29/3/15 – Boston – More Than A Feeling – 1976 / Brad Delp – June 12th 1951 – March 9th 2007

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

Life & Death

Boston Pic 1976

Eight years ago this month the news came that Brad Delp the original singer from Boston had committed suicide. It made me feel so terribly sad because More Than A Feeling defined Classic Rock and was supposed to be the antithesis of that dark place. It was supposed to be pain free, good times, melodic, unthreatening, comfortable – bring a smile to your face, or at least only a temporary coprorate tear at the horror of another girl meets boys love story. But More Than A Feeling was moodier and lyrically losing “Marianne” and finding solace in the your favourite music made it special as this Pop Metal melancholic anthem became a hit all over the world – Delp’s tragic death made it all the more poignant.

The 12 string acoustic, the arpeggio, the chorus riff (reminiscent of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit) and Tom Scholz’s guitar sound made Boston unique as the song reached No.5 in the US charts. It was only Scholz and Delp that were signed to the Epic records contract although the band members were in the photos. In the video there’s Brad Delp on lead vocals and acoustic 12 string guitar, Tom Scholz, electric guitar, Sib Hashian on drums, Barry Goodreau, electric guitar and Fran Sheehan on bass. It was Scholz’s vision, he wrote played all the guitars, keyboards, produced and recorded it – in the clip he is featured least.

It was also the Sci-fi guitar spaceship cover art transporting the city of Boston across the universe that captured the public imagination and the debut album sold 17 million records and went to No.3 in the US chart. Even though this might be one of the most overplayed songs on American radio, along with Hotel California and Baker Street in the UK, with Brad Delp’s tragic death, if More Than A Feeling is supposed to be bland, middle of the road, corporate rock, the song still brings a contradictory melancholy joy.

The next album, Don’t Look Back released in 1978 also sold well at 7 million and went to No.1 in the US charts. But then the gaps between albums became longer and the band began to fall apart. By 1986 Goodreau and Hashian were gone, but the album released in that year, Third Stage still managed to sell 4 million records and reach No.1 in the US charts. The gaps became 8 years and by 1994 and Walk On only Scholz remained, still it made No.7 in the US chart. The album featured Fran Cosmo on lead vocals. In 2002 came Corporate America where Delp returned and he and Cosmo shared the lead vocalist role. By now times had changed and the album only reached No.42 in the US charts. It was to be Delp’s last participtaion in the band before he died although he appears on the 2013 release, Life, Love and Hope and at this point, chart positions are irrelevant.

The moral of the story is, that you can’t hold a good song down, whatever the genre, whatever the lyric or the chord sequence – magic appears in the strangest places.

A belated RIP to Brad Delp and condolences to his friends and family.

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

It’s more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
‘Till I see Marianne walk away
I see my Marianne walkin’ away

So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky

It’s more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
‘Till I see Marianne walk away
I see my Marianne walkin’ away

When I’m tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day
And dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped away

It’s more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling)
I begin dreaming (more than a feeling)
‘Till I see Marianne walk away

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Than_a_Feeling

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_(album)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Delp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Scholz

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