Loverboy's initial demos attracted no offers from American record labels, but Columbia
's Canadian branch signed them, and the group shortly went into the studio with producer Bruce Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock. The result was Loverboy's self-titled debut, which was an immediate hit in Canada, selling over 700,000 copies in a matter of months. Columbia
then signed Loverboy for the United States as well, and on the strength of hit singles like "The Kid Is Hot Tonight" and "Turn Me Loose," the album climbed the charts in America while the group toured hard in support. Released in 1981, Get Lucky, also produced by Fairbairn, was even more successful, spawning the band's signature tune "Working for the Weekend" and rising to the Top Ten of the Billboard
album charts. Get Lucky also won an unprecedented six Juno Awards, the Canadian music industry's highest honor. Issued in 1983, Keep It Up maintained the multi-platinum success of Loverboy's previous albums, and the band launched an eight-month world tour in support.
In 1984, Reno
took time out from the band's busy road schedule to record a duet with Ann Wilson
, "Almost Paradise," for the soundtrack to the film Footloose; it became a major hit, rising to number seven on the Billboard
singles charts. For their fourth album, 1985's Lovin' Every Minute of It, Loverboy aimed for a harder sound with the help of producer Tom Allom, best known for his work with Judas Priest
. However, while the album still fared well, it didn't sell as well as the first three LPs, and 1987's Wildside, which reunited the band with Fairbairn, was their first album not to go platinum. With sales down and Reno
and Dean experiencing creative differences, Loverboy quietly broke up in 1988. Reno
and Dean both released solo albums, and the band staged a short reunion tour in support of a 1989 greatest-hits album, Big Ones.
In 1991, Brian MacLeod of the venerable Canadian band Chilliwack
was diagnosed with cancer, and Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi
staged a benefit concert to help with his medical expenses. Loverboy, who had worked with both acts in the past, reunited to join the bill, and enjoyed the experience so much that they booked full tours for both the United States and Canada in 1992 and 1993. Changing tastes stalled the band's recording career during this period (Reno
has told more than one reporter, "Nirvana killed my career"), but in 1997, Loverboy returned to the studio to record VI, their first studio effort in ten years, and the band continued to tour periodically until November 30, 2000, when Scott Smith died as the result of a boating accident. In 2001, the band launched a tour dedicated to Smith, with new member Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve (formerly with Tom Cochrane
, Red Rider
, and Streethear
t) joining in on bass.
The same year, the band released Live, Loud & Loose, a collection of concert recordings taped between 1982 and 1986. A 25th anniversary tour was staged in 2005, and in 2007, Loverboy issued their seventh studio album, Just Getting Started. Loverboy were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2009, and in 2012 the band reunited with engineer Bob Rock to record a pair of new songs, "Heartbreaker" and "No Tomorrow." These two tracks, along with a third new tune, were featured on the album Rock ‘n' Roll Revival, which combined the new numbers with fresh studio recordings of nine Loverboy favorites. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi