Debut: 1980, Vancouver
Years Most Active: 1980-1987
Mike Reno (lead vocals)
Matthew Frenette (drums)
Scott Smith (bass)
Paul Dean (guitars, vocals)
Doug Johnson (keys)
“Turn Me Loose” (1981)
- Juno Award in 1982 for Song of the Year
- #28 on CHUM FM’s Year-End Chart (1981)
Top 40 Hits:
- “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”, 1981
- “Working for the Weekend”, 1981
- “When It’s Over”, 1982
- “Hot Girls in Love”, 1983
- “Queen of the Broken Hearts”, 1983
- “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, 1985
- “Heaven in Your Eyes”, 1986
- “Notorious”, 1987
“Almost Paradise“, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson of Heart (1984)
- #1 Hit
- Featured in the film Footloose
1980: Loverboy, 5x Platinum, Juno Award in 1982 for Album of the Year
1981: Get Lucky, 3x Platinum, Juno Award in 1983 for Album of the Year
1983: Keep It Up, 2x Platinum
1985: Lovin’ Every Minute of It
- 9 Top 40 Singles
- 3 Multi-Platinum albums
- Juno Award for Best Group for 3 consecutive years (1982-84)
- Sold 10 million copies of their first 3 albums by 1984
- Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2009)
After he was kicked out of Streetheart, Vancouver guitarist Paul Dean wanted to form his own band. His agent introduced him to Mike Rynoski (later Reno). Although he was a drummer, Dean liked his singing and the two began writing songs together. They recruited classically-trained keyboardist Doug Johnson, DalBello bassist Scott Smith, and ex-Streetheart drummer Matthew Frenette. The quintet was formed and introduced through a mutual friend to manager Bruce Allen. This led to their opening for Kiss at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver in 1979.
In 1980, the band released its debut, self-titled album, and scored hits with the slickly produced (Bruce Fairbairn) and masterfully engineered (Bob Rock) singles “Turn Me Loose” and “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”. The former topped the charts in Vancouver, cracked the Top 10 in Toronto and was an even bigger hit in Australia and New Zealand than in Canada. It was awarded Song of the Year at the 1982 Juno Awards. The album was certified platinum in both Canada and the U.S. and won the Juno for album of the year. It was to eventually go 5x Platinum in Canada.
Loverboy’s second album, Get Lucky, did slightly better in the U.S. than in Canada and spawned the hits “Working for the Weekend” (Peak: #10) and “When It’s Over” (Peak: #18). Aside from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, Loverboy was ignored internationally. They attempted to change this by performing on TV variety shows and engaging in tours of Europe and Japan, but all to no avail.
Keep It Up, the band’s third album (1983), bolstered by the hits “Hot Girls in Love” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”, was certified double platinum in both Canada and the U.S. The band began touring with the some of the biggest names in the business: Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Prism, Foreigner, ZZ Top, and Journey.
In 1984 Reno recorded “Almost Paradise” with Ann Wilson of Heart for the film Footloose. It was a #1 hit.
Fairbairn began work with Bon Jovi and Loverboy opted for Tom Allom of Judas Priest to produce their fourth album, Lovin’ Every Minute of It. The new harder sound did not sit as well with the public as their previous efforts, and Loverboy’s fortunes began to slip. In 1986, the band contributed the song “Heaven in Your Eyes” to the Top Gun soundtrack. The following year, with the return of Fairbairn, they released the uninspired Wildside album, which just managed to go gold. It was settled by band members that they had run out of steam and decided to part ways.
Mike Reno and Paul Dean recorded solo projects. Matthew Frenette joined forced with Tom Cochrane. Scott Smith became a dee-jay for CFOX FM 99 in Vancouver and became a booking agent for the Sam Feldman Agency. Doug Johnson began writing for TV and radio soundtracks. In 2000, bassist Scott Smith was swept overboard from a large wave during a ride on his boat along the California coast. His body was never located despite extensive searches by the U.S. Coast Guard; he was presumed drowned.
In 2009, Loverboy was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.