ALDO NOVA – Subject: Aldo Nova [Rock Candy remaster]
With the just released ‘2.0’ the great ALDO NOVA is back in the business, and you need to check out the very good remastered reissues by Rock Candy Records, like this personal favorite, “Subject: Aldo Nova”, his second LP.
In the early ’80s Nova secured a publishing deal and then a recording contract with Portrait Records through CBS. His self-produced, self titled debut album contained some material from his earlier demo sessions and garnered two hit singles which pushed record sales over a million copies worldwide.
For “Subject: Aldo Nova” he decided to go for something different adding short instrumentals between the actual songs, including lots of synthesizers and effects. This move was quite criticized by the press at the time arguing that affected the disc flow…
Wrong. “Subject: Aldo Nova” is a cult classic AOR album from the Eighties, imaginative, catchy, highly melodic.
The first three tracks: “Subject’s Theme”, “Armageddon (Race Cars)” and “Armageddon” all form one cool instrumental piece with keyboards galore and fine guitar playing, landing into the first real song on the album; the radio hit rocker ‘Monkey On Your Back”, a fan favorite. It is an anti-drug warning, very heavy with an equal quota of stylized keyboard effects and hard backing riffs.
“Cry Baby Cry” is full on melodic hard rock, with some of the wilder guitar work heard in the AOR pantheon. The solo is brief, but a burst of fury. Melody is all over the place, Nova pushing the listener to levels of disbelief.
Next we have a cover of Coney Hatch’s “Hey Operator”. I love Nova’s version, instantly catchy and breezy.
Then we reach “Victim Of A Broken Heart”, arguably Nova’s best ballad ever, a stunning melodic tune with great atmosphere, getting it just right with the gut wrenching synths and guitar solo.
“Hold Back The Night” and “Always Be Mine” score big on choruses with varying invasions of synthesizer that are borderline genius. “All Night Long” is an uplifting, memorable melodic rocker, a manual for aspiring players wanting to understand interplay perfectly, just listen opening 30 seconds trade off riffs and keys to perfection.
The album ends with a trilogy of sorts, starting with the short pounding “War Suite” and then breaking into “Prelude To Paradise” and “Paradise”. The latter two tracks have the same theme as the opening number to the album, a kind of slow-paced, synth heavy melodic numbers which end the album on a high note.
“Subject: Aldo Nova” is a pure Eighties AOR / MR record with a rocking emphasis, rich in sophisticated keyboards, melodies, precise arrangements and carefully crafted instrumentation, featuring the likes of Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Arc Angel), Billy Carmassi (Streetheart) and David Sikes (Giuffria, Boston) among others.
“Subject: Aldo Nova” only hit 56 on Billboard and was not a big seller as Aldo’s debut. Nova claimed CBS failed to promote it properly, put the blame on the music industry and retired from music for nearly two years.
The notion that this failed on musical terms is absurd and an insult to anyone who understands what good AOR should be: sumptuous glossy melodies. On that note ‘Subject’ is an ’80s classic to me.
By the way, this is a very good remaster by Rock Candy.
01 – Subject’s Theme
02 – Armageddon (Race Cars)
03 – Armageddon
04 – Monkey On Your Back
05 – Hey Operator
06 – Cry Baby Cry
07 – Victim Of A Broken Heart
08 – Africa (Primal Love)
09 – Hold Back The Night
10 – Always Be Mine
11 – All Night Long
12 – War Suite
13 – Prelude To Paradise
14 – Paradise
Aldo Nova – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Producer
David Sikes, Neil Jason, Steve Buslowe – Bass
Chuck Burgi – Drums
Billy Carmassi – Drums, Tom Tom, Backing Vocals
Kevin Carlson – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dennis Chartrand – guest Piano
BUY IT !