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Third Stage

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Album Review

After rushing their second album Don't Look Back, Boston took eight years to complete the album Third Stage. The long delay is even more surprising considering that their sound didn't change at all; even though only songwriter/guitarist Tom Scholz and vocalist Brad Delp remained from the original lineup, they were the ones responsible for Boston's sound. As such, it is difficult to avoid comparisons with their landmark debut. Third Stage has some strong moments, especially the number one hit "Amanda" where the band blends acoustic and electric guitars to complement the layered vocals. However, the songs are not as strong as those on their debut, and the album is marred by the presence of instrumental fillers and an attempt to cling to a theme of "journey through life's third stage." Thus, rather than focusing on universal topics such as the exuberance and uncertainties associated with youth, the mature lyrics are lost on most of their young rock audience. Given the time between albums and the changes in the pop landscape, it was a little disappointing to find Boston stuck in the same sound. The album still sounds great when it works on all cylinders ("We're Ready," "Cool the Engines"), but the album is not filled with enough satisfying moments. This may be nostalgic pop rock of the '80s, but casual listeners should start with their debut.

Customer Reviews

Very emotional, very Boston!!!

First and foremost, this album holds a very dear place in my heart. This album has helped me emotionally through some of the hardest times in my life, so thank you Boston!

Let's start from the beginning!

Amanda- The most popular song from this album, emotional and radio friendly. It really introduces the mood for this album very well.

We're Ready- A great follow-up song to Amanda, with a little more "upbeat" feel too it, yet still carrying emotion.

The Launch- basically the equivalent to Boston's intro to Long Time, Foreplay, but with a calmer more heartfelt feel too it.

Cool The Engines- One of the most upbeat songs on the album! Similar to the song Long Time from Boston's self-titled album.

My Destination- Probably the second or third most emotional song in the album, all in only 2:19. Only Tom can make guitars so emotional.

A New World- A strangely random, yet well placed instrumental! Great progression into To Be A Man.

To Be A Man- This song holds a lot of truth too it, seriously. Very thought provoking song into who you are, who you THINK you are and who you should be.

I Think I Like It- Definitely the most upbeat song in the album! Great instrument progressions, vocals (R.I.P. Brad) and thought. A song for those in a happy mood! My personal second favorite song on the album. Can'tcha Say- An emotional follow-up song to the upbeat I Think I Like It, and leads straight into Still In Love, another heartfelt emotional song.

Hollyann- My personal favorite song, not only of this album, but out of ANYTHING Boston has come out with. Calm, heartfelt lyrics blend with a wall of emotional guitars, making the perfect love Ballad. I truly believe Tom is the only person in HISTORY to be able to make instruments this emotional. Thank you Boston for making music for people in tough times... It's touched and helped more people than you'll ever know......


Brilliant work of art thank you Tom!

good album

It sounds a lot like the band's '70s albums. The only flaw is that the drums sound a little tinny. I have no idea what Scholz did wrong there. Besides that, the album is really well worth listening to. This was pretty much the last album that had what it took to get decently popular, noticed, and remembered by fans.


Formed: 1971 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The arena rock band behind one of the fastest-selling debut albums in history, Boston was essentially the vehicle of guitarist and studio wizard Tom Scholz, born March 10, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. A rock fan throughout his teen years, he began writing songs while earning a master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduation, he began work for Polaroid, and set about constructing his own 12-track recording studio in the basement of his home, where Scholz and vocalist Brad Delp...
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