If you've ever listened to classic rock radio, you've almost certainly heard Boston – a lot. Despite the fact that they only released two albums during the 1970s, they're in the top tier of classic rock bands, and the 16 songs from those albums are in near constant rotation on the many stations that play the giants of '70s rock.
At the forefront of it all, with a powerful voice, awesome range, and tendency toward seriously dramatic vocal noodling, was Brad Delp. Delp was part of the band from the beginning, his vocal style as much a signature of the band as their great riffs and sing-along-able choruses.
The story told in the song "Rock and Roll Band" isn't exactly the truth – the band wasn't magically discovered by a fat-cat record exec who happened upon one of their shows. Like most rock groups, it took years of dedication, recording demos and sending them to record companies and enduring rejection, before they finally made it big. But when that break came, oh, what a big break it was.
Their 1976 self-titled debut album was a massive, immediate hit, yielding three hot singles and becoming the top-selling debut album of all time (surpassed 11 years later by Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction, it still holds the number two spot). They repeated their success two years later with No. 1 album Don't Look Back and hit the top of the charts again in 1986 with Third Stage.
Brad Delp remained with the band off and on until his death from suicide on March 9, 2007. Through the years, his noteworthy vocals helped shape the band that helped shape classic rock.
Brad Delp (Wikimedia Commons/Carl Lender)
Written by Linnea Crowther