Why Boston Fans Should Check Out These RTZ Band Songs

RTZ Songs

Feature Photo: Craig Michaud, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

We wonder how many fans of the band Boston have ever heard of the short lived group RTZ?  The die-hard who followed the careers of Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau are probably very much aware of the group. However, the passing fan is perhaps unaware that former Boston members Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau formed a band called RTZ in the early 1990s. While the group did not showcase the sound of Tom Scholz’s guitars which was of course a huge part of the Boston sound, RTZ did feature the Boston vocal sounds of Brad Delp and the guitar work and backing vocals of Barry Goudreau.

In the late 1980s, during a break from Boston, Brad Delp was eager to dive back into songwriting. He reached out to Barry Goudreau, leading to the formation of RTZ. The group was further expanded with the inclusion of Brian Maes, previously with Orion the Hunter’s touring lineup, on keyboards, Dave Stefanelli on drums, and bassist Tim Archibald. Maes and Stefanelli had experience working with Nick Lowe in the UK, while Archibald’s prior band, New Man, had an album released through Epic.

Securing a contract with Giant Records, RTZ released their debut album, Return to Zero, in 1991, accompanied by a music video for the lead single “Face the Music.” Following the album’s release, Delp exited Boston to tour with RTZ. The band gained significant traction, particularly with the single “Until Your Love Comes Back Around,” written by Maes, which achieved notable success, peaking at #26 in the U.S. The tracks “There’s Another Side” and “All You’ve Got” also received airplay, with the latter hitting #56.

Feeling overlooked by their label, RTZ sought to break their contract. During this period, Delp left the group, eventually rejoining Boston for their Walk On tour and contributing to songwriting for the band’s next album. With Delp’s departure, that was pretty much it for the band RTZ.

2004 saw the release of Lost and Found, featuring unreleased RTZ tracks. In 2005, RTZ dropped two albums, Lost in America and Found in America, on Brian Maes’ Briola Records. These albums compiled tracks from Lost, including “Dangerous,” previously exclusive to the Japanese version. Found in America mirrored the content of Lost and Found but added a live rendition of “Return to Zero.”

RTZ briefly reunited in 2007, with former Boston drummer Sib Hashian, to release “Rockin’ Away,” a track celebrating Boston’s 30th anniversary and reflecting on Delp’s career. Following Delp’s tragic passing in 2007, the band released “Set The Songbird Free” in his memory, featuring Maes on vocals, and performed at a tribute concert in 2008.

The following songs are highlights of the band’s limited recorded output. The first album is so much better than the second one but we wanted to present a mix of both albums for historic purposes.

# 10 – Violent Days

It’s interesting to listen to many of the songs on the Lost album. The band was experimenting with many different sounds. On this track, the group RTZ sounds more like the Eagles than they did like Boston. Brad Delp’s vocal sound’s a little like Don Henley.

# 9 – Fool For Love

This song was released on the album Lost And Found. The album was released in 2005.  It’s an interesting tune. It’s pretty laid back with a very cool Brad Delp vocal but those Barry Goudreau power guitar chords and leads float around in the background waiting to be brought out which of course they eventually do but in a sort of limited basis. This sounds like a pretty deep outatke or demo, but its a fun listen.

# 8 – Dangerous

This is a fun one. A little bit of the blues fills the introduction that is soon overwhelmed by Brad Delp’s marvelous vocal sound. The song was released on the Lost album. There is a lot of soul on this one. It’s interesting to hear where the band was headed before Brad Delp left the group and pretty much put an end to RTZ.

# 7 –  When You Love Someone

This very moody track is just one of those great songs that got away. The song’s beginning sounds like it would have fit perfectly in an episode of the 1980s hit TV show Miami Vice. It’s very keyboard dominated but of course Barry plays some tasty leads. Out of nowhere comes a pretty surprising horn section, which is probably just a keyboard patch, but it’s done well. At about the 3:30 mark,  there is a very Boston-like guitar solo that really kicks.

# 6 – All You Got

The song “All You Got” was the fourth single released from the Return To Zero album. Its a bit formulaic, but still a cool listen. It’s not too heavy. It’s just a joy to hear Brad Delp sing.

# 5 – There’s Another Side

The band sounds more like Foreigner on this one than they do Boston. That is, until those Boston vocal ohhhs are used as background vocals. This is a real rocker from the band’s debut album. It appeared as the album’s second track.

# 4 – Face The Music

There is a reason why the song “Face The Music” was released as the first single from the band’s debut album. The sound of Brad Delp’s voice will get you every time. Barry Goudreau plays some stellar lead guitar work in the middle of the track and at the song’s outro. The song became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Rock Charts, peaking at number five.

# 3 – Until Your Love Comes Back Again

The third single released from RTZ’s Return To Zero album entitled “Until Your Love Comes Back Again” would become the band’s highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100. The song peaked at number twenty six. The record company also released a black and white video of the song featuring the band. This is a beautiful track fueld by some super piano playing and well written chord changes that surrounds the phenomenal vocals of Brad Delp. It’s a power ballad in the style of bands like Journey and Night Ranger. Fans of Boston’s “A Man I’ll Never Be” may enjoy this one.

# 2 – Hard Time (In the Big House)

This is one of the heaviest songs on the band’s debut album. The track “Hard Time (In the Big House)” has it all. Powerful drums, grooving bass, and perfect production. Barry Goudreau really shines on this one. When you hear a song like this you scratch your head and wonder why the record company didn’t really get behind promoting this spetacular album.

# 1 – Rain Down On Me

We close our RTZ songs list with the rocking track “Rain Down On Me.” The song was never released as a single, which was probably a mistake. This may be the best song on their debut album. The verse is very original sounding. However the chours has that great Boston sound that actually feels pretty fresh on this track. Brad and Barry really stepped up on this one and delivered a smoking track.

Why Boston Fans Should Check Out These RTZ Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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