool the Engines: This song has a similar groove to "Rock and Roll Band," if it was re-recorded after maturing and going through college. It has a slower laid-back feel but there's a similar energy there. I love how the song seems to end around the 3 minute mark, but builds back all the way to end in style. Every time you hear him sing "cool the engines!" you can't help but sing along.

I Think I Like It/Can'tcha Say: There's something very distinct about the opening guitar riff. It carries a lot of emotion and energy, more so than the rest of the album. It feels a lot like a recording of a killer jam session.

Walk On (1994)


I feel like this album gets a little forgotten, but it shouldn't be. Because it's great. So give it a listen! My favorite songs are "I Need Your Love," "Walk On," and "Get Organ-ized."

I Need Your Love: I love how Boston knows you can't handle listening to 100% Boston after an 8 year hiatus so they have to build the album opening up so your ears can quickly build a tolerance. I'm a fan of the syncopated drum beat which offers a funky feel. And if you missed Delp's vocals, that part right around 3 minutes will bring you right back. Plus, the guitar literally revs up to kick it with that solo. As if that wasn't enough, there's some nice stop time right before the last verse.

Surrender to Me: Big fan of the fast pace of the song, although the lyrics might be a little creepy? But they sure make for a great high-pitched chorus section.The verses have this "urgency" about them, pushing the feel of the song.

Walk On: This song has a driving pace and the sick guitar riffs to back it up. I think it makes this song most "true" to the original Boston sound. The best part is the scream of "WALK ONNNN" followed by a literal explosion of sound. The song doesn't end, but transitions to...

Get Organ-ized: The sickest synth track you have ever witnessed (at least on this album). There's a bit of a reprise of "Walk On" before everything drops out then builds up to an epic Boston instrumental number, hyping you up for "Walk On (Some More)."

What's Your Name: I feel like there's a smidgen of Journey in this song, but the same guitar-heaviness that represents Boston.

Magdalene: Breaking the mold a bit, the chorus isn't as in-your-face as you might expect. There's more emphasis on the vocal portions, and the song doesn't build up to a giant climax, which I find is a nice benefit.

Corporate America (2002)


After another 8 long, Boston-less years, a new album! This one's a little more politically oriented (check the title) but still plenty of feel-good hits. Sadly, this is the last album to feature Brad Delp. My favorites are "I Had a Good Time," "Corporate America," and "Turn it Off."

I Had a Good Time: This song starts off as if it's the next track from a previous album and there hasn't been a giant time gap. The guitar solo has a melodious quality, both hard and soothing at the same time. The song seems to end, then a feminine voice asks if you "wanna do it again?" Why not? Cue the outro!

Stare Out Your Window: More acoustic guitar sound. If it wasn't for the vocals, this song could be an alternative 90s hit.

Corporate America: One of the darker Boston tunes with a fast drum beat and a strong use of news soundbytes. I love when he stops and says "you can take your bottom line...and shove it." The guitar solo is 100% Boston unleashed, no question. Love it.

Someone: It's pretty good but not the strongest song on the album. The vocals just don't sound completely at full strength, but I guess it's a good relaxing number.

Turn it Off: This track has a slow build and there's a bit of an echo, giving the song a haunting sound. There's a bit of a bass-heavy part after the guitar solo, raising the intensity (and the dials) to 11. Kind of a metal-ish sound, as metal as Boston can get I guess.

Didn't Mean to Fall in Love: The ringing of a phone heralds this excellent song. The pre-chorus is reminiscent of the chorus of "Long Time" or "More Than a Feeling," something to clap along with. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even if it's yourself.

You Gave up on Love: A Boston ballad with a female vocals taking lead. I like it!

Life, Love, and Hope (2013)


I haven't given this album much listen, but there's plenty of time. Three of the tracks are updated versions from "Corporate America."

Heaven on Earth: Parts of this song sound like a slowed-down Blink 182 song, or maybe it's just me.

Life, Love, and Hope: Sometimes the guitar has that Boston sound, and other times it's much more call/response than usual. Not sure how to describe it, but it's interesting.