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Loverboy - 1980 Loverboy




ARTIST: Loverboy
ALBUM: Loverboy
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: JC 36762
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1989, Columbia, CK 36762

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mike Reno - vocals * Paul Dean - guitars * Scott Smith - bass * Doug Johnson - keyboards * Matthew Frenette - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Th Kid is Hot Tonite * 02 Turn Me Loose * 03 Always On My Mind * 04 Lady Of The 80's * 05 Little Girl * 06 Prissy Prissy 07 Teenage Overdose * 08 DOA * 09 It Don't Matter

WEBLINKS: www.loverboyband.com


Background
After leaving the much admired Streetheart, Paul Dean set about creating his own group, hooking up with Reno who had provided the vocals for Toronto's Moxy on their 1978 album 'Under The Lights'. Depending on who you believe, Reno auditioned for Loverboy as drummer, although other sources claim he met Dean at a club, the two jammed together with Doug Johnson, and Loverboy was formed. Dean preferred Reno on vocals than drums regardless, strange considering he had already been a frontman. With the band complete, Loverboy joined Columbia Records in Canada, with their debut setting all kinds of sales records. The album was a crossover of heavy new wave mixed with Loverboy's patented synth dominated hard rock sound, although the new wave aspect would lessen over time.


The Songs
'The Kid Is Hot Tonite' and 'Turn Me Loose' need no explanation, a pair of 80's rock classics, still radio staples today. It introduced the guitar-keyboard interplay doubled with brilliant hooks that Loverboy excelled at. For a debut especially, the sound was self assured and mature, nothing rough around the edges. 'Always On My Mind' is a slight AOR crossover with heavy hints of the new wave sound which so many LA acts were using in 1980. Johnson's keyboards are mainly responsible for the new wave comparisons, although Reno's vocals crossed over easily into that department occasionally. Another early favourite was 'Lady Of The 80's', a good workout which trades well between Dean's scorching solo's and parping synths, a trademark which only got stronger over time. The tiresome new wave comparisons further increase with 'Little Girl', a pure example of the sound, which veered towards the obnoxious. 'Prissy, Prissy' will have none of that, a cut which is similar to Streetheart's 'Hollywood' in it's synth and bass rhythms. Easy to see who was behind this one then. Dean adds some harder riffs to 'Teenage Overdose', a good balancing act of AOR and hard rock. The quality of 'D.O.A.' and 'It Don't Matter' is unmistakable also, the latter adding some sax to the mix.


In Summary
Once the US got hold of this the results were equally as impressive, going double platinum eventually, with 'Turn Me Loose' a top 40 hit. 1981's 'Get Lucky' was good also, although selling huge and with their most remembered track 'Working For The Weekend', the division between good and bad numbers was too difficult to ignore. This was a situation the debut managed to ignore, the material consistent all round. A fine opener, it ranks with 1983' 'Keep It Up' and 85's 'Lovin' Every Minute Of It' as Loverboy's most accomplished work.


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Comments

#1 | Jez on January 27 2007 12:25:35
Always remember hearing 'Turn Me Loose' for the first time - one of those goosebump moments. The rest of the album is great aswell,with Prissy,Prissy being my other favourite - love the Guitar solo on this one. Admittedly it does sound a little dated in places, but the overall quality of the album, especially for a debut, can't be denied.
#2 | Eric on April 27 2007 20:07:57
Terrific album and next to 'Get Lucky' without a doubt their best, but is it just me, or did 'Turn Me Loose' sound like a revved up and revamped remake of Streetheart's 'Action'?
#3 | gdazegod on April 27 2007 22:20:57
I think the difference between 'Turn Me Loose' and 'Action' were those helium-fuelled vocal choruses by the Streetheart guys on the latter song. Perhaps if there is a similarity, it is between Doug Johnson's keyboards here, vs Daryl Gutheil's keyboards for Streetheart.
#4 | sabace on December 24 2007 16:31:51
LOVE THAT SONG TURN ME LOOSE!
#5 | reyno-roxx on July 02 2008 09:18:02
Apart from 'VI' all of the Loverboy albums are essential. The latest album is pretty good too but has too much of an outside influence on the songwriting front to be considered as classic as the earlier records.
#6 | jeffrey343 on October 10 2011 17:36:13
If I remember correctly, I got this album right after getting "Get Lucky". Definitely good stuff here - more new-wave than anything after it, but Reno's amazing voice makes it work perfectly (and the whole band is super tight).

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