Loverboy

Loverboy Classics: Their Greatest Hits

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The Toronto-based Loverboy, comprised of vocalist Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, bassist Scott Smith, keyboardist Doug Johnson, and drummer Matthew Frenette, was never a big hit with critics, but the band members' blend of hard-edged pop won droves of fans and kept them at the forefront of pop/rock for most of the '80s. This album contains most of their hits (excepting some more minor cuts like "Queen of the Broken Hearts"), giving a broad overview of their work. Sex was always a hot topic for the band -- think "Hot Girls in Love" -- but there is more to Loverboy than just hormones. There are also party anthems, with "Working for the Weekend" and "Turn Me Loose" being iconic in the genre. What makes this all pay off for Loverboy is that, there being nothing wrong with some harmless monster rock, as sophomoric as it can oftentimes be, the band does it with tongue firmly implanted in cheek, which is much to their advantage. If they had had any pretensions, none of the material would have worked. But being able to sing "Little girl, don't you hesitate/'Cause you're usin' live bait" with a straight face shows the band members are in on the joke. To spotlight their softer, more adult side, the band brings on "Heaven in Your Eyes" and, as a bonus, Reno's duet with Heart's Ann Wilson, "Almost Paradise," from the Footloose soundtrack, which is included, as Smith says in the liner notes, "as a way of selling more of this collection." Now who says they don't get the joke?

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