Boston’s Tom Scholz got it right the first time on ‘Amanda’: ‘Exactly the way I wanted it’

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Boston’s Tom Scholz is perhaps most famous for a finicky approach to music making. There was, after all, eight years between his band’s second and third albums, its third and fourth, and its fourth and fifth — all before his most recent project took more than a decade to conclude.

Yet, sometimes everything comes together quickly. Such was the case, Scholz told MusicRadar‘s Bobby Jennery, with “Amanda” — Boston’s charttopping 1986 single.

The song was part of Boston’s long-awaited Third Stage project, belatedly issued on Sept. 23, 1986 to succeed 1978’s Don’t Look Back.

Tom Scholz had actually begun work on its best-known track just a couple of years later, in 1980. Sessions eventually took so long, however, that original member Fran Sheehan was gone by the time Third Stage emerged, though he did receive a writing credit for the song “Cool the Engines.” Co-founders Sib Hashian and Barry Goudreau had exited by 1986, as well.

And yet one thing remained, through all of those changes — an original Scholz solo on “Amanda,” put down on this crude demo from years before.

“I think all that I had were some drums and some rhythm guitar that I played with an electric guitar instead of the acoustic, just to get through the chord changes and to see how it went,” Tom Scholz says. “I played that little lead electric part after the second chorus, doing it in a hurry as I was running by, and I decided that it was exactly the way I wanted it. I then had to go back and play all of the other parts and keep everything in exactly the same place to match up with that one track that was not going to change.”

Tom Scholz adds that he records and saves every take, just in case something like “Amanda” happens. He later mentions that one of his all-time favorite solos can be found elsewhere on Third Stage, during “The Launch.”

Third Stage was followed by 1994’s Walk On and then — after yet another eight-year wait — by 2002’s Corporate America. Frontman Brad Delp tragically killed himself in 2007, though some leftover vocal tracks found their way onto Boston’s 2013 release, Life, Love and Hope.

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