Monday, January 25, 2010

Song History: More Than A Feeling

Original post January 25, 2010
Updates and re-post June 15, 2011


My ongoing Song History Project entails that I pick a song that I love that has been covered many times and research its history.

My goal: Find every version ever recorded – plus any song, according to the original artist, that had influenced the song’s composing.

First up is More Than A Feeling by Boston.

According to, the song was “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 ranked as #500 on the list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and in 2009 it was named the 39th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.”

From Dave Marsh's The Book of Rock Lists: “The chorus riff may itself be a subtle homage to the Kingsmen's classic, ‘Louie Louie’. 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.’"

Tom Scholz, who composed the song, credits "Walk Away Renee" by The Left Banke as the main inspiration for the song.

Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke...

Here is a list of cover versions I have found.
(If you know of any other ones, let me know!)

South African Thrash Metal band Agro: 2004 CD Gouda Than Hell
Info Link

Swedish Hair Metal band Bad Habit: 1989 CD From After Hours (and on their greatest hits CD 13 Years of Bad Habits)

Ingram Hill: 2005 Herbie Fully Loaded soundtrack

This version is closest to the original. That is not necessarily a good thing. Ingram Hill also did a cover version of Queen's song '39. I don't see a video for Ingram Hill's version, but here is Queen's original version, probably one of my Top Ten Favorite Queen Songs.

Japanese female pop singers Nav Katze: 1994 album Uwa No Sora

Info Link
The band seems to cover other classic rock songs (like Wild Horses) so I was hoping they would sound like Shonen Knife covering Top of the World. Instead they sound like electronic noise.

NSYNC: 1998 debut CD

Sleater-Kinney: 1996 CD Move into the Villa Villakula and The Virgin Suicides soundtrack

UK Soft Rock Artist Sylvain Cossette: 2008 CD 70’s

The Big Mess Orchestra
Web Site

The Stafford Brothers - A couple of DJ’s remixing the song

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill acappella group Achordants – 2007 CD High-Stakes Old Maid
Info Link

There is no video of their version of the song, though their web site has videos of them covering Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas), September (Earth, Wind and Fire), Long Train Running (The Doobie Brothers) and other songs.

Here is a list of songs that sample “More Than A Feeling”.

- DJ Peter Presta: "Totally Hooked" (See this blog entry to hear the song.)

- Hunters & Collectors

While not an actual cover, the main riff for the song is the same as More than a Feeling's chorus riff, except in a different key.

Songs That Inspired “More Than A Feeling”

The Kingsmen's Louie Louie

Cream's Badge


Of all the songs listed, I have a copy of ALL of them except for Agro, Nav Katze, The Big Mess Orchestra, and Achordants.

I posted about Brad Delp’s death here.

Final Thought:


Another time: A song originally recorded in 1933 and covered by artists such as Shocking Blue, John Mellencamp, Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan...


jason said...

I can't say I like any of the covers. I much prefer the original...though I do like that Left Banke song a lot.

Breezy said...

This song always reminds me of Ally McBeal. Strange of me, but then again maybe not. :-)