So Aldo Nova’s Subject was released way back in 1983 and it wasn’t until this year (well a few weeks ago to be honest with you) that I heard Subject in its entirety for the first time!
Ummm that’s like 35 years later!! Yikes but better late than never right?
Aldo’s self titled album from 1981 took off like a rocket especially with Fantasy that went bonkers on radio and video as Fantasy was tune about a dealer and ton of cocaine…
Fast forward to 1983 and Aldo has a song on Subject titled Monkey On Your Back about heroin. Say what you want about blow and smack but Nova wrote two great tracks about em..
I’m getting ahead here…
So Subject once again features a bunch of tunes written and performed by Aldo who basically does everything but the drums and bass on some of this album. Impressive to say the least.
1983 spawned a couple of concept records. One being “Subject” of course the other being Kilroy was Here by Styx. Both of these albums didn’t take the world by storm at the time. Perhaps timing more than anything right? Dunno for sure… Betcha the Suits at the Company wanted Aldo to write a few more Fantasy like numbers to drive sales but it wasn’t meant to be….
When listening to Subject in 2018 its a pretty good listen. Yeah some drum machines and kooky synth blasts are spread throughout but that was the deal back in 83. Aldo could have rehashed the 81 debut but that wasn’t going to happen here and that’s probably why myself like many others ignored Subject on the first go round in not giving it a chance but it being 1983 allowance could only be spread so far so Subject was one of those albums that I overlooked and then when the Twitch album came out in 85 my buddy Muc bought it. I borrowed it. Spun it and returned it. Aldo in my eyes sold out.
Subject was guilty by association with its relation to Twitch. Oh well better late than never…
Now onto the album itself….
Subject being Aldo himself looks like some futuristic vibe going on with Aldo. Tripping into another reality perhaps or some kind post apocalypse setting.
Subject is loaded with 14 tracks spread over 41 minutes of music. Mind you 7 of those tracks clock just over 6 minutes as they are short interludes that segue into the longer songs.
Monkey On your Back is the first actual track on Subject and as I mentioned earlier its about as an anti heroin song as any and kudos to Aldo as who was writing this stuff back in 83. ‘Monkey’ is a superb track with Aldo telling the story about Timmy/Sally and Big Willy! Nova had a knack for telling stories in his songs and this track is another one of those. Chorus is fantastic…
Hey! How about a shout out to Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch whose song Hey Operator is covered on Subject. Aldo speeds it up with an almost futuristic vibe in the sonics driving this tune. Pretty decent cover version and a surprise one at that as Coney’s version of this song only came out a year earlier in 1982!
Cry Baby Cry is a tour de force circa 83 featuring Aldo ripping out solos quicker than Mr Books shouting ‘SLAYER’ while also delivering a good verse and chorus to go along with it!
Yup you guessed it …Victim of a Broken Heart is the prototype ballad that would have fit perfectly on Side 2 Boston’s ‘Third Stage’ opus. It’s not a bad track but Aldo man he had to appease the Suits. The Record Company Hacks probably all gave a round of high fives and wondered why it was snowing inside Company Hq’s! HAHA…
Hold Back The Night would have been some more good radio play fodder. Aldo had a knack for writing tracks that could get on the radio. Hold Back The Night could have filled this prerequisite.
Actually the whole rest of the second side is AOR Hard Rock. Always Be Mine/All Night Long and album closer Paradise fit this bill to a ‘T’!
Aldo I have no idea what he thinks of this album now in 2018. I for one think its a fantastic effort and a worthy followup to the debut that sold like crazy.
Give Nova his due he could have rehashed a bunch of tunes and just made a Side 3 & 4 of the debut but chose to go down a Concept path that many did not get or want to get the time( Deke raises his hand shamelessly).
Make no mistake though Aldo steps up plays some blistering guitar along with his songwriting and don’t judge this album by the outdated album cover folks….
Boston wishes they could have made this kind of album instead of Third Stage!