Most Boston fans would agree that Scholz takes much too long to put out an album – 8 years on average. However, if it were not for this fact, Boston’s Third Stage (released in 1986) would probably not have been the great album that it is. Here’s my reasoning:
Tom Scholz’s song writing ability was probably depleted by the beginning of the 1980’s. Most of the songs on the Third Stage album were conceived of during Tom’s “period of creativity”, which spanned the entire decade of the 70’s. For example, Amanda was really an old song, first conceived of in late 1978. Likewise, most of the songs from the debut album were written years before their release date as well.
Therefore, although the album was a “modern” 1986 work of art, it still sounded a lot like the “old” Boston of the 70’s. The only thing that changed at all was the electronic tone of Tom’s guitar (still the best sound in electric guitar history). Of course, we’ll ignore the fact that the only other original member of the band that was left was Brad Delp.
So, what we have are old songs that took eight years to record. This is a good thing, because once Scholz starting writing material in the mid 1980’s, it is clear that he had tapped out his well of musical creativity.
Just look at the Walk On CD (his last gasp) and the latest Corporate America CD (mostly written by other people).
I look at Third Stage as the final sequel to a great Trilogy. Good things seem to come in threes.
It’s a shame it had to end there, even though Scholz’s “Boston” is still alive and kicking.
I guess original members like guitarist Barry Goudreau were pretty important after all, eh Tom?
For those who would like to hear an example of the importance of the original members, check out Barry Goudreau’s solo album from 1980 “Barry Goudreau”, which features the entire Boston line up, minus Tom Scholz and see if you think Tom was the “sole” creative force behind Boston.