Foreplay/Long Time

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"Foreplay/Long Time"
Song by Boston
from the album Boston
GenreHard rock, progressive rock
Length7:47 (2:25 for intro "Foreplay")
Songwriter(s)Tom Scholz
Producer(s)John Boylan & Tom Scholz
"Long Time"
Boston Long Time.jpg
Single by Boston
from the album Boston
B-side"Let Me Take You Home Tonight"
ReleasedJanuary 7, 1977
Format7" vinyl
Songwriter(s)Tom Scholz
Producer(s)John Boylan & Tom Scholz
Boston singles chronology
"More Than a Feeling"
"Long Time"
"Peace of Mind"

"Foreplay/Long Time" is a song written by Tom Scholz and first performed by the rock band Boston on the band's eponymous debut album, and as their second single, on Epic Records in 1976. It combines an instrumental introduction, "Foreplay", to the main song "Long Time", generally played as one on the radio and listed as one track on the album. "Long Time" peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week ending March 5, 1977.[1] It reached the Top 10 in Canada, peaking at No. 9.[2] The standalone "Foreplay" was released as the B-side of Boston's next single "Peace of Mind", which was released in April.[3]

In an interview for the Best of Boston CD, Scholz said that "Foreplay" was the first song he ever recorded, and he did this on a two-track machine in his basement.[4] Scholz also stated that it was the first piece of music he ever wrote, and that he wrote it as far back as 1969.[5][6][7]

An alternate mix of the song is available on the Epic Records Promo LP It's a Knockout. It was a sampler LP of artists that had releases coming up in 1976. This version has various differences in the mix and effects and also includes extra lyrics towards the end of the song. This version has never been available officially anywhere else.


"Foreplay" is a progressive instrumental prelude, primarily consisting of rapid triplet arpeggios on a Hammond M-3 organ (contrary to popular belief, the song was not recorded on a B-3, as Tom Scholz had a limited budget at the time and was unable to afford one) with a bass part doubled by a clavinet, and drums, with lead guitar joining at the end. According to Scholz, leader and producer of Boston, the synthesizer-like swoops were produced by scraping a pick across the strings of an electric guitar in conjunction with distortion and delay.

The three guitar solos on "Long Time" are played by Barry Goudreau, rather than Scholz, who played most of the guitar parts on Boston. Goudreau also plays the solo in "Let Me Take You Home Tonight".[7] Scholz played the solos in "More Than a Feeling", "Peace of Mind", "Rock & Roll Band", and "Something About You".

Rolling Stone described "Foreplay/Long Time" as "a perfect marriage of Led Zeppelin and Yes that plays musical chairs with electric and acoustic sounds."[8]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2004, "Long Time" was used as the background music for a series of television commercials, titled "Timeless", for NASCAR, featuring a hypothetical race between drivers and cars of all eras of NASCAR competition. It was featured on YouTube on a Best of NASCAR 2013 video.

In 2006, "Foreplay" is featured near the end of The Sopranos episode "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh" (Season 6, Episode 4). Tony Soprano is playing it to obscure a conversation in case a room is bugged.

"Foreplay/Long Time" is featured as a playable track in the video game Rock Band. It is the final song in the Vocal Solo Tour.

The track was played during Part 1 of the Season 2 finale of the television show Supernatural.

"Foreplay/Long Time" was featured in an episode of the television series 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic in 2010.

"Foreplay/Long Time" was heard before a commercial break during NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2012.

"Foreplay/Long Time" was featured in the 2018 film The Front Runner.

Chart performance[edit]



Long Time[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Rascal Flatts played a cover version of "Foreplay/Long Time" in concert, which was released on the album Rascal Flatts LIVE.[12][13]
  • Phish celebrated their concert at Great Woods in Mansfield, Massachusetts by opening with "Foreplay/Long Time". They had covered a bluegrass arrangement earlier in their careers, but this was the first time they played the full electric version that is heard on the album.[13]
  • The Jay Sekulow Band recorded a cover of "Foreplay/Long Time" and posted it to the band's Facebook page.


  1. ^ Rock Movers & Shakers by Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton, 1991 Billboard Books.
  2. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  3. ^ "Peace of Mind". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  4. ^ "Boston History". Boston. Archived from the original on 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  5. ^ "Boston Musicians: Tom Scholz". Boston. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  6. ^ Koziowski, J. (January 1, 1977). "Boston: Of Basements, Beer and Bread". Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  7. ^ a b Crowe, C. (August 10, 1978). "Boston: The Band from the Platinum Basement". Rolling Stone. pp. 37–42.
  8. ^ Nicholson, K. (October 7, 1976). "Boston". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2015-07-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-07-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ a b Craig, Bill (February 18, 2017). "Top 10 best Boston songs". AXS. Retrieved 2017-05-03.

External links[edit]