Boston Releases All-Time Classic Rock Song ‘More Than a Feeling’ on This Day in 1976

by Matthew Memrick
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It’s been 45 years since Boston released its all-time classic “More Than A Feeling” song. 

As the breakout song from the band’s Boston-dubbed album, lead singer and songwriter Tom Scholz took five years to compose the hit, according to SongFacts.

Over the years, many have enjoyably whistled the song, known for its good beat, handclaps, and typical (late lead singer) Brad Delp soaring scream parts.

The band found great success with the hit as it peaked at No. 5 in the Billboard Hot 100. The band went on to sell 17 million albums with their debut work.

Many Bands Love The Song

According to a 2016 Entertainment Weekly article, *NSYNC, Nirvana, and many others have covered the song (or stole parts of it). Movie directors know they have to use the hit for their films. The sensational song has appeared in countless movies like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “The Sopranos,” and “The Walking Dead.”

Looking back, Boston has to as well as it launched them into music stardom.

Scholz told the magazine that “More Than A Feeling” was the band’s last shot at keeping together. At 29, he was married and looking to find a responsible career.

“We weren’t rolling in cash,” the guitarist recalled. “This was going to be my last demo — and “More Than a Feeling” was the last one that I completed.”

Weeks later, Scholz said Epic Records got that song, and soon after, the two had an offer to become recording artists.

The guitarist was working at Polaroid at the time, according to Song Facts. After he heard his song on the radio a few times, he said he could quit his job.

Nirvana’s Homage?

Like Ultimate Classic Rock, many had wondered if Nirvana had ripped off Boston when the groundbreaking alternative band started playing “More Than A Feeling” before breaking into their 1991 blockbuster “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at a 1992 music festival.

Lead singer Kurt Cobain admitted to Rolling Stone that it was a “cliched riff” in 1994. 

In 1994, the magazine said Scholz said he took it all in stride. The guitarist said the song was a “major compliment, even if it was completely accidental.” 

Some have even said the Boston song is a ripoff of The Kingsmen’s “Louie, Louie.” Other possible song connections include Joe Walsh and The Left Banke.

A Thank You

Scholz talked about the song’s staying power to Entertainment Weekly in 2016. He always loved playing it live with its great beginning, according to the magazine. Notably, he said the band could break into an extended jam at the end of concerts and pull people back into the show just to hear that song.

“I was very surprised forty years ago that so many people liked it,” he said. “The fact that it is still popular? I don’t know what to say. Except: “Thank you!”

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