SONIC WAVES…..Boston/Third Stage

Ok! Lets think about this for a sec! 1986 and I’m 19,I purchase everything music,I do love me the hard rock! So when it’s announced that Boston is releasing a new studio album there first in 8 friggin years were pumped I mean it was only a year earlier(1985) at our high school that me and some guys over the course of our lunch break were yakking its up all things music and someone brought up the fact that Def Leppard had been taking there time releasing there new record (Hysteria) which wouldn’t be released for another 2 years (1987) soooooo…someone Sez now keep in mind this is 1985 ‘what about Boston? Ahhhh the Leppard topic was dropped and everyone was like yeah WTF  and I knew that by reading Circus Magazine that Boston or more importantly Tom Scholz was battling his record company over something so there was a delay but come Sept 1986 here comes the concept album Third Stage and ummmm well….

COOL YOUR ENGINES DEKE!

AMANDA-ok so we wait mega years for a Boston album and Third Stage is dropped and they lead it off with a ….Geez are you serious Mr Scholz a ballad?? Let’s take a lookie here for a second at some other albums I bought in 1986 that had super duper kick Ya  in the nut sack openers that would draw your attention and and just keep Ya Rockin! Sammy Halen had Good Enough as the opening track on 5150! David Lee Roth had Yankee Rose as the opener on Eat Em & Smile! The Mighty Iron Maiden had Caught Somewhere In Time from Somewhere In Time, ACDC had Who Made Who as a opener on the soundtrack by the same name,Triumph had Tears in the Rain..Ummm ok now I’m pushing it but you get my drift …Songs that would rock me as a 19 year old and as I write this now as year 47 old I can ask Boston this. What The  Fuck were you doing opening your long awaited album with a sap track?? Ahh man this is gonna be painful! I know a lot of people dig this track and hey Arena Rock salutes you…..but as a opener you wanna say BUZZ KILLER! I do So Buzz Killer Amanda is!

WERE READY- big guitars and a so so tempo and this is a improvement on Amanda. Having said that Brad Delp(RIP) saves this album just with his voice. Man that cat could sing! While we’re at it is Sib the drummer with the cool Afro even on this record? These drums sound like electronic,programmed up the ying yang with a million guitars layered over the top, like icing on your birthday cake!

THE LAUNCH-is a 3 parter(Countdown/Ignition/Third Stage Separation)musical guitar/effects smorgasbord with a real big Sonic Boom(ha) blast off! Hey even in the notes Boston tells us that no synths are used on this record! Just a million other gadgets whatever that crazy Professor Scholz had cooking in his lab!

COOL THE ENGINES- sounds like a throwback to the first two Boston albums and wow we’re finally rocking in Boston! Brad Delp delivers a great vocal but than again he always delivered! What a loss his death was to the Arena Rock Community! But yeah this one has a snap happy chorus and more big time guitar action! Welcome back to 1986 and some loud (kinda) Rockin !

MY DESTINATION- Wowzers another Boston ballad? We were just a Cranking up the engines and now we are definitely Cooling The Engines here! Think Amanda again but with a big loud ass organ shoved up your backside!

A NEW WORLD- a little 40 second music intro that is credited to Jim Masdea! Hahaha…Scholz lets go of the controls and let’s the new drummer guy get a writing credit even if it’s for 40 seconds!

TO BE A MAN- yeah another slower almost filler kinda tune. This is AOR Boston bigtime I mean were they bunking in with REO Speedwagon here? Dunno but it sounds like it to me! I can hear it now a triple mix of Can’t Fight This Feeling/To Be A Man / Keep On Loving You….where’s the barf bag?

I THINK I LIKE IT-Boston ups the tempo here a little and pushes the pedal to the gas a little more but they almost stall the engines!  This song has Scholz and new guitar guy (Gary Pihl x of Sam Hagars band) playing solos and the song is ok! Delp saves this man he’s the MVP of Third Stage!

CAN’TCHA SAY- Yep Delp delivers a superb smooth as silk vocal delivery and this has radio written all over it! Catchy chorus and more big sound! Those sounds that Scholz plays you got to hand it to him as you know it’s him and well good on Tom! The bugger could play a good 6 string!

HOLLYANN- hey why don’t we Sandwhich At the start of Third Stage a big ballad and stuff some melodic rockers in between and close Third Stage out with a another ballad! Sheeeeeit man you kidding me? Yep Boston goes where a lot of bands wouldn’t go near and drive the AOR rocket ship into space with more melodic rock!  I will say this one has some good guitar in it….

IN CONCLUISON- Boston drops the long awaited album and I’m puzzled! Too many AOR chill tracks but too be honest I actually had this listed as 3/4’s Filler but man lead singer Brad Delp saves the day! He soars here vocally and takes it to a whole level by himself! He’s the deal here folks,taking some songs and by his singing saving them from the scrap heap! Tom Scholz cans Sib and his Fro and the  other original dudes and brings in some new blood and he must have as well borrowed ZZ Tops Afterburner drum machine(guess it was the 1986 thing to do) and well say what you wanna I tossed a Sonic Waves Mulligan here folks!

In Other Words…..

1986- Deke banished Third Stage to the 3/4’s Filler Pile ….

2015-Deke says Brad Delp saves Third Stage ….just barely does Third Stage scrape into Sonic Waves Territory….

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4 thoughts on “SONIC WAVES…..Boston/Third Stage”

  1. A very fair assessment of Third Stage although I like it a lot more than you do. Maybe because it was released around the time of my first big romantic break-up I was drawn to the ballads and the overall melancholy feel of the album. “Can’tcha Say” and “Hollyann” made a particularly strong impression on me and they still make me nostalgic whenever I hear them. Was Third Stage a disappointment based on the 8-year wait? Absolutely. But as you mentioned, Brad Delp can make anything sound good, and his voice is the reason why it’s still an essential part of the Boston discography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great angle and I see now how this relates to you and how it’s a different vibe than mine Rich! I just couldn’t appreciate Third Stage back in 86! I bumped into a guy a year later who went and seen Bostons Third Stage tour in Hamilton Ontario in Dec of 1988. He said it was a great show…..
      Boston played here in Tbay a few years ago and I’m gonna have to get crackin on that one at some point……
      Thanks again for dropping by buddy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good writeup Deke. I like the comparisons then/now. Also agreed on Brad, very sad he is now gone!

    I think the best thing about this album was the long, detailed liner notes! If you ever wanted to know what makes an album take so long, there you go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh geez I forgot about the Liner Notes! I remember Mikey reading the liner notes to Hysteria about a 1000 times over as it was coming from the horses mouth so to speak…
    Thanks for reading Mikey

    Like

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