Smokin' (song)

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"Smokin'" is a song by American rock band Boston, released from the band's debut album Boston (1976) as the B-side to the band's first single, "More Than a Feeling". "Smokin'" was written by the band leader, guitarist and main songwriter Tom Scholz and lead vocalist Brad Delp.

Single by Boston
from the album Boston
A-side"More Than a Feeling"
ReleasedAugust 25, 1976 (album version) / September 1976 (single version)
RecordedSpring 1976
GenreHard rock, art rock, progressive rock
Songwriter(s)Brad Delp, Tom Scholz
Producer(s)John Boylan, Tom Scholz
"Smokin'" on YouTube

Like many other Boston songs "Smokin'" has become a rock radio staple.


The song was a collaborative effort between Tom Scholz, and Brad Delp whom at the time he had recently hired, it was one of the two songs on the first Boston LP not written by Scholz alone.[1] It was one of the songs Scholz started working on in the early 1970s in his basement several years before the band had got a record contract.[2] An early version of the song written and recorded in 1973, titled "Shakin", appears from the Mother's Milk Sessions. This tape reveals that originally, the song had a different meaning.


Writing in 2008, Kevin Smith of the Arizona Daily Star described "Smokin'" as a "radio standard."[3] MusicTap's review of Boston noted that "Smokin'" as one of the songs from the album to become an FM radio staple, helping the album sell 17 million copies.[4] Scott Tady of Beaver County Times described "Smokin'," "Rock and Roll Band" and Boston's first four singles as having "helped set the foundation for classic-rock radio."[5] Denise Lavoie of the Associated Press singled out "Smokin" and "More Than a Feeling" as the hits for which Boston is best known.[6]

The New Rolling Stone Album Guide called "Smokin'" a "cleaned-up boogey [sic] crowd pleaser..."[7] Scholz described the beginning of the song as being a vaguely ZZ Top-ish boogie.[8] Ultimate Classic Rock critic Michael Gallucci praised the song's "boogie groove" that persists throughout the song.[1] Gallucci rated it Boston's 7th greatest song.[1] Paul Elliorr of praised it as Boston's 4th greatest song, noting that it is the one song from the band's debut album that "just rocked out," describing the song as a "high octane blaster."[9] The lyrics extol music, parties and marijuana.[10]

In popular cultureEdit

The song is featured in a 2004 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and movie The Virgin Suicides and in the 2016 South Park episodes "Skank Hunt" and "The End of Serialization as We Know It". It also appears on the WWE 2K18 soundtrack and on the 2011 film Zookeeper. It is featured in the 2021 film [Boss Level].

After the September 11 attacks, Clear Channel included it on a list of songs that were not recommended for broadcasting.


Anthrax versionEdit

Song by Anthrax
from the album Anthems
ReleasedMarch 15, 2013
GenreHard rock
Songwriter(s)Brad Delp, Tom Scholz
Producer(s)Anthrax, Jay Ruston, Rob Caggiano

The Anthrax cover of this song was released on their 2013 covers EP Anthems.[11] The song premiered online on March 15, 2013 prior to the album's release on March 19, 2013.[12]

Anthrax personnelEdit


Additional personnelEdit


  1. ^ a b c Gallucci, Michael. "Top 10 Boston songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  2. ^ Crowe, C. (August 10, 1978). "Boston: The Band from the Platinum Basement". Rolling Stone. pp. 37–42.
  3. ^ Smith, K.W. (June 26, 2008). "Boston smokin' with new singers". Arizona Daily Star. Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved 2013-08-08. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  4. ^ "MusicTap: "Boston" and "Don't Look Back" Reviews". Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  5. ^ Tady, S. (August 5, 2012). "More than a feeling: Boston back in Pittsburgh". Beaver County Times. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  6. ^ Lavoie, D. "Mass. court reinstates defamation lawsuit by Tom Scholz, founder of rock group Boston". Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  7. ^ Evans, P. (2004). Brackett, N. (ed.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 96. ISBN 9780743201698.
  8. ^ Scholz, T. "Boston: How to Make Extra Money Working at Home in Your Own Basement..." Archived from the original on 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  9. ^ Elliott, Paul (March 10, 2016). "The 10 Greatest Boston Songs Ever". Future plc. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  10. ^ Craig, Bill (February 18, 2017). "Top 10 best Boston songs". AXS. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  11. ^ Lymangrover, J. "Anthems". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  12. ^ "Anthrax, 'Smokin" (Boston Cover) – Exclusive Song Premiere".