Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, November 8th

On this day in 1986: Boston started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Amanda.’ It was released as the first single from the band’s third album, ‘Third Stage’ in 1986, six years after it was recorded.

Although the song did not have a promotional music video, “Amanda” became the band’s highest charting single in the United States and Canada. In the United States, the single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in November, 1986, for two consecutive weeks (the band’s only #1 on the Hot 100), and was #1 for three consecutive weeks on the Mainstream Rock chart, in October of the same year.

Guitarist Tom Scholz recorded some demos in 1980, including the guitar solo that would later be featured in “Amanda”. A couple years went by, and he had to rework the song to finish it. He stated:

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. 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.

“Amanda” was not an actual girl. Instead, the name was chosen because it flowed well with the lyrics.

Here’s the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1986:

1 4 AMANDA –•– Boston (MCA)-7 (1 Week at #1) (1)
2 3 I DIDN’T MEAN TO TURN YOU ON –•– Robert Palmer (Island)-13 (2)
3 1 TRUE COLORS –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-11 (1)
4 5 HUMAN –•– The Human League (A&M)-9 (4)
5 6 TRUE BLUE –•– Madonna (Sire)-6 (5)
6 9 TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT –•– Eddie Money (Columbia)-13 (6)
7 11 YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME –•– Bon Jovi (Mercury)-10 (7)
8 2 TYPICAL MALE –•– Tina Turner (Capitol)-11 (2)
9 12 WORD UP –•– Cameo (Atlanta Artists)-9 (9)
10 13 THE RAIN –•– Oran “Juice” Jones (Def Jam)-9 (10)

11 8 SWEET LOVE –•– Anita Baker (Elektra)-13 (8)
12 15 THE NEXT TIME I FALL –•– Peter Cetera & Amy Grant (Full Moon / Warner Brothers)-8 (12)
13 18 I’LL BE OVER YOU –•– Toto (Columbia)-11 (13)
14 20 LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-6 (14)
15 25 HIP TO BE SQUARE –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-4 (15)
16 22 EMOTION IN MOTION –•– Ric Ocasek (Geffen)-10 (16)
17 10 ALL CRIED OUT Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force (Columbia)-16 (8)
18 27 THE WAY IT IS –•– Bruce Hornsby & The Range (RCA)-8 (18)
19 7 WHEN I THINK OF YOU –•– Janet Jackson (A&M)-14 (1)
20 21 I AM BY YOUR SIDE –•– Corey Hart (EMI-America)-8 (20)