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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
Length 4:45 (Album Version)
3:28 (Single Version)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Tom Scholz
Producer John Boylan, Tom Scholz
Boston singles chronology
"More Than a Feeling" "Foreplay/Long Time"

"More Than a Feeling" is a song by the rock band Boston, released as the lead single from their eponymous 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 has become a staple of classic rock radio and is ranked as #500 on the list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1] and in 2009 it was named the 39th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[2]



His biggest hit, "More Than A Feeling" took writer Tom Scholz five years to complete.[3] The song is an example of the compound AABA form. The verses are in the key of D mixolydian, and the refrain is in the key of G major.

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.[4] [5] Other critics have noted that this song's main riff is referenced in the Nirvana single "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The descending verse riff is also similar to the hook from "Badge" by Cream. The song's instrumental guitar bridge is heavily inspired by the instrumental hooks of The Tornados' 1962 instrumental hit "Telstar", but also sounds like the riff from the song "Tend My Garden" by Joe Walsh.

Epic released an edited version of the song for the single, clocking in at 3:28 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.

Campaign of 2008

In February 2008, Scholz wrote to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, requesting him to stop performing the song at public appearances. Huckabee, an amateur bassist, was reported to have been regularly playing the song, sometimes with former Boston band member Barry Goudreau who held himself out on You Tube (it was subsequently yanked by the Huckabee Campaign) and on stage to be "of BOSTON" implying he was currently of the band BOSTON even though he had been out of the band for over two decades. In his letter, Scholz wrote:

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.[6]


Cover versions

  • In 1995 Dutch singer Bert Heerink covered the song for a Heineken commercial with changed (Dutch) lyrics called 'Doe Wat Je Wilt'.
  • Pop group *NSYNC covered the song on the international version of their European debut album, *NSYNC.
  • Ingram Hill, a rock band from Memphis, Tennessee, performed a cover of this song for the soundtrack of Herbie: Fully Loaded, a Walt Disney Pictures movie released in 2005.
  • Canadian singer Sylvain Cossette did a cover of this song on his album 70's.
  • Pacific Northwest band Sleater-Kinney covered "More Than A Feeling" for 1996 compilation Move into the Villa Villakula (Villa Villakula Records).
  • Japanese female pop singers Nav Katze covered the song on their album Uwa No Sora, released in 1994.
  • Philadelphia's The Big Mess Orchestra covered the song on their CD.
  • UNC Achordants covered it a cappella on their 2007 album High-Stakes Old Maid.
  • The South African power metal band Agro covered it on their 2004 album Gouda Than Hell.
  • In 1989, the Swedish Metal band, Bad Habit, covered it with a more "pop" sound added to it with keyboard playing in the background.
  • In the 1992 Reading Festival, American grunge band Nirvana briefly covered a part of the song's chorus before playing their hit song "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
  • Australian dj's the Stafford Brothers released a cover of this song in 2006.

Use in popular culture

"More Than A Feeling" is often recognized as an iconic song in the history of music, as it has been featured in a number of films and serials.


  • When the single was originally released in 1976, a promotion performance video was filmed for the song. The video occasionally plays on The VH1 Classic Network and can be found on YouTube.[7]
  • The song was featured in the 2008 film Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
  • The song can be heard in the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • The song can be heard in the trailer for and is played in the 2009 film The Men Who Stare at Goats.


  • The song has appeared in TV commercials, including on a 1980s ad for Schlitz beer in the UK and a cover version on an Australian Just Jeans ad in 2007. It can be seen on Mediaset Premium pay TV.
  • The song is featured in the episode "My Half-Acre" of the American sitcom Scrubs, when the Janitor's Air Band "The Cool Cats" performs it at the end of the episode (although Turk can be seen lip syncing the incorrect lyrics).[8]
  • "More Than A Feeling" appears in The Wire, in the second episode of Season 5 as Jimmy McNulty gets into his car with a flat tire.
  • Used in Canada for a "Boston Pizza" commercial, with the waitress playing 'Marianne'.
  • While not actually used in the program, Carl, from the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, references the song, calling it "the greatest song ever."
  • The song is featured during a scene of the 1st season finale of Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory
  • It was also the background song for a broadcast episode of That 70s Show in which Eric and Donna dance together at their prom.
  • The song is used in The Sopranos, in the episode House Arrest. The lyric "I closed my eyes and I slipped away" can be heard just before Tony passes out due to an anxiety attack.
  • It was used in a Castle Lager advert in South Africa, in reference to the Rugby World Cup in South Africa.[1]
  • It was also used in TV adverts for Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
  • The song was used in Dane Cook's documentary, Tourgasm, which aired on HBO in June 2006.
  • The song is used in a current Barclaycard advert in the UK.
  • The song is used in the US in an advert for Mega Millions and Powerball lottery games in 2010.
  • The song is heard in the opening scenes in first episode of Cold Case.
  • Used in promos for Carpoolers on Fox Life.


Video games

  • In November 2005, a cover of "More Than A Feeling" was included as one of the playable songs in the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero and was revisited as a master recording on Guitar Hero: Smash Hits in June 2009, as it was voted as one of the best tracks of original Guitar Hero.[10]
  • In September 2007, a shorter version the song was featured as a playable track in "SingStar Rock Ballads".
  • On March 25, 2008, it was released for the game Rock Band as a part of a Boston-themed 6-track downloadable pack that included all of the tracks from their first studio album, except for "Foreplay/Longtime," which was already on disk, and "Let Me Take You Home Tonight". It is available in Rock Band Unplugged as well.
  • A cover version of "More Than A Feeling" is included in Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore as the first unlockable track.


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