In-depth Biography With a string of three multi-platinum albums, Loverboy was one of the most successful mainstream hard rock groups of the early '80s. Comprised of vocalist Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, bassist Scott Smith, keyboardist Doug Johnson, and drummer Matthew Frenette, the band formed in Toronto, Canada, in 1980 and immediately signed with CBS Records. Later that year, their Bruce Fairbairn produced debut album appeared. Featuring the slick, hard-rocking singles "Turn Me Loose" and "The Kid Is Hot Tonite," the album went platinum in both Canada and America.
Loverboy recorded the follow-up, Get Lucky, in 1981. Driven by the anthemic "Working for the Weekend," the Fairbairn-produced record was a major success in the U.S. and Canada, yet it failed to gain an audience anywhere in Europe. Nevertheless, the band was a staple on AOR stations across North America, as well as a popular concert attraction. The band's good fortunes continued with the 1983 album Keep It Up. Again, Loverboy worked with Fairbairn, who kept their melodic yet tough sound intact; the album featured the hit single "Hot Girls In Love."
Loverboy's fortunes began to slip with 1985's Lovin' Every Minute of It, which was produced by Tom Allom (Judas Priest). Allom gave the band a harder edge, which didn't prove as commercially successful as their past records; nevertheless, the band's fans managed to make the album go platinum. Fairbairn returned from working with Bon Jovi to produce 1987's Wildside, yet the combination didn't prove as potent as before. After an extensive two-year tour, the band returned to Canada. In 1989, their greatest-hits record, Big Ones, was released. The same year Reno and Dean announced plans to make solo records, which effectively put an end to the group; a reunited lineup returned in 1998 with Live, Loud and Loose. Tragedy struck in November, 2000, when Scott Smith was swept overboard by a wave while on a boat near the California coast and he drowned. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi