While researching and compiling his list of favorite albums HERC has encountered the screen depicted in the image above again and again. The latest no-show on that list is the 1980 eponymous debut album from spandex-clad, headband-wearing Canadian rockers Loverboy. To be fair, the album is not available on Rdio or MOG either. Nor is a digital version stocked on the virtual shelves of iTunes or Amazon.
HERC first witnessed the sight and sound of Loverboy on Saturday, February 21, 1981 (he didn't remeber the date so he looked it up), when they appeared on American Bandstand. They performed "Turn Me Loose" and "The Kid Is Hot Tonite" that morning. Imagine his surprise when he heard the awesome full-length album intro to "Turn Me Loose" for the first time a few weeks later when he bought the album. It wasn't until 2012 when HERC broke down and bought the promo 12" vinyl single for the song, that he came to own the forever incomplete single edit of the song.
Something about the band's sound - they had rocking guitar riffs, jumpy new wavey keyboards and a danceable rhythm section - set them apart from other groups of the day and it may be hard to believe for all the Hipsters out there but their look was so very Eighties. Totally. "Turn Me Loose" was HERC's jam and "The Kid Is Hot Tonite" wasn't too far behind.
The album almost wasn't released here in the Lower 48 as execs passed on it the first time around. Multi-Platinum sales in Canada forced them to reconsider and soon the album went multi-platinum in the States as well on the strength of its two singles. Album tracks "Prissy Prissy" and 'Teenage Overdose" were the respective b-sides to "Turn Me Loose" and 'The Kid Is Hot Tonite", both of which charted on the Hot 100 and the Mainstream Rock charts.
When the band released Get Lucky, their second album, in October 1981, HERC bought it on vinyl and proceeded to record his first and only 8-track mixtape, a compilation of Loverboy's first and second albums. Sadly, after a thorough run through the Hideaway's Audio Archives, that 8-track was not found... but plenty of others were. Maybe they'll show up in future posts.