Loverboy is a Canadian rock group that formed in 1980 in Calgary, Alberta. Throughout the 1980s, Loverboy became one the best-selling rock bands in North America, rolling out numerous hit songs in both Canada and the United States. It produced four multi-platinum albums and sold millions of records. Loverboy was at first rejected by many U.S. labels before finally signing on with Columbia Records Canada, thereupon recording their first album on March 20, 1980 with lead vocalist Mike Reno, Paul Dean as guitarist, Scott Smith as bassist, Doug Johnson on keyboards, and Matt Frenette on drums. Loverboy’s hit singles, such as “Turn Me Loose,” and “Working for the Weekend,” are now part of the rock canon, and can still be heard on many classic rock radio stations across the United States and Canada.
Loverboy was born out of ordinary circumstances. It all got its start in Calgary when Mike Reeno (formerly of the band Moxy) was introduced to Paul Dean (formerly of the band Streetheart) at the Refinery Night Club. Dean was rehearsing a new band in a warehouse with a friend of Reno’s, and Mike had stopped by to jam. Reno and dean wrote songs together over the next several weeks on guitar and drums. At the same time, Doug Johnson,working with another band at the time, joined in, and Loverboy was born.
To help meet Canadian content laws, Loverboy signed on with Columbia Records Canada. On March 20, 1980, Loverboy went into thee studio with producer Bruce Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock and recorded their first self-titled album.
An enormous hit over that summer, Loverboy sold over 700,000 records in Canada alone. Obviously realizing that Loverboy had something going on, Columbia Records of the United States decided to sign the band for a release in the U.S. Loverboy’s album made its American debut in November 1980 and went on to sell two million copies. Massive touring followed that year, with Loverboy putting on over 200 shows with bands such as Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Kansas, and Def Leppard.
“Get Lucky,” Loverboy’s follow-up album was released that year, perfectly timed when the band was opening for Journey, containing the hit tracks “Working for the Weekend” and “When It’s Over.” This was Loverboy’s best selling album in the U.S., hitting the #7 slot on the Billboard album charts and selling over four million copies. The luck kept up that year again, with Loverboy receiving five Juno Awards, Canada’s highest award in music, in one year; this record still stands today. Loverboy would go on to receive three more Junos, raising the total to eight, the most received by a single group or individual.
Since those early triumphs, Loverboy has made other conquests. In 1984, Loverboy recorded the United States Team theme for the Olympics, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop You Now.” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” Loverboy’s fourth album, was released in 1985, with its title single “This Could Be The Night,” becoming their first U.S. Billboard top 10 hit.
Loverboy had one breakup in 1988 due to the departure of Doug Johnson and creative differences between Dean and Reno. The group briefly reunited in 1989 to promote the band itself (with Valentino Dominelli on keyboards in Johnson’s place), but broke up again at the tour’s end. Loverboy reunited again in 1991.
2005, Loverboy celebrated 25 years together, and began to perform in selected cities to commemorate this milestone.
In 2006, twenty-five years after its release, “Get Lucky” was remastered and re-released with several previously unreleased songs, including the original demo of “Working for the Weekend.”
Loverboy continues to tour throughout the United States, and the band will be inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame during the 2009 Juno Awards.
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