Don't Look Back (Boston album)

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Don't Look Back
Boston - Don't Look Back.jpg
Studio album by Boston
Released August 2, 1978
Recorded 1977–78 at Tom Scholz's Hideaway Studio and Northern Studio, Maynard, Massachusetts
Genre Hard rock, soft rock
Length 33:47
Label Epic
Producer Tom Scholz
Boston chronology
Don't Look Back
Third Stage
Singles from Don't Look Back
  1. "Don't Look Back"
    Released: August 2, 1978
  2. "A Man I'll Never Be"
    Released: 1979
  3. "Feelin' Satisfied"
    Released: 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]

Don't Look Back is the second studio album by American rock band Boston, released in 1978.[1] [3] The title track is one of the band's biggest hits, reaching #4 in 1978 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album sold over four million copies in the first month of its release, and was certified 7x platinum by the RIAA in the US.[4]

This album also marked the beginning of the band's legal fight with its record label Epic Records. Scholz claimed that Epic executives pushed him and the band into releasing the album before they felt it was ready. He also said that the album "was ridiculously short. It needed another song." Their next album, Third Stage, was not released for another eight years, by which time the band and record label had parted ways and were fighting a courtroom battle that Boston ultimately won.


Don't Look Back was recorded during 1977 and 1978 at Scholz's Hideaway Studio, except for the piano on "A Man I'll Never Be", which was recorded by engineer David 'db' Butler (erroneously credited as "Dave Butler" on the liner) at Northern Studio in Maynard, Massachusetts[3]

Original release[edit]

When Don't Look Back was released on LP, 8-track and cassette in 1978, it was originally to be titled Arrival, but Boston members discovered that ABBA had already released an album by that name,[5] so Don't Look Back was chosen instead. The album was listed erroneously as "Arrival" in the cassette inserts of some other CBS releases at the time promoting albums available from the record company and its associated labels.

Compact disc releases[edit]

Don't Look Back was among the first commercially produced compact discs when the format was introduced in 1983, but because of ongoing legal issues between Scholz and CBS Records, the title was pulled after a small production run and did not reappear on CD until three years later. Inserts for the original CD pressings contained the "spaceship blueprints" from the original album dust jacket; those illustrations were not included in the 1986 re-release.

This album and the group's first album (Boston) were remastered and re-released on June 13, 2006. The re-releases were digitally remastered personally by Scholz after he heard (not directly) that the remastering project was to be handled by Sony's team, which he felt was unacceptable. He took it on himself after negotiations with Legacy, saying, "I've always wanted to make those albums sound good on CD, and the chance arrived."[6]

A small number of the Sony-remastered versions briefly went on sale in Canada on April 4, 2006 before being yanked from the shelves. Those discs also included a live version of "Shattered Images" (mistitled "Help Me" on the packaging), an unreleased Boston original, from a 1976 concert in Philadelphia.[7]


It has been posited that the cover art for this album inspired the box art on the Atari 2600 release of the video game Space Invaders.[8]

Scholz has claimed in many interviews that he listens to "The Journey" before he goes to bed each night.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Tom Scholz, except "Party", co-written with Brad Delp, and "Used to Bad News" written by Delp.

Side one[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Don't Look Back"   5:57
2. "The Journey"   1:46
3. "It's Easy"   4:26
4. "A Man I'll Never Be"   6:37

Side two[edit]

No. Title Length
5. "Feelin' Satisfied"   4:11
6. "Party"   4:07
7. "Used to Bad News"   2:56
8. "Don't Be Afraid"   3:48


Per liner notes[3]


Chart (1978) Peak position
US Billboard 200[9] 1
Canada RPM 100 Albums[10] 1
UK (The Official Charts Company)[11] 9
Norway (VG-lista)[12] 9
Sweden (Hung Medien)[13] 8
France (InfoDisc)[14] 13
New Zealand (Top 50 Albums)[15] 17


Organization Level Date
RIAA – United States Gold August 25, 1978
Platinum August 25, 1978
4× Platinum October 30, 1986
5× Platinum January 29, 1990
6× Platinum December 7, 1992
7× Platinum April 11, 1996
RIAA – UK Silver 1978
CRIA – Canada Gold Dec 01, 1978
Platinum Aug 01, 1978
2× Platinum Dec 01, 1978
3× Platinum Dec 01, 1978
4× Platinum Jul 01, 1979
Preceded by
Grease (soundtrack) by Various artists
Billboard 200 number-one album
September 16–22, 1978
October 7–13, 1978
Succeeded by
Living in the USA by Linda Ronstadt


  1. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Boston" Don't Look Back > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved November 2, 2010. It was produced by Tom Scholz.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG Boston". Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Don't Look Back (CD liner). Boston. Epic Records/Legacy Recordings. 2006 [1978]. p. 11. 82876 82241 2. 
  4. ^ "American album certifications – Boston – Don't Look Back". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 10, 2010.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  5. ^ ABBA – Arrival at Discogs (list of releases)
  6. ^ Sholz, Tom (March 2006). "What the Deuce IS UP With Boston?". A letter from Tom Scholz regarding the newly remastered Debut album and Don't Look Back!. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Don't Look Back". Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ Moss, Steve (July 2001). "Don't Look Yet". Steve Moss' Cheap Homepage. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Boston > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  10. ^ "RPM 100 Albums". RPM (archived at Library and Archives Canada) (Volume 30, No. 3). October 14, 1978. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Don't Look Back". Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Boston - Don't Look Back". Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Boston - Don't Look Back". Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" [Album Details for Artist] (in French). Retrieved October 10, 2011.  Select BOSTON then click OK.
  15. ^ "Boston – Don't Look Back". Retrieved October 10, 2011.