Aldo Nova - Subject

Aldo Nova – Subject

85 / 100

‘Subject’ maybe Aldo Nova’s best work. Taken at face value its spotless AOR. This time around Nova employed a band after undertaking the first album almost single handedly.

Written by: Dangerzone

ARTIST: Aldo Nova
ALBUM: Subject: Aldo Nova
LABEL: Portrait
SERIAL: FR 38721
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Aldo Nova – vocals, guitar, keyboards, producer * Kevin Carlson – guitar, backing vocals * Dennis Chartrand – piano * David Sikes, Neil Jason, Steve Buslowe – bass * Chuck Burgi – drums * Billy Carmassi – drums, tom tom, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 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



Is this the first thumbs up review for ‘Subject’? It seems to have become accepted in AOR’s history that it was a poor follow up to the classic debut. The main complaint is its concept approach, supposedly concerning dreams and imagination.

There is also the alleged overuse of synthesizers and instrumentals. This unfair reasoning makes ‘Subject’ more than maligned. It’s quite the classic in truth, maybe Aldo Nova’s best work. Taken at face value its spotless AOR. This time around Nova employed a band after undertaking the first album almost single handedly.

The Songs

The concept is loose. Unless you know what it is, it’s certainly not apparent. Better to ignore it and appreciate the songs individually. ‘Monkey On Your Back’ 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 hard rock, with some of the wilder guitar work heard in the AOR pantheon (bad, bad word). The solo is brief, but a burst of fury. Melody is all over the place, Nova pushing the listener to levels of disbelief! ‘Victim Of A Broken Heart’ is a stunning ballad, one of the best these ears has heard. Strong 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’ should contain a manual for aspiring players wanting to understand interplay perfectly. The opening 30 seconds trade off riffs and keys to perfection. The instrumentals are quite similar, all keyboard dominated wizardry with ace guitar soloing.

In Summary

‘Subject’ only hit 56 on Billboard and was discarded as a flop. Nova claimed CBS failed to promote it properly as rebuttal. The notion that this failed on musical terms is absurd and an insult to anyone who understands what good AOR should be. And that is sumptuous melody. On that note ‘Subject’ is faultless. It’s time the history books were rewritten.


Monkey On Your Back

Aldo Nova - Monkey on Your Back

Hold Back The Night
Aldo Nova - Hold Back The Night

Entire Album (Select Tracks)
Playlist: Aldo Nova Subject
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