Aldo Nova

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova

 

Born in Montreal as Aldo Caporuscio, Aldo Nova left his mark in Canadian rock the unconventional way. He didn't learn to play guitar until age 15. But inspired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix as well as jazz, he immersed himself in the guitar with what would become his characteristic obsessiveness, practicing non-stop.

By 1980 Nova was working in a production of Beatlemania, playing George Harrison, a gig that would last three years. By this time he was not only considered a local guitar hero, he was also quite proficient on the piano as well. During his off-time from being the silent guitarist in the fab-four, he worked as a studio engineer in the Montreal area. Access to the equipment proved vital to his future success. It was during the long studio sessions by himself afterhours that he layed the foundations to what would become his debut lp. His time in the studios also helped hone his skills behind the boards, experience which would prove invaluable.

By '82 Nova had landed a publishing deal, then a recording deal with Portrait Records. Impressed by the raw feel of the demos done over the last couple of years, many of the songs on Nova's self-titled debut that year were put on as is, uncut and untouched. Portrait showed their confidence in the young talent by allowing him to serve as producer, still an uncommon practice for new acts to this day. Along with drummer Michel Lachapelle, Nova put out one of Canada's greatest debut records, burning with the passion of someone who's going to set the rock world on fire or go down in flames trying. It eventually reached platinum, and contained the hits "Foolin' Yourself", "Heart To Heart", the tender ballad "Ball and Chain" and the mega-classic about the seedier side of life in the city, "Fantasy". A complete unknown at the start of the year, Aldo Nova was a household name across Canada and already making a strong impression in the States as well by summer.

Though his first record sold over a million copies in Canada alone, the critics seemed unimpressed with Nova, particularly Rolling Stone which passed him off as "all flash and no substance". Though publicly he wasn't phased by the remarks, it's likely he was still smarting when he went into the studios to finish his second record SUBJECT ... ALDO NOVA. Finally hitting the shelves in late '83, it was originally intended as a concept album set in a post-holocaust waste-land. But he eventually molded it into a more conventional album, with the hit "Monkey On Your Back", about someone's struggle with substance abuse long before it was 'hip' to just say no. Relying more on synthesizers, SUBJECT's moodier atmosphere showed maturity in the writing, toning down the sound without compromising his penchant for rocking the house down. The blazing cover of Coney Hatch's "Hey Operator" and pounding rhythms of "Hold Back The Night" showed rare versatility and sophistication. Commendable considering he still played most of the instruments, despite having a full backup band in support of his North American tours.

Aldo Nova pretty much dropped out of sight for awhile after that, making a buck doing jingles for commercials and lending a hand to other people's projects, including Blue Oyster Cult, Michael Bolton and Lita Ford. He resurfaced in '85 with TWITCH. Aiming for what he called "a cross between rock and Don Henley", some of the blazing fury he'd become known for had been replaced with more complex texturing of more carefully thought out rhythms and beats. This was most evidenced by "Rumours Of You" and "Lay Your Love On Me". But "Erica" and "Tonight (Lift Me Up)" proved he could still shake the rafters when so inclined. Confused by the change in direction, the fans though didn't accept TWITCH like the first two records and the critics gloated in what they believed all along, that he was a flash in the pan.

Now without a record deal, he again vanished off the face of the earth not returning until the MotherShip dropped him off in 1990. Nova found himself chanting phrases not of this world and working on Jon Bon Jovi's "Blaze Of Glory". This led to being signed to Bon Jovi's Jambco Records and appearances on Strange Universe. A greatest hits package called A PORTRAIT OF ALDO NOVA was released in '91 and contained an assortment of tunes from his first three albums. His first record with Jambco was BLOOD ON THE BRICKS, released around the same time. The title track and "Medicine Man" saw Nova go back to his roots. Blazing riffs (dare we call them ... metal?) tore into your soul with a revived fury. Unfortunately, the critics passed him off as an alien love-child whose time had come and gone, which wasn't very long to begin with. The criticisms apparently hurt his feelings and he again disappeared from the spotlight for awhile, choosing to work with Celine Dion for the next few years. He again briefly re-appeared with an all-instrumental album in '96 called NOVA'S DREAM. Though critics passed it off almost unnoticingly, it quickly became a staple of the die-hard fans.

Whether or not he is an alien love-child may never be determined outside The National Enquirer. And it's believed if the MotherShip DID IN FACT come back to pick him up, we won't know until the year 2010 in the Nazca Plains during their next trip back. Though some will argue that he was a "flash in the pan", those who recognize his genius know better. And to call him "flash but no substance" is even more of an injustice. He may be best remembered for "Fantasy", but listening to his albums in depth shows the man's true versatility and talent. ... See you in Nazca ...

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox


Discography

Aldo Nova
Aldo Nova (1982)

Fantasy
Hot Love
It's Too Late
Ball And Chain
Heart To Heart
Foolin' Yourself
Under The Gun
You're My Love
Can't Stop Lovin' You
See The Light

Subject: Aldo Nova
Subject: Aldo Nova (1983)

Subject's Theme
Armageddon (Race Cars)
Armageddon
Monkey On Your Back
Hey Operator
Cry Baby Cry
Victim Of A Broken Heart
Africa (Primal Love)
Hold Back The Night
Always Be Mine
All Night Long
War Suite
Prelude To Paradise
Paradise

Twitch
Twitch (1985)

Tonite (Lift Me Up)
Rumours Of You
Surrender Your Heart
If Looks Could Kill
Heartless
Long Hot Summer
Fallen Angel
Stay
Lay Your Love On Me
Twitch

Blood On The Bricks
Blood On The Bricks (1991)

Blood On The Bricks
Medicine Man
Bang Bang
Someday
Young Love
Modern World
This Ain't Love
Hey Ronnie (Veronica's Song)
Touch Of Madness
Bright Lights

Portrait Of Aldo Nova
Portrait Of Aldo Nova (1992)

Fantasy
Hot Love
It's Too Love
Ball And Chain
Heart To Heart
Foolin' Yourself
Under The Gun
See The Light
Armageddon (Race Cars)/Armageddon
Monkey On Your Back
Hey Operator
Africa (Primal Love)/Hold Back The Night
All Night Long
Always Be MIne
Victim Of A Broken Heart
Rumours Of You
Tonight (Lift Me Up)
Lay Your Love On Me


Other Biographies

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