More Than a Feeling

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"More Than a Feeling"
Single by Boston
from the album Boston
B-side "Smokin'"
Released September 1976
Format 7″
Recorded October 1975 – April 1976
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 3:25 (single edit)
4:44 (album version)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Tom Scholz
Producer(s) John Boylan, Tom Scholz, Rodney C. Thompson
Boston singles chronology
"More Than a Feeling" / Smokin'
"Long Time"

"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 1999 it was named the 39th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[1]


His biggest hit, "More Than a Feeling" took writer Tom Scholz five years to complete.[2] 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.[3] The drum parts were originally developed by Jim Masdea, although Sib Hashian played the drums on the official release.[3] The verses are in the key of D major while the chorus is in G major. The song is in compound AABA form.[4]

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.[5][6] 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".[7] 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."[8] 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 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."[9] Rolling Stone Album Guide critic Paul Evans states that "as slick as it sounds, 'More Than a Feeling' strikes an uncommonly resonant emotional note.[10]

When performed live, the song is occasionally played after "The Journey", since "It's Easy" has rarely been played live.

Single version[edit]

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 and samples[edit]

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[11]), No Mercy, *NSYNC, and Sleater-Kinney.[12]

Australian group The Stafford Brothers covered and released the track in 2006. It peaked at number 90 on the ARIA Chart.[13]

The South African trio Mark Haze (from Idols South Africa season 7), Dozi and Ghapi recorded a version on their album Rocking Buddies in 2013.[14]

Tejano and Country singer Emilio Navaira, sampled the guitar riff of the song in his song "Naciste Para Mi" (Spanish for "Born For Me").

The song was sampled in the dance anthem "Totally Hooked" by DJ Peter Presta in 2005.

Glee's New Directions covered "More Than a Feeling" in their 2014 Nationals episode, "City of Angels", with lead solos sung by Darren Criss and Jenna Ushkowitz.

German dance project Topmodelz (a.k.a. Pulsedriver) covered the song in 2011.

In pop culture[edit]

The song was also featured in the films Foxes, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Burlesque, The Men Who Stare at Goats, and Touchback, and the television shows The Middle, Glee, and The Sopranos.

In the film Zookeeper, the animals sing the song during the end credits.

The fictional air band "The Cool Cats" performed the song during the end of Scrubs season 5 episode 9 "My Half Acre".

The song is featured on Top Gear season 22 Episode 6, while Jeremy Clarkson is driving a Ford F-150 Velociraptor in Canada.

The song was featured in the second trailer for the 2015 Pixar Animation Studios comedy Inside Out.

A cover version appeared as a playable track in Guitar Hero while the master version appeared in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits and Guitar Hero Live.

The song is referred to as "the ultimate song" by Carl Brutananadilewski in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "eDork" (Season 3 Episode 5).

2008 U.S. presidential race[edit]

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 2008, Scholz 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.[15]

Huckabee complied with Scholz's request, and videos featuring Barry Goudreau and the song were subsequently removed by the Huckabee Campaign.


Chart performance[edit]

Downloadable content for rhythm and music games[edit]

The song was made available to download on March 1, 2011, for use in the Rock Band music video game series.[27]

The song is also available as downloadable content (DLC) for the Rocksmith guitar learning game. The song is available individually or as part of the 'Rock Hits 70s' Song Pack along with "Jessica" by The Allman Brothers Band and Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water."[28]


  1. ^ a b "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ "More than a Feeling" profile, Rolling Stone, 2004.
  3. ^ a b Wright, J. "Feelin' Satisfied: An Interview with Tom Scholz of Boston". Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  4. ^ 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 .
  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". 
  6. ^ "More Than a Feeling by Boston, Song Stories". Rolling Stone Music. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Boston". Boston. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  9. ^ "Boston: Feelin' Satisfied". Guitar World. October 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  10. ^ Evans, P. (2004). Brackett, N. & Hoard, C., ed. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 96. ISBN 0743201698. 
  11. ^ Fricke, David (January 27, 1994). "Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview.". Rolling Stone. 
  12. ^ Greil Marcus (April 1, 1999). "The Best Band in the World". Esquire. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Retrieved 4 February 2014
  15. ^ "'More than a Feeling'" Writer Says Mike Huckabee Has Caused Him 'Damage'", Rolling Stone website, February 14, 2008.
  16. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "More Than a Feeling in Canadian Charts". Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. "Top 40: Boston - More Than A Feeling". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  20. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  21. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Boston - More Than A Feeling". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  22. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  25. ^ "INFINITY CHARTS: German Top 20". 2000-01-14. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^ Gaddo, Kyle (2011-02-25). "Eleven Legacy Rock Band Tracks Getting PRO Upgrades On March 1st". The Gaming Vault. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  28. ^ "Rocksmith™ DLC Official US Site Ubisoft®". Retrieved 2013-04-11. 

External links[edit]