This is "The Big 10 - The Essential Tracks", in which we take a closer look at particular artist's or band's back catalogue, and choose the 10 finest moments. These are our subjective choices, so if you want to ask how on earth we could leave off such and such song from the list, you can... and the answer is... because we could.

  There's something about the artwork and cover of his 1985 album 'Twitch' (a nickname given by friends to Aldo as he couldn't stop moving) that pretty much sums up the sheer fun naivity of the eighties. It's ever so bright, flashy, colourful, and with that blazer and pink guitar as the correct fashion statement (Miami Vice-style). There's absolutely nothing sinister or dark over the multi-talanted Aldo Nova, (born Aldo Caporuscio in Montreal) as he picked up a 'bad habit' of playing on all sorts of instruments and learning the trade of studio engineering in the late 70s/early 80s.

'Twitch', the fun poppy/catchy AOR album and unfortunately also the last effort by the Canadian for quite some time as he decided to opt out of his recording contract. He's basically the control freak and didn't agree with his record company towards the end. He was instead employed as Cyndi Lauper's band leader and toured with her for three years and began writing jingles for such advertisers as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Back to the beginning. Aldo was appearing for three years as George Harrison in a production of Beatlemania while burning the midnight oil in the studio (the only time he could use it for free) and cut demos that led to a contract with Portrait in 1981.

"So forget all that you see. It's not reality. It's just a fantasy". His self titled double platinum debut album came out the following year and "Fantasy" his first single, obviously inspired by 'Jane' as in performed by Starship, peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The debut is filled with sweet, fluffy, catchy, pop metal tunes or if you prefer pomp AOR? The 1983 follow-up, "Subject", originally intended as the concept album in your Mad Max-like post-nuclear wasteland (like the track 'Armageddon/Race Cars), but ended up as the more conventional sort of album.

There's the connection to Power Station and Tony Bongiovi, thus why Aldo ended up playing and helping out Tony's daft relative and this up and coming New Jersey act on their self-titled debut in 1984 (Bon Jovi). Jon would later return/repay the favour by first employing him on his solo album (Blaze Of Glory) and then producing Aldo's shortlived 'comeback' and latest proper rock album in 1991 (Blood on the Bricks) released by Jambco records (owned by Bon Jovi) and a part of Mercury. Peaking at #124 the album saw Aldo return to the charts but not in the style nor success he had hoped. He went back to producing and writing for other artists such as Céline Dion, Faith Hill, Clay Aiken, Agnes Carlsson, etc. And while we're waiting for the next pure Rock album by the man, here's the big 10...

10. Stay
9. Rumours Of You
8. Always Be Mine
7. Young Love
6. Fantasy

5. Tonite (Lift Me Up)
"I hear them over and over again. Same empty words we spoke in the dark. As I watched you leave I tried to pretend. That I was strong and we could never burn. But now I sit here alone, a fool with a bleeding heart". The opening track from 'Twitch' speak of lost love and it's basically a cry for help. Lift me up. The minor underground hit in Sweden and just a very slick piece of catchy hi-tech AOR/Pop. The first song I ever heard with the man.

4. Heartless
"If you can't see what you're doing to me. You gotta be heartless". Dut-dut keyboards and fluffy to the extreme. It's one of those catchy tunes from 'Twitch' and there's plenty more on the record. Fallen Angel. Stay. etc. It's just a very underrated album if you enjoy soft and poppy AOR. Heartless starts out with a singing guitar line by Nova and the song literally explodes during the chorus part. Simply put a great song, upbeat, uplifting, uproarious, and with a super catchy hook.

3. Monkey On Your Back
"Keep yourself clean cause the monkey plays mean. He'll put a knife in your back, then the man in the black will show you a dragon that bites and you'll wind up with a". ... Monkey On Your Back! The sad drug story about Timmy that end up with "A hole in his arm at night. Where all the money goes. The single release from 'Subject' and the video was in rotation on MTV for a time. "Well now listen everybody. Cause there's a moral to the story. Clean up your act. Get the monkey off your back or you'll be sorry". Bon Jovi copied the formula and sound on their first two albums - dirty monkey.

2. If Looks Could Kill
Several other groups such as Mötley Crue and Heart recorded songs about looks that kill. A very popular 'Subject' in the mid eighties. This however is from the 'Twitch' album and quite simply, a great track, with a superb hook and lead guitar solo and work by Nova and the killer line "So look out - You better watch out for her - cuz if looks could kill". Summer fun song that will always lift you up.

1. Touch Of Madness
"Here she comes. Lookin' like a red corvette. Movin' like she owns the street. She's gonna be the death of me yet". The best song of all the Aldo Nova/Jon Bon Jovi co-writes on Blood On The Bricks. I've always enjoyed the line: "I'm just as bad as Brando", even though it might seem kind of silly now. Sadly a bit too late as the musical wind and direction had already changed and people weren't looking for these catchy melodic tunes at the moment.

This list by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,

The list as a YouTube playlist

Individual lists:

Kimmo Toivonen:

10. Ball and Chain
9. Hey Ronnie (Veronica's Song)
8. Can't Stop Lovin' You
7. Rumours Of You
6. Cry Baby Cry
5. All Night Long
4. Tonite (Lift Me Up)
3. Heartless
2. Touch Of Madness
1. Young Love


(c) 2015 RockUnited.Com


10. Cry Baby Cry
9. Fantasy
8. Rumours Of You
7. All Night Long
6. Monkey On Your Back
5. If Looks Could Kill
4. Tonite (Lift Me Up)
3. Young Love
2. Heartless
1. Touch Of Madness