ALDO NOVA – Subject: Aldo Nova [Rock Candy remaster]

ALDO NOVA - Subjec t: Aldo Nova [Rock Candy remaster]  full

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.

ALDO NOVA - Subjec t: Aldo Nova [Rock Candy remaster]  booklet

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.

ALDO NOVA - Subjec t: Aldo Nova [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

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.

ALDO NOVA - Subjec t: Aldo Nova [Rock Candy remaster] back cover

“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


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1 Response

  1. txGreg says:

    I liked the first album when it came out, and liked this one just as much when I got it. Critics in the press often leave me puzzled.

    True story: In college, the dorm I lived in and the one next to us were both "L" shaped buildings, facing each other like a broken apart rectangle. A time or two each semester, our dorm directors would allow us to blow off some steam by having "music wars" between the two buildings.

    My roommate one year and I both had complete stereo systems at school. We each had 200+ watt amps (220 for me, 250 for him) and Cerwin-Vega speakers (12" and 15"). We split the signal from my CD player into both amps, propped the speakers in the window and blasted out "Subject's Theme", "Armageddon (Race Cars)" and "Armageddon" as loud as we could.

    People outside our building, 2 floors down on the sidewalk claimed they could feel the vibrations through their feet. I'm not sure about that, but every one agreed we largely won the battle for our dorm single-handedly. We also noticed a rather large crack in one of our window panes… I do know I also sold a few copies of "Subject" for Aldo Nova from that night…

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