More Than a Feeling
|"More Than a Feeling"|
|Single by Boston|
|from the album Boston|
|Recorded||October 1975–April 1976|
|Length||4:45 (Album Version)
3:30 (Single Edit)
|Producer||John Boylan, Tom Scholz|
|Boston singles chronology|
"More Than a Feeling" is a song written by Tom Scholz and first released by the rock band Boston as the lead single from their self-titled debut album on Epic Records in September 1976, with "Smokin'" on the flipside. The single peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is now a staple of classic rock and in 2009 it was named the 39th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
His biggest hit, "More Than a Feeling" took writer Tom Scholz five years to complete. It is one of six songs Scholz worked on in his basement in 1974 and 1975 before Boston got its record contract, five of which eventually appeared on the Boston album. The drum parts were originally developed by Jim Masdea, although Sib Hashian played the drums on the official release. The verses are in the key of D major while the chorus is in G major. The song is in compound AABA form.
The Book of Rock Lists suggests that the chorus riff may itself be a subtle homage to the Kingsmen's classic, "Louie Louie". Scholz credits "Walk Away Renee" by The Left Banke as the song's main inspiration. It is also very much similar (same descending pattern) to the opening riff of Elton John's "Screw You (Young Man's Blues)". Other critics have noted that this song's main riff is referenced in the Nirvana single "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Nirvana opened "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with the chords and words from "More Than A Feeling" at their Live at Reading performance, 1992.
Boston's website claims that the song is about "the power an old song can have in your life." The lyrics express the author's discontent with the present and his yearning for a former love, whose memory is strongly evoked by an old familiar song. According to Tom Scholz, this song is about "The thrill one gets while driving fast cars".
Guitar World states that when the radio plays "More Than a Feeling" "few can resist indulging in fits of fleet-fingered air guitar and a spirited falsetto sing-along." Rolling Stone Album Guide critic Paul Evans states that "as slick as it sounds, 'More Than a Feeling' strikes an uncommonly resonant emotional note.
Epic released an edited version of the song for the single with the first chorus and second verse removed, clocking in at 3:30 versus the album track at 4:45. That single edit can be found on the Rock installment of Sony's Soundtrack for a Century box set from 1999.
Covers & Samples
Several artists have covered "More Than A Feeling", including Ingram Hill, Nirvana (the similarities between the song's main riff and that of Nirvana's breakout hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" have often been noted, including by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain), No Mercy and *NSYNC.
"More Than A Feeling" was also sampled in the song "Totally Hooked" by DJ Peter Presta.
2008 U.S. presidential race
In 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee used the song "More Than A Feeling" to promote his campaign. Former Boston band member Barry Goudreau made appearances with Huckabee both live and on YouTube stating that he was of the band Boston, though he had been out of the band for over two decades. In February of 2008, Tom Scholz, the song's author, wrote to Huckabee requesting that he stop using the song, stating:
"While I’m flattered that you are fond of my song, I’m shocked that you would use it and the name Boston to promote yourself without my consent. Your campaign’s use of "More Than a Feeling", coupled with the representation of one of your supporters as a member "of Boston", clearly implies that the band Boston, and specifically one of its members, has endorsed your candidacy, neither of which is true."
Huckabee complied with Scholz's request, and videos featuring Barry Goudreau and the song were subsequently yanked by the Huckabee Campaign.
|Australian Kent Music Report||11|
|Belgian VRT Top 30||14|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||4|
|Dutch Top 40||11|
|German Singles Chart||15|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||15|
|Swiss Singles Chart||9|
|U.K. Singles Chart||22|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||5|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||58|
|U.S. Cashbox Top 100||83|
|Australian Kent Music Report||95|
|German Singles Chart||76|
Downloadable content for Rhythm Games
The song was made available to download on March 1, 2011 for use in the Rock Band music video game series in both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which takes advantage of the use of a real guitar / bass guitar, along with standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.
The song is also available for Rocksmith, released together with Jessica by the The Allman Brothers Band and Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, under the header 'Hits 1970s'. Despite being released together, the songs can only be downloaded separately.
- "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- "More than a Feeling" profile, Rolling Stone, 2004.
- Wright, J. "Feelin' Satisfied: An Interview with Tom Scholz of Boston". thirdstage.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- Covach, John (2005), "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", in Stein, Deborah, Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, New York: Oxford University Press, p.74-75, ISBN 0-19-517010-5 .
- Andy Aledort. "The Band Boston Fan Site - The Rock Man - Maximum Guitar, A Revealing interview with Tom Scholz, guitarist and mastermind behind BOSTON'S classic-rock brilliance".
- "More Than a Feeling by Boston, Song Stories". Rolling Stone Music.
- Garry Mulholland (15 October 2003). This is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco. Cassell Illustrated. ISBN 978-1-84403-105-4. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
- "Boston". Boston. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- "Boston: Feelin' Satisfied". Guitar World. October 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- Evans, P. (2004). Brackett, N. & Hoard, C., ed. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 96. ISBN 0743201698.
- Fricke, David (January 27). "Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview.". Rolling Stone.
- "'More than a Feeling'" Writer Says Mike Huckabee Has Caused Him 'Damage'", Rolling Stone website, February 14, 2008.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "More Than a Feeling in Canadian Charts". http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Gaddo, Kyle (2011-02-25). "Eleven Legacy Rock Band Tracks Getting PRO Upgrades On March 1st". The Gaming Vault. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "Rocksmith™ DLC Official US Site Ubisoft®". Retrieved 2013-04-11.