Monday, March 12, 2007

Brad Delp, 55, Lead Singer for Boston, Dies

Brad Delp, the lead singer for the rock band Boston, was found dead on Friday in his home in Atkinson, N.H. The Associated Press reported that a police spokesman said Mr. Delp apparently died alone and that there was no indication of foul play. The cause of death is under investigation and a report is to be released Monday, The A.P. reported. Mr. Delp was 55.



Mr. Delp’s vocals, overdubbed into group harmonies and grand chorales for songs like “More Than a Feeling,” were a vital ingredient in the sound of Boston, a band whose multilayered tracks were created in the studio by its guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer, Tom Scholz. Boston’s elaborate songs were ubiquitous on radio stations during the 1970s, and its 1976 debut album, “Boston,” largely recorded in Mr. Scholz’s basement, has sold more than 17 million copies in the United States.
Mr. Delp was born in 1951 in Danvers, Mass., and discovered music as a Beatles fan. He started singing in bands as a teenager, and met Mr. Scholz as the 1960s ended. In an interview with Classic Rock Revisited, Mr. Delp said, “I am just lucky to be the guy who was there.”
Their band played cover songs in clubs for the early part of the 1970s while working with Mr. Scholz on the homemade recordings that became Boston’s debut album.
“The nice thing about Brad,” Mr. Scholz said in a 1986 interview with Musician magazine, “was his incredible ability in the studio. He was a master at controlling his voice — he could do things over and over, changing one note and doing everything else the same. He’s a natural overdubber, he can perfectly match what’s on tape, he can sing harmonies with himself and keep dozens of parts in his mind.”
Mr. Delp’s stacked vocal tracks, from earnest tenor to wailing falsetto, were so central to the music that in Boston’s first management and recording contracts, Mr. Scholz and Mr. Delp were the only official members of the band; Barry Goudreau on guitar, Fran Sheehan on bass and Sib Hashian on drums were soon added. Mr. Scholz wrote all the songs on Boston’s debut except “Smokin’,” written with Mr. Delp, and “Let Me Take You Home Tonight,” credited to Mr. Delp alone.



Although Boston’s first album was derided by critics as derivative and calculated, it was immediately embraced by radio stations. The band’s first tour after its release started in clubs and ended in arenas. Mr. Scholz, a painstaking songwriter who had worked for seven years on what became the debut album, rushed to complete a follow-up, “Don’t Look Back,” released in 1978. It eventually sold seven million copies in the United States.

In 1980, Mr. Delp, along with Mr. Hashian, appeared on Mr. Goudreau’s album of his own songs, “Barry Goudreau.” Mr. Goudreau and Mr. Delp left Boston and worked together in the early 1980s under the band name Orion the Hunter; it released an album in 1984 with Mr. Delp as background vocalist and songwriting collaborator. (Fran Cosmo, who would later join Boston, was the lead singer.) But Mr. Delp rejoined Boston in 1985 to sing on the album “Third Stage,” which was released in 1986 and has sold four million copies in the United States.

As the 1990s began, Mr. Delp worked again with Mr. Goudreau in a band called RTZ, for Return to Zero. He was replaced in Boston by Mr. Cosmo, the lead singer on Boston’s 1994 album “Walk On.” But Mr. Delp toured with Boston after the release of “Walk On,” sharing vocals with Mr. Cosmo, and sang three new songs on Boston’s “Greatest Hits” collection in 1997. He remained with Boston ever since, touring and singing lead on Boston’s 2002 album “Corporate America.”
Between Boston tours, Mr. Delp performed in New England clubs with a band called Beatle Juice, playing faithful copies of Beatles songs.

Bradd was a local guy and lived "locally". He participated in his community and lived amongst the masses. He appeared often on our local radio station and help with a variety of fundraisers for local charities. He was an "Ordinary Average Guy" and will be missed around these parts!

4 comments:

dive said...

Sad news, Prudence.
I'm gonna go home, plug in my Les Paul and play "More Than A Feeling" over and over.
A sad loss.

Dear Prudence said...

I concur. Although he wasn't historically amazing he was a real decent human being, who did have a great voice. I would also suggest pulling up Delp and Goudreau’s What You Leave Behind. Kind of a fitting tribute to Delp I would say.
On another note; is Bill Morrissey’s CD one of the ones wandering around in Post Office Land? Wankers!

Sassy Sundry said...

I'm afraid that I wasn't a fan, but I was sad to hear that he died. He seemed like a decent guy.

Dear Prudence said...

Sometimes Sassy age has its discrepancies between you and me. You were still toddlin when I was rockin.. but it's all good. He was a decent man.