According to a new statement from classic rock favorites Boston, the band is almost done -- specifically, "nearly 85% complete" -- with work on a new studio album that will feature vocals from late singer Brad Delp.

The upcoming album would be the first new music from the group since the tragic 2007 suicide of Delp, who sang lead vocals on all of Boston's classic hits, and their first new album since 2002's 'Corporate America,' the sound of which represented a radical departure for the band.

Stryper vocalist Michael Sweet, who has been playing guitar and sharing lead vocal duties for the band, recently announced his departure from the group, which prompted an official statement from Boston:

"We truly enjoyed having Michael Sweet sing and play guitar on stage for the 2008 Boston tour along with Tommy DeCarlo, who was the lead vocalist replacing Brad Delp. However, Michael has not been involved in the recording of Boston's next studio album, which is now 85% complete. We have always understood his obvious commitment to his band Stryper, and wish him and his band the best of luck with their new endeavors.”

The new album reportedly reflects “an intentional effort by principal songwriter and producer Tom Scholz to capture the recognizable sound and energy of his original releases, combined with the musical sophistication expected from exceptional players and vocalists, all performing within the traditional framework of the well-known Boston sound.” (editor's hopeful translation: "it's gonna rock old-school style.")

In a 2010 update, Scholz talked about the new album, saying that in typical Boston fashion, it was progressing at an "agonizingly slow rate - like that would be news, but it is progressing." Remember, this is a band who took six years to record their 1986 album 'Third Stage,' reportedly measuring time not in weeks but in the number of studio light bulbs that burned out while making the record.

Lead vocalist Tommy DeCarlo has a true rags to riches story, having traded up from working at a Home Depot in Charlotte, N.C. to becoming the singer of Boston in 2008. The chance came about after he got the once in a lifetime opportunity to perform at a tribute show for Delp with the remaining members of Boston.

That fateful performance with the group spawned a conversational exchange that floored Scholz. DeCarlo recalled the event in a January interview with Classic Rock Revisited, saying Scholz told him, “after seeing you sing I am going to guess that you are in a cover band down there in Charlotte.”

“I replied to Tom, 'I hope you can appreciate honesty but I have never been in a band in my life. The first time I stepped out onstage with Boston was the first time I had ever played with a live band.”

DeCarlo also spoke about the new album during that same interview, saying that it “sounded like Boston,” and that although he didn't know how far into the recording process Scholz was, he was very excited that “at some point in the future, there will be an album.”

Boston's classic self-titled album celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, has sold over 17 million copies sold to date and one of its songs is almost assuredly playing at some radio station on your local dial right now.

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