LOVERBOY Hit And Miss In Los Angeles Concert

By Gerry Gittelson Los Angeles correspondent
LOS ANGELES -- Loverboy does not tour as frequently as fellow Canadian classic-rock acts such as Rush or Bryan Adams, so it was a rare treat when the fivesome performed before a capacity crowd at Canyon Club, one of Southern California's largest clubs.
In past visits, Loverboy has absolutely killed. This time, the group that has been around since 1979 showed their age just a bit, as singer Mike Reno sang well but struggled to hit the high notes, even though most of the songs were tuned down at least a full step.
Not that Loverboy did not succeed. The crowd (consisting of about 75 percent females!) certainly enjoyed the show -- and that's the most important thing -- and the band defintely put in a solid effort with a nearly two-hour set that featured all the big hits.
But because Reno is such a focal point in band that lacks any other real standouts, a lot of the thumbs-up/thumbs-down comes down to him. Not that it matters much anymore because no one would expect him to fit into the red leather pants pictured on the cover of "Get Lucky," but Reno continues to struggle with his weight. Reno does not move much either, pretty much planting himself in front of the mic stand for the duration.
Then again, Loverboy's songs are so effective that all the group really needs to do is execute and turn up the volume, and that's exactly what went down, so most of us left happy.
Put another away, Loverboy was able to afford holding their biggest two songs for the end -- "Turn Me Loose" and "Working For The Weekend" -- and it all worked out.
Spellbinding? No. Worth the money? Yes.
"The Kid Is Hot Tonight" found everyone pushing away their dinner plates and standing up. "Hot Girls in Love" saw the cougars roaring for all they were worth. "Lovin' Every Minute of It" tinged good memories of a lost generation when rock was king and FM radio ruled.
Originals Paul Dean (guitar), Doug Johnson (keyboards) and Matt Frenette (drums) are all still in place, so Loverboy remains more legitimate than a lot of others with only one or two longtimers.
Afterward, the group was in good spirits backstage.
"I do like to play Los Angeles, but then again, I like playing anywhere," Dean said
An unknown act called Crack-In-The-Shell opened. In keeping with the Canuck theme, the power trio wears its Rush influence on its sleeve, and the truth is the band went over very well and proved surprisingly entertaining.
Singer/guitarist Daniel Allen sounded great on "Waiting," bassist/keyboardist James McFadden kicked ass on "Catastrophic," and drummer Jason Russo pounded away with fury on "Hold On."
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LOVERBOY - Unfinished Business (Review)

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I’ve heard suggestions of more to come, but I think if you can’t string 10 fantastic archive tracks together the first time around, the chances are that the next batch aren’t going to be any more impressive to warrant another volume.
I hope next time the band delivers an all-new studio album of fresh material. After all, there’s plenty of life left in this band, they defy their age on stage and on record.
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Fire Me Up
Countin' The Nights
Ain't Such A Bad Thing
Come Undone
What Makes You So Special
War Bride
Doin' It the Hard
You Play The Star
Crack of the Whip
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Melodic Rock
Loverboy Music
Loverboy have decided to turn back time and raid the vaults for their latest studio release. Describing this release as ‘old unfinished tracks dusted off and completed in 2014’, the band has in essence, compiled an album of off-cuts from their classic 80s releases.
I can’t blame them for choosing this route – it’s certainly a more economical solution than getting a new album written, recorded and released and it also covers the ‘fans only want to hear the classic sound’ base.
The only thing is – after the fecking marvelous Just Getting Started masterpiece and two of the three new tracks from Rock N Roll Revival being killer; this does seem as a backwards step.
But, if it’s classic Loverboy the fans want, then feast upon this 10 track release.
There’s everything a fan could want here – aside from a killer production. The songs bask in the band’s glorious sound of the 80s, but the production quality is really pretty bad in places.
The song quality and the production quality vary throughout as the songs are taken from various recording sessions and time frames, meaning that you’ll get snippets of the debut, Keep It Up, Get Lucky and even Lovin’ Every Minute Of It among these songs.
There’s some good stuff on offer here – Fire Me Up is a typically stomping Loverboy rocker, while the song Countin’ The Nights must consider itself unlucky not to have found its way onto an album back in the day.
Ain’t Such A Bad Thing has a good chorus, but a truly dodgy sound, including hiss and crackles from the original recordings. This certainly isn’t a case of the band re-recording old material 100% fresh such as other rock bands have done in recent years.
The only ballad on offer is the crooning Come Undone, which I think is pretty obvious why it hasn’t surfaced before now.
The pounding double time rocker Slave is as heavy as this band get, sounding more like cut from Paul Dean’s solo album Hard Core than a Loverboy track.
What Makes You So Special is driving rock song bathed in keyboards and sounding like really early 80s Loverboy.
The moody War Bride features a good vocal from Mike, but the song fades without any real impact.
Doin’ It The Hard Way is a classic Loverboy bar room bogie number. Clear enough why it wasn’t featured on any album, but it’s a bit of fun.
You Play The Star could have been lifted from the band’s debut album such is its sound and style. Interesting track to hear for someone like myself that’s been a fan since day 1.
Crack Of The Whip is on ok closer, but nothing too special.
As a compilation it works. As an all-new studio album it doesn’t. But there’s some cool tracks on here that show the behind the scenes workings of the band over their long history.
The band has rarely disappointed and die-hards will find some gems here without doubt.
On reflection, I think these songs showcase a grittier side of the band that the powers that be perhaps chose to abandon in the past as the songs weren’t commercial enough in their appeal.


Loverboy Taking Care of 
Unfinished Business with 
Free Amazon Pre-Stream of
New Album 

Los Angeles, July 8, 2014-- Loverboy's Unfinished Business, the multi-platinum Canadian rockers' first new album of all-original studio recordings in seven years will be available as a pre-release stream on Amazon, July 8-14 at


The album, whose title was selected via a Facebook fan vote, comes out in physical and digital form through Redeye Distribution July 15.


Pop Culture Beast says of Unfinished Business: "The majority of the songs on this album are filled with big hooks and catchy choruses [which] succeed in doing exactly what it was meant to do... It gives the hardcore Loverboy fans some songs they have always wanted to hear while reminding everyone else why we loved these leather-clad MTV darlings in the first place."


The band recently appeared as surprise guests at the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show over the July 4th holiday, wowing fans by showing up in a tour bus that opened up to reveal a full stage set-up, performing "Turn Me Loose" and "Working for the Weekend" for a delighted crowd.


"The super-fans up front sang our throats raw and lost our minds when they came out," tweeted Sally Mansour about the unexpected showing.


"They were all unfinished demos we'd recorded over the years, and we just decided to complete the songs and release the album to show our appreciation to the fans for their support," says Dean about Unfinished Business, with the free Amazon stream the band's gift to Loverboy followers, who took their own interactive role in naming the album.


For more information on Loverboy, please visit  


Photo Credit: Doug Johnson
For more great photos of Loverboy's surprise encore performance at the Calgary Stampede July 3-5, 2014, visit Loverboy's Facebook page here.






 The album, whose title was selected in a fan vote on Facebook, will come out through Redeye Distribution


LOS ANGELES, June 17, 2014--"Unfinished Business" is an apt title for the much anticipated collection of recordings from the iconic multi-platinum rock band Loverboy - 10 songs patiently waiting, some for decades, to be completed. The recordings range from "Come Undone," written by Paul Dean while living in Toronto 40 years ago, long before he met vocalist Mike Reno and joined forces to form the soon-to-be legendary group, to the Chuck Berry-influenced "Doin' It the Hard Way," featuring Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve on bass. The song was penned by Dean during a brief stint replacing Randy Bachman in Bachman-Turner Overdrive.


Completing the recording took Dean to Raleigh NC, the current city of choice of drummer Matt Frenette, where they recorded the last 3 tracks in a friend's home studio. "We practically lived at Little Mountain Studios for 6 months (referring to the "Lovin Every Minute" album sessions), but it's a new world. I do everything on my laptop now. Way better!" enthuses Dean.


"These are tracks we'd recorded over the years, and we just decided to complete them and release the album to show our appreciation to the fans who have supported us all this time," says Dean. It will be released worldwide July 15 by Redeye Distribution on all major digital and brick-and-mortar retailers, while the first single "Counting The Nights" is available today. (Click here) 


Pre-order "Unfinished Business" on iTunes (U.S./Canada) or Amazon (U.S./Canada).


The title came from Dean's idea to involve the band's fans in choosing the name of the album in a popular vote on Facebook, where the choices were first winnowed down to 10, decided by the most "likes." The band then chose "Unfinished Business."


"No question, that was the one. We put the song titles up and explained that this album was 40 years in the making," says Dean. "It was a fun thing. Some of the titles they came up with were hilarious, but perhaps a little inappropriate for Wal-Mart."


Paul's initial idea - to give away the album for free - was nixed, but he's still encouraging fans to stream it on Spofity, Rdio, Beats Music or Deezer. "I have no problem with them doing that," he laughs.


Making the new album was inspired by the band's positive experience recording three new songs, two of them with their original engineer Bob Rock producing, at Bryan Adams' Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, for 2012's "Rock 'n' Roll Revival." "It was, as usual, a great experience. Bob's a master."


The new album features such instant Loverboy classics as "War Bride," a song Dean remembers playing only once live back in 1979 before the band had signed their first record deal with Columbia, and "You Play the Star" from the same period, which incorporates some of the classical influences keyboardist Doug Johnson demonstrated on his recent solo release, "Notes to Self". These two songs also feature the late Scott Smith on bass. "What an amazing player. It was really cool hearing him again. Scott had a great groove. And sound!!"


The release comes in the midst of a period of intense activity for the band, who are coming off being featured in highly visible ad campaigns for both Taco Bell and Radio Shack. Both national brands are using Loverboy's image and music to promote their products to the '80s generation, which grew up on the group, and others who are just being introduced to their anthems.


Radio Shack's Super Bowl commercial,  with the tag line, "The '80s called... they want their store back," saw some of that decade's most popular groups take over the retailer, set to a soundtrack of Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend," which can be seen here.CNN praised the Super Bowl ad, calling it "pure commercial genius... a spot-on piece of creativity."


Then there's the widely-seen Taco Bell spot promoting their breakfast waffle taco, which features a prominent mention of a consumer "taking down his Loverboy poster" as part of an unabashed pitch to those who grew up in the '80s and are now smack in the middle of the desired advertising demo.


Loverboy is just as relevant today as they were three decades ago, delighting audiences around the world since forming back in 1979 when vocalist Mike Reno was introduced to guitar hot shot Paul Dean, both veterans of several bands on the Canadian scene, at Calgary's Refinery Night Club. Loverboy has four multi-platinum albums, including the four-million-selling Get Lucky, and a trio of double-platinum releases in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983's Keep It Up and 1985's Lovin' Every Minute of It. Their string of hits includes, in addition to the arena-rock anthem "Working for the Weekend," such staples as "Lovin' Every Minute of It," "This Could Be the Night," "Hot Girls in Love," "Turn Me Loose," "When It's Over," "The Kid is Hot Tonite," "Heaven in Your Eyes" and "Queen of the Broken Hearts."


"I guess one day we'll have to stop calling the new album 'Unfinished Business'," jokes Dean. "It sounds pretty much complete to me. And it only took us 40 years!"





The new LOVERBOY album "Unfinished Business" is out July 15 and a formal press release is due any day now.

Track listing:

Fire Me Up

Counting the Nights

Ain't Such A Bad Thing

Come Undone


What Makes You So Special

War Bride

Doin' It The Hardway

You Play The Star

Crack Of The Whip

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