Engineering a Rock and Roll Life

It s been quite a ride for Tom Scholz '69, SM '70, the creative force behind the rock band Boston. Tom Scholz '69

By Elizabeth Durant

Tom Scholz '69

Tom Scholz '69, SM '70, never expected his passion for music to be ebony porn much more than a hobby. After graduating from MIT, he worked as a senior product design engineer at Polaroid by day and spent his nights composing and recording demos in his basement studio and playing in local bands. But in the summer of 1976, he found himself in the limelight with the release of his band's self-titled debut album, "Boston." With hits like "More Than a Feeling" and "Long Time," it quickly became the bestselling debut album in history. Scholz soon quit his job at Polaroid to follow his bliss.

For the past three decades he has been the driving force behind Boston, as a composer, producer, engineer, and musician, playing lead and rhythm guitars, bass, piano, organ, and some percussion. The band has produced six albums with cumulative U.S. sales of 31 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The debut album alone has topped 17 million in U.S. sales, garnering the RIAA s diamond award status (for sales over 10 million) and ranking 11th in the top 100 bestselling albums of all time. Of the remaining five albums, three have achieved multiplatinum status (sales of over two million), including "Don t Look Back," (1978) and "Third Stage" (1986).

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Take That Corporate America

(Nov. 7, 2002)

ImageDon't get Tom Scholz wrong. He's very proud of the music he has created with his band, Boston, but he's obviously a man who isn't stuck in the '70s.

With "Corporate America" (released Nov. 5 on Artemis), only Boston's fifth album in 26 years, Scholz is looking to the present and future.

To start a buzz about the album, Scholz posted the biting title track on MP3.com, using the pseudonym Downer's Revenge to avoid possible preconceptions about anything related to Boston.

Much to his surprise, the song - an indictment of big-company greed - spent a few weeks atop MP3's progressive-rock chart. It exceeded his expectations (he would've been happy if it had charted anywhere, period), but more importantly, he's ecstatic that the song is reaching college-age listeners.

"My biggest goal was to get that song onto college campuses," Scholz said recently, "and I knew that it had to be through the Internet. Students have high-speed Internet; they don't buy CDs. They download music and listen to the Internet. They're not part of the traditional record-company thing anymore.

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