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.
Performance CreditsBoston Primary Artist
Brad Delp Guitar,Vocals
Jim Masdea Percussion,Drums
Gary Pihl Guitar
Jim Madsen Percussion,Drums
Tom Scholz Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Bass Trombone,Synthesizer Guitar
Technical CreditsJon English Composer
James Horner Composer
Brad Delp Composer
Fran Sheehan Composer
Greg Lumsford Engineer
Tom Scholz Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Contributor
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Third Stage based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
i absolutely love this album. i think it is even better than the first two.
I have been a fan of Boston for many years, and I consider them to have been the greatest rock band that ever existed, with their 70's debut album and Don't Look Back, but nothing after that. Although, their 1986 album, Third Stage, resembled the earlier sound, it just wasn't quite up to par with what we expected of this great band. I'm not denying the incredible musical talent of Tom Scholz and Brad Delp, which they still possess, I just think that after Don't Look Back in '78, they should have let an awesome rock legend go when it was time.