"Foreplay/Long Time"
Song by Boston
from the album Boston
Length7:47 (2:25 "Foreplay" intro alone)
Songwriter(s)Tom Scholz
Producer(s)John Boylan and Tom Scholz
"Foreplay/Long Time" on YouTube
"Long Time"
Single by Boston
from the album Boston
B-side"Let Me Take You Home Tonight"
ReleasedJanuary 7, 1977
Songwriter(s)Tom Scholz
Producer(s)John Boylan & Tom Scholz
Boston singles chronology
"More Than a Feeling"
"Long Time"
"Peace of Mind"
Audio clip: "Long Time"

"Foreplay/Long Time" is a song by American rock band Boston, written by Tom Scholz. It appears on their 1976 self-titled debut album and is their second single for Epic Records. The song combines an instrumental introduction, "Foreplay", with the main song "Long Time", generally played as one on the radio and listed as one track on the album. "Long Time" peaked at No. 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 the week ending March 5, 1977.[1] It reached the Top 10 in Canada, peaking at No. 9.[2] The standalone "Foreplay" was released as the B-side of Boston's next single "Peace of Mind", which was released in April.[3]

In an interview for the Best of Boston CD, Scholz said that "Foreplay" was the first song he ever recorded, and he did this on a two-track machine in his basement.[4] Scholz also stated that it was the first piece of music he ever wrote, and that he wrote it as far back as 1969.[5][6][7]

An alternate mix of the song is available on the Epic Records Promo LP It's a Knockout. It was a sampler LP of artists that had releases coming up in 1976. This version has various differences in the mix and effects and also includes extra lyrics towards the end of the song. This version has never been available officially anywhere else.

Scholz originally sang all the vocal parts to "Long Time" in his basement during the making of the demo album, but his friend Brad Delp was invited to sing, and proved to be superior. Delp's voice is the only one heard on the 1976 studio recording. Scholz played several guitars, including lead electric guitar on "Foreplay", processed through a space pedal effect, and acoustic rhythm guitars on "Long Time".[8] The three electric guitar solos on "Long Time" are played by Barry Goudreau.[7]


Rolling Stone described "Foreplay/Long Time" as "a perfect marriage of Led Zeppelin and Yes that plays musical chairs with electric and acoustic sounds."[9] Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn said that "Foreplay" is an effective "Yes/ELP keyboard exploration."[10] Billboard said it had similar catchiness to its predecessor Boston single "More Than a Feeling" due to its "spacey electronic fills and soaring, full bodied vocal harmonies."[11] Cash Box said the single "cuts out the long keyboard instrumental while leaving the meat of the song intact" and "builds through a series of hand-clapping interludes, first on acoustic, then on electric guitar."[12] Classic Rock critic Paul Elliott rated it as Boston's 6th greatest song and noted that another critic had described the song as "a perfect marriage of Yes and Led Zeppelin."[13] Classic Rock History critic Brian Kachejian rated it as Boston's 3rd best song.[14]



"Long Time"

Cover versions



  1. ^ Rock Movers & Shakers by Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton, 1991 Billboard Books.
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Peace of Mind". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  4. ^ "Boston History". Boston. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Boston Musicians: Tom Scholz". Boston. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  6. ^ Koziowski, J. (January 1, 1977). "Boston: Of Basements, Beer and Bread". Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Crowe, C. (August 10, 1978). "Boston: The Band from the Platinum Basement". Rolling Stone. pp. 37–42.
  8. ^ a b Boston (CD credits). Sony BMG. 2016.
  9. ^ Nicholson, K. (October 7, 1976). "Boston". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  10. ^ Hilburn, Robert (September 28, 1976). "Debuts: Discs with a Difference". Los Angeles Times. p. 52. Retrieved January 4, 2023 – via newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. January 22, 1977. p. 114. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. January 22, 1977. p. 24. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Elliott, Paul (March 10, 2016). "The 10 Greatest Boston Songs Ever". Classic Rock. Louder Sound. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  14. ^ Kachejian, Brian (May 23, 2018). "Top 10 Boston Songs". Classic Rock History. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ a b Craig, Bill (February 18, 2017). "Top 10 best Boston songs". AXS. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5274a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  18. ^ "Boston – Long Time" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  19. ^ "Boston Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  20. ^ "Top 100 1976-12-04". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  21. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1977". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved July 26, 2016.