Loverboy synths!

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Leeroy Jenkins
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Loverboy synths!

Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:06 pm

Ok, call me cheesy for digging Loverboy, but they had some killer synth work on their early albums. Working For the Weekend is all Yamaha CS series synths for anyone ever wondering what the instrument's sawtooth waves sound like when multitracked and basked in verb. Take Me To the Top features a massively FAT CS sound that I am sure some hip-hop artist will sample and rap over it one day. It's Over features the CS is chorus mode, so you get that unique kinda crazy middle-y sound during the verse pads.

Let's talk Loverboy!

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Post by V301H » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:01 pm

From Doug Johnson interviews he used a CS-50 on early Loverboy recordings. He also used a rare Yamaha SS-30 string synth. Later on he got a CS-80 and a couple of Prophet 5's.
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Post by Pilot352 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:03 pm

Funny, I was just trying to find out a little more about the synth on Take Me To the Top just last week. The sound in the beginning I always thought was one of the best synth sounds ever (IMHO). Never really cared for the song that much but would wait for it to come on the radio, just to hear the beginning. And, yes, I'm that old!!! :wink:
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Post by Micke » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:15 pm

Doug Johnson used a Yamaha CS-50 a lot on Loverboy's first two albums. I'm not sure if he used a Prophet on their debut album, although by the time of their second album, "Get Lucky" (1981), he did use a Prophet 5's alongside the CS-50 and Yamaha SS-30 stringer. In '82 Doug added a second P5 to his keyboard setup, one of which he used in conjunction with a Prophet remote keyboard.

Examples of the CS-50 can be heard in the following Loverboy tracks:

- "Take Me To The Top": the beefy bass riff in the beginning (in fact, this track was recorded in march 1980 and was originally meant to be on their debut album).

- "It's your life": fast chord sequence in the intro (double-tracked and played in octaves)

- "Lady of the '80s": evolving pad texture

- "Turn Me Loose" opening sound
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Post by OMNI26 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:05 pm

Pilot352 wrote:Funny, I was just trying to find out a little more about the synth on Take Me To the Top just last week. The sound in the beginning I always thought was one of the best synth sounds ever (IMHO). Never really cared for the song that much but would wait for it to come on the radio, just to hear the beginning. And, yes, I'm that old!!! :wink:
Same here! I'm old, too. :)

Way back in the early 80's, most of the folks I ran around with (real punk-rockers or new wave fans....and there was a real difference between the two!) all considered Loverboy as a VERY cheesy band. However, I always wondered what that synth was at the beginning of Take Me To The Top.....always LOVED hearing it when that song first came out! A CS-50, huh? Wow! I've had both a CS-50 and CS-60, and never connected those synths with that song.

I remember seeing Loverboy on American Bandstand in the early 80's, and the keyboard player was using an ARP Omni II and a Yamaha CP-80. Of course, those were probably just props, since it's not like anyone actually played "live" on that show! Years later, I was backstage at a concert in Dallas (my cousin was the guitar tech for REO Speedwagon, who was playing the show) and Loverboy was playing. By then, they were just using a bank of samplers......no analogs of any sort.

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Post by ERIC31 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:42 pm

this is great! I'm here at work listening to Loverboy! I got to see them Summer of 1982 at Day On The Green in Oakland, Ca. (That's how old I am!!)I always liked them and they put on a great show!

Their synth sounds were a big part of their appeal to me. Nice to know what he was playing. :D
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Post by Z » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:32 pm

I always thought the synths sounded like Oberheims, especailly on "It's Over." I would have never thought they were Yamaha CS, but then again, I'm not as familiar with the CS sound.

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Re: Loverboy synths!

Post by code green » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:34 am

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:Ok, call me cheesy for digging Loverboy....
cheesy!!!

:wink:

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Post by onetwothree » Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:55 am

Americans actually liked Loverboy? I was kind of thrown off when so many of you mentioned Saga as a favourite. Now this. Wow.

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Post by Z » Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:19 am

onetwothree wrote:Americans actually liked Loverboy? I was kind of thrown off when so many of you mentioned Saga as a favourite. Now this. Wow.
It was a guilty pleasure of the time. I like listening to the synth stuff now that I'm older.

It's too bad Saga didn't make a bigger impression in the US market than they did. Thanks MTV for ruining music in the US!

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Post by ERIC31 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:46 am

Z wrote:
onetwothree wrote:Americans actually liked Loverboy? I was kind of thrown off when so many of you mentioned Saga as a favourite. Now this. Wow.
It was a guilty pleasure of the time. I like listening to the synth stuff now that I'm older.

It's too bad Saga didn't make a bigger impression in the US market than they did. Thanks MTV for ruining music in the US!
Saga was/is pretty awesome! I have to say thanks to MTV for introducing me to them as well. The first Saga song/video I ever saw was Don't Be Late and it blew my mind. MTV used to be something worthwhile. They did play On The Loose a lot when that first came out too.
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Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:12 am

Loverboy rocked! So you're saying Get Lucky was all CS-50, eh? Did the CS-50 have the same Brass preset as the CS-80? I'm pretty sure that's the sound Doug used for the block chords during the intro and verses for Turn Me Loose. Gotta love the Glissando effect!

Basically, anyone who ever wanted to know what the CS series synths sounds like blended with guitars in rock music, just listen to Loverboy.

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Post by Micke » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:22 pm

Leeroy: No not all CS-50, Doug was also using a Prophet 5, Yamaha CP-70 electric grand and Yamaha SS-30 stringer on "Get Lucky".

He was interviewed in the Nov 1982 issue of Keyboard magazine and that's where I got the info.

Here's a couple of live shots from back in the day


Image
Loverboy live in concert, 1981 (clockwise from lower left): Yamaha CP-70, Prophet 5 (built into a console),
Yamaha CS-50, Prophet remote keyboard and Yamaha SS-30.

Looks like Doug had access to a Prophet remote before it was released
to the market.


Image

EDIT: The high strings in the second part of Turn Me Loose are from the Yamaha SS-30 stringer. I know of at least one other Canadian band who used a SS-30 back in the day and that's Images In Vogue, it's all over their early stuff.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Post by Johnny Lenin » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:44 pm

Loverboy has really grown on me. I couldn't stand them when they were popular, but in retrospect, I find that they were quite good. I have them on my iPod in a CanCon mix featuring Saga, Martha and the Muffins, Parachute Club, Rough Trade, Triumph, Walter Rossi, The Box, Men Without Hats, Rational Youth and a few others.

It takes me back...

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Post by HH » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:45 pm

Image

now that's some pretty tight jeans :) loving the 80s

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