TODD HOBIN BAND – Keepin’ The Dream Alive + Turn It On [CD reissue remastered]
Cult album among ’80s AOR collectors, finally “Keepin’ The Dream Alive” by the TODD HOBIN BAND has been recently remastered. Never released on CD and with the original vinyl LP almost impossible to find in good condition, fans repeatedly asked Todd – who still is active with his band – for a proper reissue.
Even better, Hobin also remastered the band’s following EP “Turn It On” (1984), another lovely slice of mid-Eighties radio-ready melodic AOR tunes.
Hailing from Syracuse, New York, singer, guitarist and songwriter Todd Hobin was part of many bands from the area, then formed the Todd Hobin Band and released its self-titled debut in 1978.
After collaborating with other artists and while performing with the band, Todd composed the material for the following LP, which was ready in 1982.
The disc, “Keepin’ The Dream Alive”, includes really fine radio friendly AOR tunes with a sound & style typical of the era, this time released under his last name – just “Hobin”.
The albums kick off with the pompy title track “Keepin’ The Dream Alive”, a solid song with good guitars, keys and a wonderful refrain. The inclusion of searing sax lines enhances the track greatly.
Next song “I Ain’t Got No Money” is a little and inoffensive rocker that reminds me Robert Berry’s Hush, but follower “Lost Without Your Love” is a very good AOR track with awesome harmony vocals, a catchy song that also features an interesting and original mid-section instrumentation.
“How Do I Kiss You?” is more poppy AOR oriented but with an irresistible catchiness, polished sound and a hooky chorus.
On the uptempo rocker “Talkin’ Like A Fool” Hobin sounds like Rick Springfield circa Working Class Dog, whilst “Jealousy” has an early Loverboy vibe.
“Tonight (I Wanna Be Lonely)” is a melodic semi-ballad with tuneful vocals by Hobin and ’80s keyboards runs ala Franke & The Knockouts. Certainly a goodie.
The ethereal instrumental “Aria For K.T.” (mixed with the main title “Keepin’ The Dream Alive (reprise)” precedes the Le Roux’s influenced AOR of “No Words”. This is a classy sounding and arranged slow tune that grows on you vividly.
The EP “Turn It On” sounds much more mid-Eighties, and the moniker on the LP cover was changed again to ‘Todd Hobin and The Heat’.
“Turn It On” was the result of his new band assembled after the last tour he did, re-branded ‘Todd Hobin and The Heat’.
The 5-track album includes uptempo and melodious tunes, heavily synth dominated with strong guitars riffs. Todd has an ‘affected’ voice, and his style fits like a glove into these well written songs, simple and effective. Also keyboardist Doug Moncrief provides back-up lead vocals creating really smooth harmonies.
A really welcomed remastered reissue, “Keepin’ The Dream Alive + Turn It On” deliver a bunch of really good AOR songs mixed with some fine rock&pop radio-ready numbers.
Both albums have that kind of lovely American early / mid 80s indie feel, when many talented bands didn’t find major label deals but managed to record and release by themselves quality products.
Highly enjoyable collectors stuff.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
Keepin’ The Dream Alive [CD reissue remastered]:
01 – Keepin’ the Dream Alive
02 – I Ain’t Got No Money
03 – Lost Without Your Love
04 – How Do I Kiss You?
05 – Let It Roll
06 – Talkin’ Like a Fool
07 – Jealousy
08 – Tonight (I Wanna Be Lonely)
09 – Keepin’ the Dream Alive (Reprise) / Aria for K.T.
10 – No Words
Turn It On [CD reissue remastered]:
01 – Everybody’s Girl
02 – For a Girl Like You
03 – She
04 – Alibi
05 – Turn It On
Todd Hobin: lead vocals, synths, guitar, piano, percussion
Doug Moncrief: lead & backing vocals, keyboards & guitars
Bruce Fowler: guitars, backing vocals
Shawn Hobin: drums, backing vocals
John Kane: tenor sax
Peter Mack: string bass
Vince Taft: percussion
Mark Doyle: bass, clavinet, guitar, backing vocals
Mark Novak: bass & backing vocals (Turn It On)
BUY IT !