Written by group leader Tom Scholz, "Smokin'" is part of Boston's self-titled debut album, which was constructed when Scholz was still working for the Polaroid corporation (he had a degree from MIT). Scholz set up a home studio and worked on demos until he finally landed a deal with Epic Records in 1976. The demos were honed to his standards, with Scholz playing all the instruments except drums. Epic booked studio time in Los Angeles so he could record proper versions with the band, but Scholz wanted nothing to do with it. Instead, he let the band work on Brad Delp's song "Let Me Take You Home Tonight
" while he stayed in his home studio near Boston and meticulously re-recorded his demos to make "new" tracks, which ended up on the album. Boston drummer Sib Hashian and vocalist Brad Delp perform on "Smokin'," but guitarist Barry Goudreau and bass player Fran Sheehan do not.