Boston’s 1976 debut album was already 4 years old when I first heard it as a high-school freshman. It was an album built for a turntable, with the epic “Foreplay/Long Time” capping off the first side. I was already a big fan of other arena-rock icons like Styx, Journey and Foreigner, but Boston had a sound that was unique and mesmerizing. No other song typifies that sound better than More Than a Feeling.
The main reason for that unique sound was guitarist Tom Sholz, who pulled an amazing tone out of his 1957 Gibson Goldtop and the “Rockman” preamps and equalizers that he invented. The signature “Boston” sound is maddeningly hard to recreate, especially in the solos, where Tom layered harmony leads over the main lead to give the guitar a full, rich sound that is literally impossible to create with one guitar.
I’m going to go ahead and learn the harmony parts and play and record the solo twice to try to match the sound as close as possible. The vibrato during the bends is going to be the hardest for me, but that’s a technique that I need to master for some of the more challenging solos that are coming up.
I find it interesting and ironic that “More Than a Feeling” has become self-referential. It has become that “old song they used to play” that makes me nostalgic and instantly brings me back to my teenage years. It’s songs like this that planted the seed in me to become a guitarist, and playing the solo is going to be like living out a fantasy. I sincerely hope to do it justice.
Harmony lesson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZTI88P3GrY
More tabs: http://www.songsterr.com/a/wa/song?id=311
The original music video. I firmly believe Boston’s drummer Sib Hashian was the inspiration for “Animal” from the Muppets.
Rare video of Boston performing “More Than a Feeling” live in 1979: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AlzsP4jN1E
A demonstration of the “Rockman” sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jPcvUBD5vE