Third Stage

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Third Stage
Boston - Third Stage.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 23, 1986
StudioTom Scholz's Hideaway Studio "between floods and power failures"
GenreHard rock
ProducerTom Scholz
Boston chronology
Don't Look Back
Third Stage
Walk On
Singles from Third Stage
  1. "Amanda"
    Released: September 26, 1986
  2. "Cool the Engines"
    Released: 1986
  3. "We're Ready"
    Released: December 1986
  4. "Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)"
    Released: April 1987
  5. "Hollyann"
    Released: 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Kerrang!3/5 stars[2]

Third Stage is the third studio album by American hard rock band Boston, released on September 23, 1986 on MCA Records. It was recorded at musician Tom Scholz's Hideaway Studio over a long, strained six-year period "between floods and power failures".[3] Scholz and Brad Delp, the group's vocalist, were the only individuals that remained in the group from its original line-up. In terms of lyrics, the release invokes the themes of aging and working through differing 'stages' in one's life. Lead single "Amanda", the album's first track, became a number one hit and is one of the group's best known songs.[1] The album itself was eventually certified 4x platinum by the RIAA.[4]

Background and album creation[edit]

After winning a legal battle with Epic Records, Scholz switched his band's recording label to MCA.[5] The album's first track, "Amanda", was actually written in 1980 (when Boston began work on the album)[5] and became the band's only #1 single. It reached and stayed at #1 for two weeks in November 1986. It was followed by the second Top 10 single from the album, "We're Ready", which reached #9. The singles "Cool the Engines" and "Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still in Love" also got substantial airplay, with the former reaching #4 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and the latter peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987. "Can'tcha Say" remains Boston's last Top 40 hit to date.

After only three weeks on the chart, Third Stage went to #1 on the Billboard 200, where it stayed for four weeks.[6] It was the first CD-formatted album to be certified gold (500,000 copies) by the RIAA. It was also certified gold in the LP format, making it what is believed to be the first album certified in both of these formats. In all, the album was certified 4x platinum.

The album is the first Boston LP to feature electronic drum samples, the first to feature songs not written by either Scholz or Brad Delp, the first Boston LP without original members Barry Goudreau, Sib Hashian and Fran Sheehan (though Hashian and Sheehan were included in the early recording sessions and Sheehan received a writing credit). Drummer Jim Masdea plays drums on most of the album. This LP was also the first Boston recording to use the Scholz-invented Rockman guitar processor. No orchestral sounds or synthesizers were used on the album. Critics have noted that the album has a much darker, more somber tone than Boston's previous work.

Track listing[edit]

1."Amanda"Tom Scholz4:16
2."We're Ready"Scholz3:58
3."The Launch:
a) Countdown
b) Ignition
c) Third Stage Separation"
4."Cool the Engines"Scholz, Fran Sheehan, Brad Delp4:23
5."My Destination"Scholz2:19
6."A New World" (Instrumental)Jim Masdea0:36
7."To Be a Man"Scholz3:30
8."I Think I Like It"Scholz, Jon DeBrigard (credited as John English)4:06
9."Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still in Love"Gerry Green, Scholz, Delp5:13




Chart (1986) Peak position
Canadian Top Albums[7] 1
German Albums[8] 25
Netherlands Top 100 Albums[9] 15
Swedish Top 60 Albums[10] 23
Swiss Top 100 Albums[11] 13
UK Albums Chart[12] 37
US Billboard 200[13] 1


Year Single Chart[14] Position
1986 "Amanda" Billboard Hot 100 1
1987 "We're Ready" Billboard Hot 100 9
1987 "Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still in Love" Billboard Hot 100 20


Organization Level Date
RIAA – United States Gold November 25, 1986
Platinum November 25, 1986
3× Platinum November 25, 1986
4× Platinum February 26, 1987
CRIA – Canada Gold Dec 18, 1986
Platinum Dec 18, 1986
2× Platinum Dec 18, 1986
3× Platinum Dec 20, 1986

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Iyengar, Vik. "Boston Third Stage review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  2. ^ Oliver, Derek (2 October 1986). "Boston 'The Third Stage'". Kerrang!. 130. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 18–19.
  3. ^ Third Stage (CD liner). Boston. MCA Records. 1986.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ Buchanan, Brett (October 22, 2014). "10 Rock Albums That Took Forever to Make". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (1986-11-05). "The Pop Life; New Boston Hit a Throwback to 70's". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "100 Albums" (PHP). RPM. 45 (9). November 22, 1986. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "Album – Boston, Third Stage" (ASP). Media Control Charts (in German). Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  9. ^ "Boston – Third Stage (Album)" (ASP). Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  10. ^ "Boston – Third Stage (Album)" (ASP). Swedish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "Boston – Third Stage (Album)" (ASP). Schweizer Hitparade. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  12. ^ "Chart Archive: Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive – 18th October 11986". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  13. ^ "Third Stage – Boston". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  14. ^ "Third Stage Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-09-11.