The Story Behind Boston’s Romantic Hit, “Amanda”

“Amanda” was a defining song for Boston. Frontman and founder Tom Scholz wrote the song solo six years before it saw the light of day in 1986. Released as the lead single off the band’s third album, Third Stage, “Amanda” became one of the band’s signature hits and their highest-charting single to date, peaking at No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock chart. It marked their first and only appearance at No. 1 on the all-genre Hot 100, where it sat in that position for two consecutive weeks.

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Despite fronting a rock band, Scholz proved he knows how to write a love song with the best of them. The lyrics find him professing his love for a woman named Amanda, as captured in the unabashed lyrics, I’m gonna tell you right away / I can’t wait another day, Amanda / I’m gonna say it like a man / And make you understand Amanda / I love you. Scholz revealed that “Amanda” is one of the solos that he felt was ready on the first take, telling Music Radar that the demo had a “crude start” with just drums, rhythm, and electric guitar, and didn’t utilize acoustic guitar at first.

“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,” he explains. “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.

“A long time ago, I decided that whenever I recorded anything, I was always going to do it on production tape,” he continues of his process. “I never make what you would call a ‘demo’ and then go back and try to reproduce it in the studio. I always do all of my work on production tape, so if I get something on the first take, I keep it – it’s going on the record, no matter what.”

Though it wasn’t released until 1986, a tape of “Amanda” leaked in 1984. The song also helped elevate the album’s success, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Photo by Ron Pownall/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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