Paul Dean’s debut solo album, Hard Core, originally released in 1989 on Columbia Records, is now available for the first time digitally on all major online streaming outlets, including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and Google Play, among others.
Hard Core spotlights Dean’s fiercely distinctive guitar work on a series of songs that rock hard and show off classic influences like Duane Eddy, Luther Perkins, Hank Marvin, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. The album’s first single, “Sword & Stone,” a mythic tale of King Arthur and Excalibur written by Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick and Desmond Child, was originally slated for KISS’ Crazy Nights album.
The video for the track can be seen on below. Desmond originally pitched the song to Dean during the New Jersey sessions where Paul co-wrote “Notorious” with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, (with additional contributions from Mike Reno and the late Todd Cerney), which appeared on Loverboy’s Wildside album in 1987.
Another track on the album, “Under the Gun,” features a Jon Bon Jovi harmonica solo, which took place while Dean was mixing his album at Vancouver’s Little Mountain Sound Studios with Bob Rock, while Bon Jovi were making New Jersey in an adjacent room with producer Bruce Fairbairn. “Draw the Line,” written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, was previously recorded by Ted Nugent for his 1984 Penetrator album, with vocals by Brian Howe, who was Paul Rodgers’ replacement as lead singer in Bad Company.
Coincidentally, when Dean went out on tour to promote Hard Core, his band opened for the same Bad Company, fronted by Howe. Other tracks include the rocking, self-penned “Doctor,” the raucous fan favorite “Black Sheep”, “Action” (co-written with Loverboy rhythm section, drummer Matt Frenette and bassist Kenneth “Spider” Sinnaeve and dedicated to Kenny Shields, who recently passed away) and the very timely “Politics,” which was originally a stab at a well-known Canadian pop singer’s hypocritical stance. With a grin, it is still someone Dean still refuses to identify by name.
After Hard Core, Dean went on to record two more “solo” albums, including Machine, released in 1995 by Strawberry Records in Canada, and Blackstone, featuring singer Marc LaFrance, in 1997.
“Hard Core” was produced by Dean’s pal, Chilliwack/Headpins member, Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod, who died just over three years after its release. “What an amazing cat,” Dean reminisces. “He was so high-energy, always up. I never heard a negative word from him about anyone. He was a total recording nerd, a pioneer at splicing together different bits from the multi-track.”
The digital release of Hard Core is just a prelude for Paul Dean’s long-awaited new material, which he has been working on, promising an ongoing series of single releases described as “pop tunes, a couple of ballads and some ‘balls to the wall’ metal stuff.”
LOVERBOY TOUR DATES
November 11- 18 – “80’s In The Sand” / Breathless Resort & Spa – Punta Cana, DR
November 24 – F.M. Kirby Center – Wilkes Barre, PA
November 25 – State Theater Center For The Arts – Easton, PA
December 3 – Riptide Music Festival – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
December 8 – Treasure Island Resort & Casino – Welch, MN
December 29 – Golden Nugget – Las Vegas, NV
December 31 – Emerald Queen Casino – Tacoma, WA
February 16 – Thunder Valley Casino – Lincoln, CA
March 8 – Colosseum at Ceasar’s Windsor – Windsor, ON
March 17-24 – The 80’s Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL