Beginning with Boston s mega-selling 1976 self-titled debut, the pioneering guitarist has always insisted on creative autonomy, hunkering down in his basement studio, often for years, to craft the songs, sounds and arrangements that meet his exacting standards. Seemingly interminable gaps between albums have been common, but the musical riches on each Boston release have always been worth the wait.
Life, Love & Hope , Boston s first album in 11 years, offers perfect proof of that fact. Rife with Scholz s majestic guitar work distinguished by one of the most recognizable tones in rock the album hews close to the classic style that first put Boston on the map all those years ago. Roiled by the tragic death of lead singer Brad Delp in 2007, Scholz settled on a vocalist-by-committee approach for the disc, even stepping up to the microphone to sing one song himself. And, as always, he turned exclusively to his legendary 68 Les Pauls to produce those glorious guitar sounds.
These are all songs from the heart, he says, each of them taking many months of effort to write, arrange, perform and record, always up to the demands of Boston's harshest critic, me. They have all been meticulously recorded to analog tape on the same machines and equipment used for Boston's hits for the past 35 years.
Scholz spoke with us recently about the making of the album, his distinctive guitar sound, and why he regards the guitar as a symphonic instrument. He also talked at length about the new Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul signature guitar--#10 in Gibson s Collector's Choice"! series which he and Gibson worked together to produce last year.