Loverboy – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

There is no Friday New Releases this week as there is really nothing coming out worth mentioning so I will take you back in time and do an Album Ranking…

When you think of Canada, there is always that one band that comes to mind.  No, not Nickelback, no not Justin Beiber…it is Loverboy!!  One of the most iconic 80’s bands to ever be in existence.  When you think Loverboy, you think tight, red, leather pants and “Working for the Weekend”. There is nothing more 80’s than that.

The band, however, has existed well past the 80’s and has gone on to release 9 studio albums so far including one in the 90’s and 3 in the 2000’s.  And for that reason, they deserve the Album Ranking treatment.  We will go through all 9 studio albums and rank them from their worst to the ver best.  Now remember, this is just my opinion and your opinion might be slightly different and you know what, that’s okay!

I hope you enjoy!!

THE WORST – VI (1997):

Did you know Loverboy released an album in the 90’s?  I didn’t either.  Loverboy 6 was released to little or no fanfare as this was an 80’s band and in the 90’s, 80’s bands were not cool.  The biggest problem with the album is it is Loverboy trying to bring themselves in to the modern world of rock and as a result they lost that Loverboy magic.  The album was depressing, sad and really, really bad.

Loverboy is a party band, a band you have fun listening to and this album had none of that.  You can’t even get this album on iTunes or even stream it.  It is nowhere to be found and for good reason.  There isn’t any song, I can recall that is even worth mentioning.  And sadly, this was even Scott Smith’s last album as bass player before his death in 2000.  If there is one to skip…this is it.  Here is the opening track, which isn’t that awful, but not one I will go back to very often.

#8 – LOVERBOY (1980):

Now, I might catch some crap for having their debut so far down, but honestly, I don’t care.  Even after almost 40 years, this album still stinks in my book.  I never connected to it.  There are, however, a couple outstanding tracks that should be in every Loverboy library and they are “The Kid Is Hot Tonite” and the really kick ass song “Turn Me Loose” with that cool ass bass line.  Those two are classic songs.

Two songs don’t make an album. The rest of the album is all filler and no killer.  Not one song is memorable.  It bored me then and it bored me now when I went back to explore the albums again.  I wish I had better things to say about it, but I can’t.  Sorry.

#7 – ROCK ‘N’ ROLL REVIVAL (2012):

Revival isn’t much of a studio album.  It is 3 new songs and the rest are re-recordings of classic Loverboy hits.  Not remixes, but actual re-recordings.  The three new songs were recorded with Bob Rock and I have to say, I really dig those new songs.  They capture that old Loverboy magic.  Heck they even sound like that could have fit on any 80’s album.  That is why this is one step above their debut because I liked 3 songs and not 2.

The rest of the album is not bad, don’t get me wrong, it is just not the original songs.  The original songs are classics and should never try to be redone in any way, shape or form.  They can’t be improved upon.  All these songs did was make me want to listen to the original songs not want to hear these again.

#6 – UNFINISHED BUSINESS (2014):

Unfinished Business is a collection of tracks over the bands 40 years that had never been released or even finished until now.  I found the album to be pretty enjoyable and have listened to it quite a bit over the years.  There aren’t any real classic, iconic Loverboy songs to be had which is okay.  I still like hearing old songs that were left behind for some reason or another as they can potentially be better than other stuff released.

In this case, I think the album is better than 3 others of theirs so that should tell you something.   I like “Fire Me Up”, “Counting’ the Nights”, “Doin’ it the Hard Way” and many others so give it a listen if you get a chance.

#5 – JUST GETTING STARTED (2007):

10 years after their last album and 20 years since their last 80’s album, Loverboy came back swinging and brought back that 80’s sound and gave us an album that can hold its own with any of the ’80 releases.  Hell, the opening track “Just Getting Started” could have been on any of those albums.

But that isn’t the only great song, no sir.  You get “One of them Days” where Paul Dean’s guitar playing is in the forefront, you get “Lost With You” that rocks with the best of them and they even have ballads such as “Back For More” and “I Would Die For You”.  It is a well-rounded Loverboy album and worth grabbing if you can find it.  Again, this is another album that you can’t get on iTunes or Apple music so hopefully you can find on eBay or Amazon.

#4 – KEEP IT UP (1983):

The band’s third and there were high expectations after the success of ‘Get Lucky’ and for me fell short of those expectations. Now, it is still a fantastic album, however, it didn’t have the huge hits for me like the prior album or the next two after.  There was more killer than filler, but there was filler.

On the great side, you had songs like “Hot Girls In Love”, “Strike Zone” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”.  You had some fantastic ballads as well with “It’s Never Easy” and then some deep cuts that were great such as “Chance of a Lifetime” and “Prime of Your Life” and the rest were just okay.  These songs alone are enough to put it at #4 for me.

#3 – WILDSIDE (1987):

At #3 is an album that they completely outdid themselves and is one of my favorites.  The biggest problem this album had was timing. In 1987, there were 3 rock bands that stole the light from everyone…Whitesnake (1987), Def Leppard (Hysteria) and Guns N Roses (Appetite for Destruction).  Because of that, the band had their first album that didn’t go platinum.  It wasn’t their fault because they delivered a solid album.

Songs like “Notorious” and “Love Will Rise Again” were two of the best they had ever done.  And “Don’t Keep Me In the Dark” is by far the best ballad they have ever done. It was dark and full of emotion and it spoke to me for some reason back then and even today.  Those weren’t the only good songs, oh no, you had “Can’t Get Much Better”, “Wildside” and “Break It To Me Gently” were all pure Loverboy classic sounding songs.  In 1987, when I wasn’t listening to those other 3 bands, this one was on.

#2 – LOVIN’ EVERY MINUTE OF IT (1985):

When this album came out, it was huge at our high school.  I remember buying this one and playing it constantly.  My memory isn’t great, but I want to say the title track was either the homecoming float theme song or it was the prom theme…either way I remember it being a part of my junior year in high school (85/86).  The title track, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” summed up my Junior Year.  It was a fabulous year.

That wasn’t the only song that stood out.  You had party songs like “Friday Night”, rockers like “Dangerous” and don’t forget the ballads.  For ballads you had “Destination Heartbreak” and beautiful “This Could Be The Night” which in Junior year that was always the hope (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)!!

#1 – GET LUCKY (1981):

The two things Loverboy had going for them during their heyday was Bruce Fairbairn as producer and the other was those Mike Reno Red Leather Pants.  The album cover for this one sums up the 80’s and the band.  Probably one of the most famous covers from that era.  But that isn’t why I love this album the most…no, no, no.  It is the songs.

The most iconic song from that era was “Working for the Weekend”. Hell, who doesn’t know this song?  I mean really, even today everyone knows this song as it has been in countless movies and admit it we are all just working so we can enjoy ourselves on the weekend.  That isn’t all, you get the songs “Lucky Ones”, “Gangs in the Street”, “Take Me to the Top” and the ballad “When It’s Over”.  You even get a song written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance before they were…well, Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.  Oh yeah, that song is “Jump”.  The album is full of great songs and the album can’t be beat!

And there you have it, the Loverboy studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best.  Let me know what you think.  Where did we differ and where did we agree.  What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!

 

 

 

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Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We are up to the fifth album in the Bootleg series and we are still on the albums I found in Paris back in April.  And since it is July 4th, I thought what is more American than July 4th…well KISS!!!

This was was from September 14, 1974 on the Hotter Than Hell Tour and it was recorded at The Victory Burlesque in Toronto, ON, Canada.  This was actually a warm-up show for the tour, one of two nights (not sure which one).  This was also about a month before the Hotter Than Hell album came out.

As usual, before we get into the music we will talk about the packaging and what was offered with this set.  First off, this was a single LP and not a double like all the others as this was only a 9 song set as you have to remember this was only 1974 and Kiss hadn’t been around very long with only 2 album to choose from at this point.  The packaging was quite simple.  The front (as seen above) is a very early shot of the band before all the glitz and glamour.  The back is a great shot of the band on stage (what show, I do not know for sure…we will assume this one, but I am sure it is not).

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The vinyl sleeve is a nice solid cardboard sleeve that is very sturdy and has more great pictures.

Continue reading “Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review”

Billy Idol – “BFI Live” – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

On November 25th, 2016, Black Friday or another Record Store Day, Billy Idol released a special edition 3 LP vinyl Live Album!!  The release were highlights from his 2014-2015 Kings & Queens of the Underground Tour.  I say it is highlights because the songs are from various different shows from around the world and not one full show.  I am sure he went and grabbed the best versions of each song.

The album was limited to only 2000 copies, each hand-numbered and exclusively on vinyl as the only physical release. The album is available digitally as well (which also comes with the Vinyl version.  It is a beautiful set and the sound is amazing.  Here’s the only problem.  I was unable to snag a copy during its initial release.  I am keeping a watchful eye on eBay and Discogs to find a reasonably priced one for sell and then I will grab it.  So, this review is really just a review of the digital release.

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BFI?  What does that stand for?  I think it is Billy “Fucking” Idol.  I also think BFI is the name of his label as well.  Whatever it stands for, BFI Live is fantastic.  The sound quality of each recording is crisp, clear and loud!  Was it cleaned up in the studio…probably, but who cares.  It is still live for the most part and that is all that matters.  It captures the essence fo a Billy performance and that is all you really want anyway.  Okay, I guess it is missing a little of the roughness that happens during live shows so that might be the only negative.

The release has 16 tracks from 10 different cities including Houston, Vienna, Munich, Atlanta and even Council Bluffs (wherever that is).  The setlist is greatest hits set live basically.  It is everything you would want to hear and expect to hear at a Billy show.

He does 3 songs off the latest album and they are “Postcards from the Past”, “Can’t Break Me Down” and “Save Me Now”.  Two of the first three songs are off the new album which is smart as people tend to go to the bathroom or get a beer (or both) when a song comes on they don’t really know.  When the show opens up, the crowd is so energized, that isn’t going to happen.

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It is a high energy show and Billy and Steve Steven show no signs of slowing down.  The songs are kept pretty much to their original format with the exception of a few lyric changes such as “LA Woman” (the Doors cover) being changed to “Portland Woman” and Billy asking “Nashville to Dance” on “Dancing With Myself”.  Billy and the crowd seem to be having a wonderful time.

Steve Stevens sounds really great with his guitar work especially on Flesh for Fantasy and the one song I didn’t know when looking at the track listing. It was “Dementia” which turned out to be a wonderful Steve Stevens guitar solo.  I didn’t know guitar solos actually had names other than “Guitar Solo”. Seriously though, the song is actually off Steve’s solo album “Flamenco a Go-Go” from 2000.  Kinda nice Billy let him highlight one of his own songs.

The songs cover most of Billy’s career with even a song from his Generation X days, “Ready Steady Go” which Billy seems to love to still play and Steve adds a whole new magic to it with his playing.  You also get the story behind the song “Sweet Sixteen” which Billy tells with such enthusiasm.  Before that story, a woman screams “I Love You!!!” and immediately Billy responds back “I Love Me Too!  That makes two of us”…it was a very funny moment I am glad they left in.

And let’s talk about how he ends this album.  The album ends with 3 of his most iconic songs and I could imagine the crowd going nuts and loving everything about it.  He ends with “Rebel Yell”, “White Wedding” and “Mony, Mony”…what an amazing way to go out.

All-in-all, this is a hell of a live set and since Billy has only released one other live album (VH1 Storytellers), I will take what I can get.  I loved this set and I am eager to go out and find the physical copy after listening to this.  With 16 songs and 1 hour and 40 minutes of music…it is simply wonderful.  I will give this a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars and only deducting because it is too clean…I mean I don’t think Billy misses too many notes and I don’t think that is possible (I have never seen him live so can’t say for sure).  If you are out and about and come across it (somehow), grab it.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to check out the other reviews I have done so far for the Billy Idol Series, click the links below:

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’
  5. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  6. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  7. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  8. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  9. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  10. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  11. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  12. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  13. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  14. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  15. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  16. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  17. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  18. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground

Up next will be Billy Idol’s ‘Revitalized’.

Tuesday’s Memes – Vinnie Vincent

Vinnie Vincent has been in the news so much over the last year with his coming out of seclusion at the Horror convention in Atlanta.  However, not all of that press has been positive.  He has planned and announced appearances numerous times and has backed out of almost everyone always blaming someone other than himself.  He seems to be his own worst enemy.  So, it is time to celebrate and/or roast the man himself.  Here’s to Vinnie, may he someday find the ability to not destroy his career over and over and over again!!

No, he did NOT SAVE KISS!!!

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A Vinnie Boxset??? I Never saw one…

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Collective Soul – ‘Blood’ – Album Review

25 Years!  Wow!  Collective Soul is celebrating 25 years together as a band and as luck would have it, we also get a new record to boot.  The band delivers their 10th Studio Album with ‘Blood’ and they prove there is still life in that blood running through their veins.

With the opening track, “Now’s the Time”, you get that classic Collective Soul guitar sound and Ed’s soaring vocals. The song is high energy and welcomes you to the party with open arms.  The heavy bass line from Will Turpin opens the next song “Over Me” which keeps the energy level pumped up to 10.  The band has a way with catchy riffs and choruses that are simple yet impactful.

“Crushed” is a song that would feel right at home on their 2000 album ‘Blender’.  It is a throwback, yet modern. Then comes “Right as Rain” which the band has been playing live for awhile now so it makes you feel right at home.

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My Sunday Song – “Mean Street” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #150, we are ending the Van Halen set of 10 songs with “Mean Street” off the album “Fair Warning”.  The song reached #13 on the Mainstream Rock station and help propel the album to #5 on the Billboard charts.  It is the opening track and the song were the title of the album comes.

The song comes blazing out of the gate with the vintage Eddie style riffs that scream…I am the best guitarist and don’t you forget it!!  The opening was inspired by the slap funk bass style and I would say there is nothing the man can’t do with a guitar.  Then the song gets dirty and a little nasty.  Musically and Lyrically, it is a dark song for the band. I also love the fade out at the end with those wicked guitar parts Ed is playing while it is fading out.

The song seems to be about life on the streets.  The pain and agony of living on the street and the fighting to stay alive.  The streets will basically chew you up and spit you out.  Funny thing, the band aren’t from the streets so they really have no idea about “mean streets” now do they. Don’t get me wrong, that takes away nothing from the song.  It is badass and delivered very convincingly.

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Friday New Releases – June 28th

We are halfway through the year now, can you believe it?  I have to say, I haven’t been blown away by the first 6 months of releases, heres hoping to a better second half.  In this final week of June there are a handful of releases I am looking forward to and they are highlighted in Blue.  Hopefully there is something in the list that will connect with you and if there is, let me know which one. Also, let me know if I missed anything as it helps our readers find new music.  Thanks and have a great weekend!!

Oh yeah…I have a public service announcement at the bottom of the list, please give it a read! It will help us all!!

  • 812r4wN9wHL._SS500_  The Alarm – Sigma – (Twenty First Century Recording Co):  Mike Peters returned in 2018 with the album Equal and it was fantastic.  I can’t wait to hear this new one and as with all albums I am excited about, I haven’t heard a song until I take it all in at once.  So glad he is back and in such a prolific way!!

  • 71xVIBkD4DL._SX522_  Generation Axe – The Guitars That Destroyed the World (Live in China) – (earMusic):  A live album of Guitar Heroes…yes sign me up!! Oh, and a live album on top of that…YES PLEASE!!!  You get Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi.  Is there anything else that needs to be said…I didn’t think so.

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Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We have another Kiss Bootleg to discuss in this series.  We are on #4 and this one is from the 1979 Dynasty Tour and took place in Largo, Maryland on July 8th, 1979 at the Capital Center.  This was a time in Kiss that is quite interesting as the band was imploding, basically.  Peter couldn’t play drums like he did just a short time earlier and Ace was shall we say, “high” on life.  This tour was supposed to be huge.  The costumes, the stage show and well, everything was to be bigger and better.  Well, it was far from it.

Before we get in to the music, we go through the packaging first and this set is delivered beautifully.  The set was done in 2018 and it was put together quite nicely.  Here is the first little nugget, it is a a little side card that bends around one end kind of like the OBI strips for Japanese releases.

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After that there is a large, album sized Disco Sticker included.  It is supposed to be in a Disco Ball style and is a little hard to see, but cool nonetheless.

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Billy Idol – ‘Kings & Queens of the Underground’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

After Billy’s last greatest hits album “Idolize Yourself”, things went quiet.  From 2010 – 2014, Billy worked on the next project.  Along that same timeframe, he was also working on a book that chronicle his life called “Dancing with MySelf”.  The album and book were both released in October 2014 and I guess you could say the album was a soundtrack to that new book.

For me, the album, called ‘King & Queens of the Underground’, should have been called ‘Postcards from the Past’ as the songs seem to have that retrospective feel and were snapshots of his life and career.  There is a lot of soul-searching going and it feels like a cathartic exercise in releasing his demons.  It was the perfect companion piece for the book.

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For the recording of the album, Billy worked mostly with Trevor Horn of the famed band, The Buggles.  Keith Forsey, who produced most of Billy’s album was not back for this one.  I don’t think there were any issues, I believe Billy was wanting to explore new ground.  Trevor brought Billy back to 80’s sound more so than the ‘Devil’s Playground’ did.  There were a little more synthesizers/keyboards than in the past and it was utilized perfectly.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Slipknot (Part 2)

And now are you ready for Part 2 of Slipknot??  Well of course you are.  Why wouldn’t you be.  Here is the next batch of our 2 part series on Slipknot.  I hope you enjoy!!

The fans…

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