Loverboy was one of the most popular mainstream hard rock bands of the '80s, and the Canadian quintet was one of the acts who laid the foundation for Bon Jovi and the hair metal movement at the end of the decade. Always a popular live act, 2001's 14-song Live, Loud and Loose: 1982-1986 captures a boisterous period now sadly relegated to pop history: the prime time of fun-loving arena rock. The very name Loverboy ensured the band was not going to be taken seriously by critics, but that didn't matter to the millions of fans who gobbled up albums like 1980's Loverboy and 1981's Get Lucky. Vocalist Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, keyboardist Doug Johnson, bass guitarist Scott Smith, and drummer Matt Frenette crafted wonderfully catchy hits, and virtually all of them are here, including: "Working for the Weekend," "Lady of the 80s," "Take Me to the Top," "When It's Over," "Lovin' Every Minute of It," "Hot Girls in Love," "Turn Me Loose," and "The Kid Is Hot Tonight." The studio sheen is missing on these live tunes, but they still come across well in concert and Loverboy stretches a few of them out with a little jamming. Johnson's deceptively simple keyboard lines, Dean's mixture of power chords and catchy guitar licks, and Smith's bass riffs bring Reno's dramatic vocals to life. Two minor hits in the Loverboy catalog -- "Dangerous" and "Lead a Double Life" -- toss interesting twists and turns into the regular formula. The liner-notes essay was written by MTV personality Nina Blackwood, who relates funny touring stories Loverboy told her over the years. Also featured in the liner notes is a touching tribute to Smith, who died in a boating accident in 2000. Live, Loud and Loose: 1982-1986 is a nice souvenir of a lost era.
AllMusic Review by Bret Adams