Aldo Nova - 'Aldo Nova' / 'Subject' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 10, 2012    
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Both albums evoke fond memories of more exciting times.

As the 70s turned to the 80s and all eyes turned from Europe to North America in search of the next big thing, it was easy to forget that there was life north of the Great Lakes ... and no, I’m not talking about the narcissistic personality disorder that would eventually become governor of Alaska!

To your average young rock fan back then Canada meant Rush, Triumph, Saga, Loverboy, maybe Bryan Adams and precious little else. The States was where it was all happening (or so we were reliably misinformed), but for such a sparsely populated natural wilderness the quality and consistency was way better than anything LA or New York had to offer ... take Aldo Nova for example. A Montreal native, Aldo’s route to would be rock star was somewhat circuitous (as explained in Malcolm Dome’s erudite sleeve notes), but for an all too brief period in the early 80’s it looked as though his time had come.

Originally released through Columbia offshoot Portrait in mid 1982, looking back it’s hard to believe that debut ‘Aldo Nova’ was little more than a collection of demo’s. Obviously inspired by the good work the budding composer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist had done thus far, the powers that be basically left him to it, and boy did it reap rich rewards! Kicking off with the bubbly ‘Fantasy’ (which hit the charts with a bullet ahead of the album) was a masterstroke; not only did it set the tone for the whole album, it summed Aldo’s philosophy up in five minutes ... brash, bouncy guitar driven hard rock with the kind of melodic sensibility most pop bands would sell their first Smash Hits cover for!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Like most Canadian acts he seemed to possess the kind of mainstream crossover savvy the majority of US bands then lacked (at least until Bon Jovi); tracks such as the sassy ‘See The Light’ (always loved that guitar solo!), ‘Hot Love’, ‘Ball And Chain’ and ‘Foolin’ Yourself’ all deftly tailored for the kind of MTV audience that dominated the latter half of the decade ... Aldo had arrived!

Strange then that the following autumn sophomore album ‘Subject: Aldo Nova’ risked pulling the rug from under everything he’d built. Met with a fairly lukewarm response at the time, ‘Subject...’ was an altogether more sophisticated beast with a strong interwoven lyrical theme ... remember, ‘concept’ albums were viewed with steely eyed suspicion by mainstream rock audiences at that time. However, with hindsight it has turned out to be by far the most enduring of all his albums, tracks such as the punchy ‘Cry Baby Cry’, ‘Hold Back The Night’ and ‘Monkey On Your Back’ the defining pinnacle of his career. Everything about it just fits ... the arrangements, the technicianship, the hooks and melodies, the interplay between songs, all brilliant!

Remastered to the usual standards and lavishly packaged around Malcolm Dome’s pearls of wisdom, both albums evoke fond memories of more exciting times.

Dave Cockett

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