Certain Songs #120: Boston – “More Than a Feeling”


Album: Boston.

Year: 1976.

With its circling in from eternity chiming acoustic guitar intro, inverted  "Louie Louie" chorus and sustainy guitar sound of Tom Scholz’s Rockman, I realize that this song and this album are probably responsible for a whole host of evil things. At the very least it’s responsible for spawning a whole strain of rock music that dominated FM enough to keep punk from breaking like it should have.

But I don’t care. 

That first Boston album was a huge catalyst for me: prior to it, I bought a ton of singles and very few albums, but afterwards, I started riding my bike to Tower Records every time I had a few bucks – I got my first paying job in the summer of 1977 – and bought album after album.

There were other factors involved: turning 14 and starting a new high school where I literally didn’t know anybody and that I didn’t want to go to in the first place probably contributed, as well, and I think that all of these things meant that I needed to fully abandon the eclectic pleasures of early-70s Top 40 for a steady diet of 1970s hard rock music.

So while various older dudes on my street had already clued me into Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones, I started following up on my own: from Boston, it was into Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Foghat and Yes and The Who and Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith and all of the other ususal suspects of 70s hard rock. 

But I kept coming back to this first Boston album:  I have a vivid memory of listening to this song over and over at full blast with my stereo speakers literally inches away from my ears, thinking “who cares if I can’t hear anything when I get older, this is awesome!!! Why doesn’t more music sound like this?!”

Definitely a case of “be careful of what you wish for,” and while I hated Foreigner and Journey and Toto and Loverboy, I never could come around to hating Boston, even if their second album was a let down and their third album took so long to come out it spawned the same jokes people later made about Guns n’ Roses, My Bloody Valentine and that Wrens album that supposedly due out any time now.

40 years later, “More Than A Feeling”  – which invokes The Handclap Rule on that impossible-to-sing-along-with-even-you’re-singling-along-with-it right-now chorus – sounds fucking amazing.

Fan-made video for “More Than a Feeling”

My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist:

Every “Certain Song” Ever

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