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Mike Reno Renovation Indie
mikereno.com
Produced By: Mark Spiro & Mike Reno

Running Time: 49.53

Release Date: Out Now

Released: US

Musical Style: Melodic Rock / AOR

Links: Mike Reno
80%
Songs: 95%
Sound: 60%
Mike Reno's Renovation is a very curious release indeed.
First the facts behind the record it was recorded in the early 90's as Mike Reno's solo debut, but due to industry politics was never released.
Mike has toyed with releasing this himself since 2000 and was in talks with European labels to help make that happen. But his distrust of labels in general has seen him release this album himself, via his website.
Initially you couldn't purchase this unless you are a paid up member of Mike's "inner circle" of fans, but sanity prevailed and it's now available to anyone who logs onto Mike's website.
The album features a line-up of top LA session guys. Sadly though, just who is largely a mystery, as the information on the site is almost non-existent and the CD packaging offers no additional information it's a simple cover with a plain white reverse side.
But I can add that the album was co-written and produced with Mark Spiro, who also handles a lot of the music. Popular guitarist Tim Pierce is featured throughout.
The music itself the most important factor also has a small issue hanging over it. I presume Sony owns the original master tapes, as it appears Mike doesn't. This must have been mastered from his own personal copies of those master tapes, as this isn't mint quality. The sound quality on offer here is good, but no better than some of the sourced-from-DAT bootleg's that have been going around trading circles for the past several years.
While the production quality would have originally sounded killer, the muddy quality of these tracks will have some disappointed. That fact will also put owners of bootleg or CDR copies off buying the original, now it is finally available.
As far as the songs go, that's the album's high point. Collectively speaking, the 10 songs on offer here showcase Mike Reno at his very best and are amongst the strongest songs he has committed vocals to in his recording history.
If releases at the time it would have rated alongside Loverboy's best work and to this day quality aside is an astoundingly good selection of classic early/mid-90's melodic rock.
The tone of the album is quite dark it has several moody passages and some good rockers. Great to hear the guitar as the dominant instrument, aside from Mike's powerhouse vocals.
This is a hard edged melodic rock album and tops Loverboy for heaviness in places such as the opening rocker Affection, Dream Machine and I Say Go.
Then there is the sentimental AOR side to the album, such as the stunning power ballad Still In Love and the ultra smooth Take Me Back.
The remaining tracks are more or less classic Loverboy in style.
The original recordings included a track called Guilty As Charged. The copy I have has a drop-out mid-track and apparently that's the same with all copies. Must be, as that track has been dropped from this release. But that's a pity, as the opening track Affection is cut off abruptly, which is what I would describe as an error. So if such small glitches are still present, then the addition of Guilty As Charged would have been no greater problem.
The one exclusive track to this release is the raw, vocal/piano version of the classic ballad All I Ever Needed. The track was written and recorded with David Foster, for inclusion on his 1990 River Of Love album. This version is a stripped back vocal version. The full band version of Foster's album is also well worth checking out.
The Bottom Line
If you don't own this album and are in any way a fan of Mike Reno or Loverboy, then this is the way to get it. It's a melodic rock monster, that's for sure and Mike has seldom sounded better or more in control.
However, if you already have a bootleg copy, there is unfortunately little reason here for an upgrade - aside from the one exclusive track. This could have been a timeless classic - and in some ways still is - but the overall package could have been better than what's on offer here.
Previous Bands
Loverboy
Just-If-I
Renovation

Line Up
Mike Reno: Vocals
Not Listed, but Mark Sprio on most instruments and programming.
Essential for fans of:
Mike Reno & Loverboy
Mark Spiro
Classic guitar driven melodic rock
Track Listing
Affection*
Dream Machine
Still In Love Alone*
Sixty Years
New Messiah
Take Me Back*
I Say Go*
Burning Down The Bridge
I Don't Want To Stop*
All I Ever Needed Was You*
--*Best Tracks


30/03/06: Michele - girlgonewild@rockin4reno.com
Rating: 100
Awesome CD. Every song on it rocks! Pure Mike Reno. Sends me to "Reno Heaven" every time I listen to it! Highly recommend it, A must have for all LB fans.

06/06/05: Kim - kimmy72@gmail.com
Rating: 1
Loverboy rocks! I love mike REno!

05/06/05: Ray - rkdesjarlais@accesscomm.ca
Rating: 0
hey mike u put a good show on at the casino regina show lounge when are you and guys coming back!!!!!!!!!!!!

05/06/04: SCOTT R - HAWKEYEREYES@AOL.COM
Rating: 90
YES, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE A 100% PRODUCED CD WITH ALL
THE TRAPPINGS . THIS STILL WAS WORTH THE WAIT FOR THIS STILL DIE
HARD LOVERBOY FAN. THE BOOTLEG QUALITY DOES GIVE IT A SPECIAL
PLACE IN MY LOVERBOY COLLECTION, ALTHOUGH THE LIVE,LOUD, AND
LOOSE CD STILL KICKS MAJOR ASS. KEEP GOING MIKE!WE LOVE YOU AND
THE REST OF THE GUYS! WHEN ARE YOU COMING BACK TO VIRGINIA?

21/05/04: Frank - Frank@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
God dammit....the best bands and songs are always the ones that get destroyed !!

THIS ALBUM IS EXCELLENT!!!!

i hate every single company in the world for killing what could've been one of the best album of the year!

but you know what , i love it with all the hiss, the drop-out, the cut-off, it's awesome ..it gives it a real UnRELEASED feeling ala HAREM SCAREM lost demos. ;)

Companies you are screwed, we love it all the same ....hell yea.

20/05/04: Big Mike - Bigmike@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
I've had this for a month now. Its not bad. The sound quality is definitely suss though at times...you can hear the hiss.
There are some good songs here but I don't agree that it beats most of loverboy's stuff. Its definitely along the same lines as the loverboy sound though.
The end of "affection" is disgraceful. Overall, this definitely leans more towards bootleg quality.

20/04/04: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Brilliant combination of AOR and hardrock ! What a record ! Indeed, this deserved a real release ! , and I'm sure it would have been a huge success !
Killer songs, very well done ! Give this a killer production and we talk about classic stuff ! RECOMMENDED !!!


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