Author Topic: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?  (Read 22387 times)

Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« on: April 15, 2004, 09:53:00 am »
Some of us, at one point or another, have actually wondered, "Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?" Well, apparently he's living a fine life in Ireland, having recently written songs for the likes of Faith Hill, Celine Dion, and American Idol's Clay Aiken. He also produced Dion's A New Day Has Come. For those of us who remember Nova fondly, we're glad to hear he's doing well, even if he seems to have found strange, even surreal, creative bedfellows.
 
 For the rest of you, who are going, "Who the hell is Aldo Nova?", let's jump in the wayback machine for a minute. It's 1982, right before America's finest hair spray companies began reporting record profits, before Madonna v1.0 unleashed midriff-baring scandal upon the land, and when MTV concentrated on a little thing called music. It was a time when you could have a video where you get out of a helicopter in a skin-tight leopard-skin outfit, blow doors open by shooting laser beams from your guitar, and it would be cool -- not Darkness-style camp. Oh, those heady days before Poison held us in their lacy grip!
 
 Nova figured into all of this with a little tune called "Fantasy", a visionary song (and no, I'm not being sarcastic) that merged hard rock guitar, '80s synthesizers, and pop hooks in a way that was still only a glimmer in Bon Jovi's tousled skull (Nova would actually play guitar on Bon Jovi's first hit, "Runaway", as well as on the Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory album). Sure, it starts off with a whole minute of helicopter and sci-fi sounds, but the guitar riff that kicks off "Fantasy" still holds up. Two minutes into this song and you're back in the Camaro, tooling around and singing along to your mix tape that features not only "Fantasy", but '80s hard rock stalwarts like the Scorpions' "No One Like You", Rush's "New World Man", and Dio's "Holy Diver". It's not Will Ferrell's character in Old School rocking out to Whitesnake while he works on his muscle car -- but it's close.
 
 Aldo Nova can be praised or blamed for a lot that came after in the following years (it hit Number 8 on the Billboard 200, so it it was definitely on people's radars), so in the intervening decades, some of it obviously comes across as a little dated. The guitar/keyboard combos on "Hot Love" and "See the Light" sound like they could just as easily be scoring an '80s teen comedy's triumphing-over-geeky-adversity canoe/ski/bike/foot/boat race. Even in the synthesizer-drenched "Heart to Heart", though, a furious guitar solo clues you in to the fact that Nova was a little ahead of his time. "Ball and Chain" and "Can't Stop Loving You" are picture-perfect power ballads of the sort that would soon make everyone from Dokken to Warrant very rich.
 
 To be sure, Nova benefited from them, too, but his subsequent records lacked the fire that fueled the best parts of his debut. The softer, poppier aspects of his sound would become only more pronounced, and he faded from the scene except for very sporadic album releases that failed to gain much attention. All of Nova's musical traits, though, from the hard rock riffs to the tender ballads are on Aldo Nova, and apart from his career retrospective A Portrait of Aldo Nova, this is really the only place to look for his best stuff.
 
 So it's a slightly uneasy ride listening to Aldo Nova again. The album's best songs triumph because of Nova's sense of pop hooks, his strong guitar playing, and the no-holds-barred approach he takes to the whole thing. On the other hand, it's hard to listen to some of the synthesizers, and to some of the ideas that others would quickly turn into cliches. Still, Aldo Nova definitely makes you realize that not all your guilty '80s pleasures have to be that guilty.

jmascis

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2004, 10:05:00 am »
WOW!! I haven't heard that name since my headbanging days in the 80's (thankfully I grew out of it).
 Can't you see life is just a fantasy!! Guess he is living his fantasy...

grotty

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2004, 10:06:00 am »
No kidding - I loved that record. Was the soundtrack to many a teenage misadventure.
 
 I've been strangely interested in some of what you've been posting lately Mr Nut Obsessed - it's like you're some kind of freaky opposite doppelganger.
 
 p.s.
 I had the Holy Diver poster on my wall freshman year of college. Big-haired Pittsburgh girls loved that sort of thing:
  <img src="http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drd600/d684/d684976934x.jpg" alt=" - " />

Bombay Chutney

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2004, 10:09:00 am »
Quote
Originally posted by jmascis:
  Can't you see life is just a fantasy!!  
Thanks.  Now that'll be stuck in my head the rest of the day.

jmascis

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2004, 10:14:00 am »
Now you will feel the same pain I am feeling right now...I knew I should've never read the original post!!!

Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2004, 10:31:00 am »
If I recall correctly, that Aldo Nova record was one of the first albums that I bought on cassette. Probably wore it out rather quickly.

Bombay Chutney

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2004, 10:39:00 am »
Quote
Originally posted by grotty:
  p.s.
 I had the Holy Diver poster on my wall freshman year of college. Big-haired Pittsburgh girls loved that sort of thing:
   <img src="http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drd600/d684/d684976934x.jpg" alt=" - " />
Yikes.  My college roommate played this constantly. His poster-of-choice was Iron Maiden though. Maybe it was a PA thing.

grotty

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2004, 10:41:00 am »
My first 2 cassette purchases were:
 Sammy Hagar ~ Standing Hampton
 Donnie Iris ~ King of Cool
 
 My first 8-track purchase was:
 Kiss ~ Rock N Roll Over...a piece of music that changed my life.
 
 Incidentally - I once saw Bon Jovi open for the great Donnie Iris. As it should be.
 
 Man...that's some shady past.    :o

Guiny

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2004, 10:44:00 am »
I remember the name Aldo Nova, i just dont think i listened to him/them.

grotty

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2004, 10:45:00 am »
Quote
Originally posted by Skeeter:
  Yikes.  My college roommate played this constantly. His poster-of-choice was Iron Maiden though. Maybe it was a PA thing.
I'm now a mostly recovered head-banger, but I did go see the Motorhead/Dio/Iron Maiden show last summer. It was fun(ny).

Relaxer

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2004, 05:01:00 pm »
'Holy Diver' is a classic metal album, no two ways about it. If Ronnie James hadn't been so short and such a complete dick, Dio would've been the Black Sabbath of the '80s.
oword

ggw

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2004, 05:21:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by Relaxer:
  'Holy Diver' is a classic metal album, no two ways about it. If Ronnie James hadn't been so short and such a complete dick, Dio would've been the Black Sabbath of the '80s.
Wasn't Heaven and Hell Black Sabbath's biggest selling album?

grotty

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2004, 05:57:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by ggw?:
     
Quote
Originally posted by Relaxer:
  'Holy Diver' is a classic metal album, no two ways about it. If Ronnie James hadn't been so short and such a complete dick, Dio would've been the Black Sabbath of the '80s.
Wasn't Heaven and Hell Black Sabbath's biggest selling album? [/b]
Could be - I don't know where to check that stuff.
 
 I do agree with Relaxer though. I love the original Black Sabbath (and think that they are one of the most overlooked influential bands ever - too bad Ozzy is doing his best to soil their legacy), but you can make a pretty sweet solid mix tape out of Heaven & Hell and the Mob Rules.
 
 Dio is a borderline midget. Er, vertically deficient.

ggw

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2004, 06:02:00 pm »
I was disappointed that this campaign never took off.

grotty

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Re: Whatever happened to Aldo Nova?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2004, 06:12:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by ggw?:
  I was disappointed that this campaign never took off.
I think there is a proven strong correlation between height & leaders.
 
 That's probably what derailed the Dio campaign. Other than that he seems to be perfect presidental material. Likely first State of the Union address (read in falsetto voice):
 
 Close the city and tell the people that something's coming to call
 Death and darkness are rushing forward to take a bite from the wall, oh
 You've nothing to say, they're breaking away
 If you listen to fools, the mob rules
 The mob rules
 Kill the spirit and you'll be blinded, the end is always the same
 Play with fire, you burn your fingers and lose your hold of the flame, oh
 It's over, it's done, the end is begun
 If you listen to fools, the mob rules
 You've nothing to say, oh they're breaking away
 If you listen to fools
 Break the circle and stop the movement, the wheel is thrown to the ground
 Just remember it might start rolling and take you right back around
 You're all fools
 The mob rules