By Steven Hyden
In We re ebony porn No. 1, Steven Hyden examines an album that went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts to get to the heart of what it means to be popular in pop music, and how that concept has changed over the years. In this installment, he covers Boston s Don t Look Back, which went to No. 1 on Oct. 7, 1978, where it stayed for one week.
If Scholz were a run-of-the-mill rock star, this could be chalked up as mere mystique-building. But Scholz was no run-of-the-mill rock star or a rock star at all, really. A graduate of MIT with a master s degree in mechanical engineering, Scholz approached the recording of Boston as one might a science project, slaving away on meticulously recorded demos in his basement studio as a diversion while he worked a day job at Polaroid. Boston the band was just a concept in the early 70s; even after Scholz s recordings attracted the attention of Epic Records and the label insisted on setting up his bandmates in a professional Los Angeles studio, the guitarist instead completed work on the album at home. In essence, he agreed to let the rest of Boston diddle away time on the label s dime in order to distract Epic from the real work he was doing on the opposite coast. But even under these conditions, Scholz would never quite create the version of that first Boston record that he heard in his head. He actually hated the album at first, though a few years later in Rolling Stone he reluctantly rated it pretty good. Certainly wouldn t give it a great, though.