Monday, July 17, 2017

Musical Monday - Amanda by Boston


Continuing with songs that are associated in my mind with specific people that I know., here is Amanda by Boston. There isn't really much to this other than the fact that I know a woman named Amanda, and whenever I see her, this song simply pops into my head unbidden. I still don't really know how common this quirk of mine where certain people are associated with songs based on their names actually is, or what it might signify, but it seems at least moderately interesting to me.

This song is actually kind of interesting, mostly because of the band that produced it and its position with respect to that band's overall oeuvre. Boston was one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with their debut album Boston sporting numerous hits that still receive heavy airplay on "classic rock" stations, and a follow-up album Don't Look Back that was even more successful, with its own set of hit songs. Amanda, however, was on the band's third album, titled Third Stage, that wasn't released until 1986, ten years after Boston came out, at a time when Boston was more or less considered to be almost passe. And the odd thing is that Amanda became the band's most successful hit record - and as far as I can tell is the only single they recorded to ever reach number one on the Billboard Top 100. If you ask a typical music fan to list the most notable songs by Boston, they will probably reel off names like More Than a Feeling, Peace of Mind, Don't Look Back, Feelin' Satisfied, or even Rock and Roll Band, Party, or The Man I'll Never Be long before they even think of Amanda. All of those other songs have stayed in people's minds with much more tenacity than the song that was seemingly the most loved when it was released.

As a band, Boston seems to be plagued with a lot of odd misconceptions like this. I have had numerous people confidently assert to me that even though the band's debut album was a wildly successful album, they were never able to really build on that success, and every album after the first was a flop. The trouble with this narrative is that Boston's debut album topped out at number three on the album charts, while Don't Look Back and Third Stage both reached number one (although, to be fair, Boston had more staying power than either of the following two albums). Sure, the band never again had an album that sold as many as the seventeen million copies that Boston did, but calling an album that sold seven million copied (as Don't Look Back did) and another that sold four million copies (as Third Stage did) complete failures seems to be a bit harsh. It has, however, apparently taken root in the public consciousness that Boston was a one-album wonder, which seems decidedly unfair to the band, but is something that is unlikely to change.

Previous Musical Monday: Angie by The Rolling Stones
Subsequent Musical Monday: Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James and the Shondells

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