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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Hobin, Todd - 1982 Keepin' The Dream Alive
Hobin, Todd - 1982 Keepin' The Dream Alive

ARTIST: Hobin, Todd
ALBUM: Keepin' The Dream Alive
LABEL: Aries
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Todd Hobin - lead vocals, synthesizer, guitar, piano * Bruce Fowler - guitars * Doug Moncrief - bass * Shawn Hobin - drums * John Kane - tenor sax * Peter Mack - string bass * Vince Taft - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Keepin' The Dream Alive * 02 I Ain't Got No Money * 03 Lost Without Your Love * 04 How Do I Kiss You * 05 Let It Roll * 06 Talkin' Like A Fool * 07 Jealousy * 08 Tonight (I Wanna Be Lonely) * 09 Keepin' The Dream Alive * 10 Aria For K.T * 11 No Words


For such an accomplished AOR album as 'Keeping The Dream Alive', it's hard to believe it hasn't appeared on the pages of Glory Daze yet. Formed by leader Todd Hobin in 1974, the band was based in Syracuse, where Hobin had graduated from the Crane School of Music two years earlier. Several albums followed, including 1980's 'Passion And The Pain', which apparently are difficult to obtain. Hobin really hit the goldmine with 'Keeping The Dream Alive', an example of everything great about U.S. AOR in the early 80's. The melodies are invariably stunning and aside from a few stylistic hiccups, this easily fits the 'classic' tag.

The Songs
The opening bars of the title track run rampant with stabbing synths and sax, a good indictator of what's to follow. The guitar work is constantly melodic and Hobin's vocals are perfect for this type of music, somewhere near Pete Goalby's for comparison. 'I Ain't Got No Money' is slightly quirky, starting off with synthesized drum beats and a vocal loop repeating the song title. It develops into somewhat of a basic AOR track following this, but is far from one of the highlights here. More on the level is 'Lost Without Your Love', with its bouncy disco type bass rhythm driving the song along on the strength of an unforgettable chorus. Even more superior is 'How Do I Kiss You' which to me sounds similar to the classic Sheriff release from the same year. Everything is of the highest order, especially the vocal harmonies and this is a must-hear for any AOR purist. 'Let It Roll' is a misstep, a 50's rockabilly track which belongs more on a Stray Cats or Shakin' Stevens album. It seemed a lot of AOR acts were fumbling around with these odd musical diversions at the time and as a result it doesn't fit in. 'Talkin' Like A Fool' has more AOR leanings, but the rock and roll element still remains from the former track. This would appeal to Donnie Iris fans, with that type of crossover appeal. 'Jealousy' is a by the numbers AOR track, but the guitar solo is brilliant. 'Tonight I Wanna Be Alone', begins as a very soft ballad, but turns into an upbeat AOR number with another great guitar solo, one of the best aspects of this album. The title track is then reprised in instrumental fashion, with some haunting synths dominating the piece. This unexpected tangent leads into 'No Words', another AOR tour de force. This competes with the likes of Franke And The Knockouts, Greg Guidry and Rick Springfield for melodic supremacy, which is high praise indeed.

In Summary
In 1985 Hobin would go on to release 'Turn It On', a five song EP under the moniker Todd Hobin And The Heat. It was another fine set of AOR, but would be the last offering from Hobin and his band. Fast forward 27 years and Hobin is still playing gigs in his native Syracuse with his band, Moncrief, Fowler and his brother Shawn still among its ranks. A new album is supposedly due this month according to Hobin, although whether it sounds anything like the classic AOR of 'Keeping The Dream Alive' is open to question. Hobin's place in AOR history is sealed regardless and for those who have yet to be exposed to this album, well you really can't go wrong should you seek it out.

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#1 | dangerzone on May 23 2012 07:09:36
YouTube Video:
#2 | kim_hp on May 24 2012 23:59:50
You can order all Todd Hobin Band albums as downloads or CD from Awesome stuff.
#3 | swazi on May 26 2012 10:20:28
A few years ago Target Records sold the complete set of 5 CD's for a few Euros. The banderole was even signed by TH. Good thing that I was wise enough to buy one of them.
#4 | englandashes on May 26 2012 11:52:59
Strange, while I picked up the first couple and Turn It Up, never got round to buy this one. Great to see him being written about here, nice one DZ, I did start to write about the debut, but never got round to finishing it, although may be worth returning to it.
#5 | AOR Lee on May 26 2012 12:51:03
Not familiar with Todd Hobin Band Alun, but your review makes this album sound essential!
#6 | swazi on May 27 2012 13:03:08
Yes, it's a very good one.
#7 | dangerzone on May 27 2012 18:48:46
YouTube Video:
#8 | melodiapositiva on January 31 2017 17:47:45
This is the aor that i like, it has everything to name it a 'classic' .Some songs sound a lot like Russ ballard 1984/85 albums. A must have!
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