Archive for Aldo Nova

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Dokken- Breaking the Chains

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2017 by 80smetalman

dokken_-_breaking_the_chains

Before I get lynched for stating that the 1983, “Breaking the Chains” album was Dokken’s debut album, I will be the first to point out that this album was released in Europe two years earlier. I didn’t discover this fact until 1986 when I went over to the Continent. Therefore, like many Americans, I assumed that the 1983 effort was their debut. However, for parity, I will make it a point to listen to the earlier version and take notes on any differences.

Even when this album did come to my attention, I didn’t go out and buy it straight away. Reason being was that my friend and heavy metal officianado, Frank Formica, had seen them live supporting Aldo Nova and Blue Oyster Cult and fed back that he wasn’t impressed. He stated that it was like watching a puppet show in regards to how they moved on stage and that only about thirty people were getting into them. This meant that I gave “Breaking a Chains” a miss and didn’t actually listen to it until after their third album.

Now I would like to say that the debut album was a blinder of an album and I was a fool for not picking it up in 1983. I’m afraid I am cemented in the belief that their next two albums after were strides better. However, you have to start somewhere and “Breaking the Chains” was a good a springboard as any. There are some decent songs on here, my favourite being the title cut, which would still be a strong track if it had appeared on one of the later albums. Other stand out tracks for me are “Felony,” “Live to Rock, (Rock to Live),” “Nightrider” and “Stick to Your Guns.” In addition, “In the Middle” has been growing on me recently. But one thing I can say about most of the tracks here is that guitarist George Lynch is already showing his magic on the six string and this, like the later albums, would continue to improve with age.

Track Listing:

  1. Breaking the Chains
  2. In the Middle
  3. Felony
  4. I Can’t See You
  5. Live to Rock, (Rock to Live)
  6. Nightrider
  7. Seven Thunders
  8. Young Girls
  9. Stick to Your Guns
  10. Paris is Burning
Dokken

Dokken

I couldn't find a picture of the band with Juan Crocier in it so I've included a solo shot.

I couldn’t find a picture of the band with Juan Crocier in it so I’ve included a solo shot.

Don Dokken- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

George Lynch- lead guitar

Juan Crocier- bass, backing vocals

Wild Mick Brown- drums

As any metal historian worth his salt can tell you, Juan Crocier would leave the band and go to newer pastures. No prizes for guessing which band he would end up with. While I like the album, the lack of commercial success of “Breaking the Chains” had the band Elektra label considering dropping them. While history would go on to prove that the decision to give them another chance was the right one, we nearly lost them after one album and we would have been denied the better ones.

Next post: Heaven- Where Angels Fear to Tread

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Aldo Nova- Subject…Aldo Nova

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2016 by 80smetalman

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“Subject…Aldo Nova” was the follow up to Aldo’s much adored debut album. The big question will always be: Was it as good as the first? At first, I was tempted to answer no but after a few more listens, I’m not so sure. On “Subject,” Aldo does go for a more commercial 1980s sound and therefore it’s not as hard rock as the debut. However, the hard stuff definitely does not totally disappear on the album. Maybe he was under pressure from the record company to go for a more commercially viable sound but I can’t say. It’s still a very good album nonetheless.

The first three tracks are all space rock sounding instrumentals which can easily be blended into a single track. These tracks tell you from the outset that “Subject” is going to be a little different. “Monkey On Your Back” does bring things back to what I liked about the first album. In fact, it reminds me quite a bit of “Fantasy” so you know it’s a cool song. From there, things go even harder with the next two songs and he definitely nails the guitar solo on “Cry Baby Cry.”

Further evidence that Aldo is not trying to veer too far away from the first album’s format comes with the first power ballad, “Victim of a Broken Heart.” Unfortunately, this song is more ballad and less power but he still manages to land another great guitar solo which saves the song for me. Then comes the thirty-nine second “Africa (Primal Love)” which has me wondering: Was this necessary? Personally, I don’t see the point of it being included here but hey ho, things return to normal with “Hold Back the Night.” The big difference here was that there is a bit of barely audible talking in the middle which made me stop what I was doing and listen intently to hear what he was saying. I still couldn’t make it out. But there’s another cool guitar solo after so who cares?

“Always Be Mine” ventures back into the realm of more commercial rock so I’m assuming that it was an intended single. The chorus is rather catchy so that’s a feather in its cap. After “All Night Long,” which is more synth sounding but starts with a good solo, the album kind of goes out the same way it came in, with two short instrumentals only the final track, “Paradise” is a full length song and a bit of a power ballad but the guitar solo does take the album out on an absolute high. All in all, “Subject” doesn’t quite climb to the heights reached by its predecessor but still gets pretty high up the mountain.

Track Listing:

  1. Subject’s Theme
  2. Armageddon (Race Cars)
  3. Armageddon
  4. Monkey On Your Back
  5. Hey Operator
  6. Cry Baby Cry
  7. Victim of a Broken Heart
  8. Africa (Primal Love)
  9. Hold Back the Night
  10. Always Be Mine
  11. All Night Long
  12. War Song
  13. Prelude to Paradise
  14. Paradise
Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova- guitars, vocals

Billy Carmassi- drums

David Sikes- bass on track 5

Neal Jason- bass on tracks 8,9,10 and 12

Steve Buslowe- bass on track 11

Dennis Chartrand- piano

Chuck Burgi- drums on track 10

Kevin Carlson- 2nd guitar solo on tracks 3 and 12

Aldo Nova had hit the ground running with his debut album and still going strong on “Subject.” It seemed as far as American commercial rock was concerned, he would disappear but I can’t help thinking that his other albums are as good as his first two.

Next post: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- Album

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Aldo Nova

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2016 by 80smetalman

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When my household finally caught up with the times in 1983 and got MTV, the video for the big single, “Fantasy,” from Canadian rocker Aldo Nova’s debut album received a fair amount of airplay. Okay, it may not have been played as much as Big Country’s “In a Big Country” or the full twenty minute video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” but I saw it a good few times. Naturally, I assumed that the song was current. It was only later that I discovered that the song and the album were actually released over a year earlier. Therefore, this was another great album that came out in 1982, which I missed on account of my commitments to the military back then. It is also the reason why I am still posting it for 1983. I guess I should be grateful to MTV or else I might have missed it all together.

Even before I first saw the video for “Fantasy,” Aldo Nova was making a name for himself in metal circles back then. He supported giants Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult on two different tours and the reports I received from my friend and my sister was that he was pretty good. That, along with the single I heard, was enough grounds to explore the debut album and what a wise decision that turned out to be.

In typical 1982 fashion, the album opens with the big single but like so many other great rock and metal albums from that year, the rest of the album carries on very well. In the case of Aldo, the tracks “Hot Love” and “It’s Too Late” keep me headbanging away. Both are great rocking gems. Then comes the power ballad, “Ball and Chain” and it is this track that has forced me to put Aldo Nova into the category of deeply under appreciated guitarists. He really rips his solo here. “Ball and Chain” also has me pondering something else. This song, along with April Wine’s “Just Between You and Me” and the Killer Dwarfs’ “Fire In Your Eyes,” has me thinking that maybe Canadian bands are the best at power ballads. Something to debate anyway.

It would have been wrong of me to say that the album picks up after the power ballad because it never really slowed down. Still, “Heart to Heart” is a great song and in metal power, I put it between the power ballad and first three tracks. Following it is what sounds for me was a definitely intended AOR single, “Fooling Yourself.” However, the chorus is quite catchy so I don’t blame him for this one. Even more so because the next track, “Under the Gun” is the best rocking track on the album complete with another great guitar solo.

The album seems to slow down a great deal after that. I wouldn’t call “You’re My Love” and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” power ballads, just ballads although the latter has a cool guitar solo reminding me of why I added Aldo to my ever growing list of underrated guitarists. I would like to say that the album closes with a blinder but I really can’t say that about “See the Light.” The song reminds me of something you would hear from a nightclub band. It is done very well and sounds good despite being keyboard dominated but with all the harder tracks, I found myself straining in anticipation for a power chord that never comes. It’s only Aldo’s guitar solo that saves it for me and that gets me into the song at the end. While the last three songs may not measure up to the rest of the album in my view, those other seven songs are more than enough to make this album a great one.

Track Listing:

  1. Fantasy
  2. Hot Love
  3. It’s Too Late
  4. Ball and Chain
  5. Heart to Heart
  6. Fooling Yourself
  7. Under the Gun
  8. You’re My Love
  9. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
  10. See the Light
Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova- vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizers, keyboards

Dennis Chartrand- piano

Michel Pelo- bass

Robert Biagioni- bass

Michael La Chapelle- drums, percussion

Terry Martel- drums, percussion

Daniel Barbe- backing vocals

Dwight Druck- backing vocals

Thank God for MTV is all I can say. While their playing of the video for “Fantasy” may have misled me as to when Aldo Nova’s first album came out, it did give me the opportunity to actually discover Aldo and listen to the album. Something I will always be glad about.

Next post: Aldo Nova- Subject Aldo Nova

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London