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
Length 3:25 (single edit)
4:44 (album version)
5:03 (full version)
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Tom Scholz
Producer(s) John Boylan, Tom Scholz, Rodney C. Thompson
Boston singles chronology
"More Than a Feeling"
"Long Time"
"More Than a Feeling" / Smokin'
"Long Time"
Music video
"More Than a Feeling" on YouTube

"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.[3][4] It is one of six songs, five of which eventually appeared on the Boston album,[5] Scholz worked on in his basement in 1974 and 1975, before Boston got its record contract.[4] The drum parts were originally developed by Jim Masdea, although Sib Hashian played the drums on the official release.[5] The verses are in the key of D major while the chorus is in G major. The song is in compound AABA form.[6]

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.[7][8] Other critics[who?] have noted that this song's main riff is referenced in the Nirvana single "Smells Like Teen Spirit."[9]

Boston's website says the song is about "the power an old song can have in your life,"[10] with Tom Scholz elaborating that "it was sort of a bittersweet ballad."[11] Ultimate Classic Rock critic Michael Gallucci points out that this is a common theme in Boston songs.[12] The lyrics express the author's discontent with the present and his yearning for a former love named Marianne, whose memory is strongly evoked by an old familiar song. In an interview Scholz was asked, "Who is Marianne?" He replied, "There actually is a Marianne. She wasn't my girlfriend." He explained that when he was 8 or 9 years old he had a much older cousin who he thought was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and that he was "secretly in love" with her (laughs).[13] But he has also stated that the lyrics were inspired by his emotions after a school love affair ended, and were influenced by the lyrics of the Left Banke song "Walk Away Renee."[4] Maximum Guitar author Andy Aledort pointed out that the guitar chord progression of G-D/F#-Em7-D that follows the line "I see my Marianne walking away" also comes from "Walk Away Renee."[4] Aledort also explains that the guitar solo is unusual in that it incorporates mordents and inverted mordents, which are more typically used in baroque music.[4]

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."[14] Rolling Stone Album Guide critic Paul Evans states that "as slick as it sounds, 'More Than a Feeling' strikes an uncommonly resonant emotional note."[15] Gallucci rated it Boston's greatest song.[12] Ultimate Classic Rock critic Dave Swanson rated it the #28 all-time classic rock song.[16]

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]

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 then 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.[20]

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.[32]

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."[33]

In Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". 2009-01-01. Archived from the original on 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Denise. "More Than a Feeling - Boston". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "More than a Feeling" profile, Rolling Stone, 2004.
  4. ^ a b c d e Aledort, Andy (September 1997). "The Rock Man". Maximum Guitar. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  5. ^ a b Wright, J. "Feelin' Satisfied: An Interview with Tom Scholz of Boston". Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  6. ^ 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 .
  7. ^ "The Band Boston Fan Site - Sound & Vision Review of Tom Scholz' Remasters". Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  8. ^ "More Than a Feeling by Boston, Song Stories". Rolling Stone Music. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Boston". Boston. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  11. ^ Boston / Tom Scholz exclusive interview / More Than A Feeling. 10 October 2015 – via YouTube. 
  12. ^ a b Gallucci, Michael. "Top 10 Boston songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  13. ^ Boston / Tom Scholz exclusive interview / More Than A Feeling. 10 October 2015 – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ "Boston: Feelin' Satisfied". Guitar World. October 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  15. ^ Evans, P. (2004). Brackett, N.; Hoard, C., eds. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 96. ISBN 0743201698. 
  16. ^ Swanson, Dave. "No. 28: Boston, ‘More Than a Feeling’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  17. ^ Fricke, David (January 27, 1994). "Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview.". Rolling Stone. 
  18. ^ Greil Marcus (April 1, 1999). "The Best Band in the World". Esquire. 
  19. ^ "Pandora Archive" (PDF). 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  20. ^ "'More than a Feeling'" Writer Says Mike Huckabee Has Caused Him 'Damage'", Rolling Stone website, February 14, 2008.
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  22. ^ "Radio2 top 30: 8 oktober 2016 | Radio2". Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  23. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  24. ^ Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. "Top 40: Boston - More Than A Feeling". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  25. ^ "Most Wanter Charts". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  26. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Boston - More Than A Feeling". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  27. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-03-22. 
  29. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  30. ^ "INFINITY CHARTS: German Top 20". 2000-01-14. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^ Gaddo, Kyle (2011-02-25). "Eleven Legacy Rock Band Tracks Getting PRO Upgrades On March 1st". The Gaming Vault. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  33. ^ "Rocksmith™ DLC Official US Site Ubisoft®". Retrieved 2013-04-11. 

External links[edit]