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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Loverboy - 1983 Keep It Up
Loverboy - 1983 Keep It Up

ARTIST: Loverboy
ALBUM: Keep It Up
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: CK 38703
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Mile Reno - vocals * Paul Dean - guitar * Scott Smith - bass * Matt Frenette - drums * Doug Johnson - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hot Girls In Love * 02 Strike Zone * 03 It's Never Easy * 04 Chance Of A Lifetime * 05 Queen Of The Broken Hearts * 06 Prime Of Your Life * 07 Passion Pit * 08 One Sided Love Affair * 09 Meltdown


Many consider 'Get Lucky' to be the best album of Loverboy's career, which isn't surprising considering the hits it contained like 'Working For The Weekend,' 'When It's Over' and the title track. I've always found it to be an uneven album with some weaker tracks ('Gangs In The Street' and 'Watch Out') and inferior to the 1980 debut. Much stronger overall was 1983's 'Keep It Up' which saw the band continuing to utilize the winning formula of Bruce Fairbairn and Paul Dean on production duty. This was Loverboy's most AOR album to that point and they all but dispensed of any new-wave tinges that were present in their sound previously. It's quite staggering how popular they had become by that point, with all their fellow Canadian AOR acts following in their footsteps you'd have to say. The band look very serious on the album cover, dour faced and dressed in leather, a stark contrast to the later 'Lovin' Every Minute Of It' in 1985!

The Songs
'Keep It Up' has always struck me as more restrained than 'Get Lucky' with the band rarely moving into high gear musically, concentrating more on brooding atmospherics and heavy synthesizer use. Not fitting that category is 'Hot Girls In Love' which was their biggest hit to that point, reaching an astounding 11 on the Billboard 100. Every melodic rocker is familiar with this one, the racing keyboards from Johnson and suggestive lyrics from Reno all handled at a sweaty pace. 'Strike Zone' is very heavy handed with its massive synths and Dean's ubiquitous riffs - check out the glorious interplay at 3:45 for example. A nice contrast is 'It's Never Easy' which was Loverboy's most obvious ballad to that point, a sensory overload of AOR elements which fit the era with ease, particularly the way they delay the inevitably precise chorus. Nancy Nash can be heard on backing vocals here as a side note. 'Chance Of A Lifetime' is rather heavier, with the energy of the earlier albums but with far more AOR gusto. The new wave aspect hadn't totally dissolved yet as heard on 'Queen Of The Broken Hearts' especially the keyboards. This one belongs on a teen film soundtrack if ever I've heard it. The opening riff of 'Prime Of Your Life' is almost metal, again the band playing it slow and throwing in dominating synths, although Dean gets a unique sounding solo thrown in for good measure. In the same style is 'Passion Pit' with a noticeably standout chorus, with yet more overwhelming keyboards to the fore. 'One Sided Love Affair' nothing less than brilliant AOR in every regard, showing why Loverboy were at the top of the heap. 'Meltdown' sees Reno trying to see how many words he can find to rhyme with the title, but the team of Dean and Johnson steal the show again, pushing the limits of how much melody can be extracted from their instruments.

In Summary
Some years ago I criticized this album as having too much keyboard influence, but the closer I listen it really isn't the case and how can you get too much of that in 1983 anyway? This is a far stronger album than my memory served me and while it is perhaps slicker than 'Get Lucky' it's more consistent for me, although I may be in the minority on that one.

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#1 | DEMONAOR on December 02 2013 11:52:32
Great album.
#2 | jeffrey343 on December 02 2013 14:22:43
I got this one as soon as it came out, and it's gotten plenty of play over the years. Just played it last week, actually. All five of the first Loverboy albums are great. This might be the most even of those five. I've always loved 'Strike Zone'.
#3 | sabace on December 03 2013 15:53:35
great lp
#4 | AOR Lee on December 14 2013 05:52:08
One sided love affair is one of the most underrated AOR tracks ever, and most of the album is prime AOR as Alun has discussed. Enjoyed the review
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