Published on June 19th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Kidd Glove: Kidd Glove (Rock Candy, 1984/2020)
Originally released in 1984, Kidd Glove was a one-off studio project put together by the Motown label’s Morocco imprint and featuring the talents of singer/guitarist Paul Sabu. Sabu had a solo album and several writing credits at that point, but this was his big move into hard rock territory. Unfortunately his label didn’t seem to know much about hard rock, so Kidd Glove’s debut was poppier and more AOR-polished than it probably should have been.
Sabu is a good guitarist and an even better singer, similar in style to Dave Meniketti and Sammy Hagar, and his vocals are what carry this album. The overall sound is similar to Sammy Hagar’s solo material at the time as well, but with a definite AOR streak. Rocking and very melodic, but tons of keyboards and not a lot of punch. These are basically studio songs waiting for the right ’80s soundtrack, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Giuffria-sounding “Killer Instinct” and “Spirit Of The Night” are standouts, as is the harder-edged “Street Angel” and the poppy, Honeymoon Suite-esque “Secrets.”
Kidd Glove actually enjoyed some brief radio success with the single “Good Clean Fun,” but the label didn’t promote them and they didn’t do any serious touring, so this ended up being their only album. It’s not quite as good as the solo album Paul Sabu did immediately afterwards or the Only Child release, but it’s still a solid melodic rock album with more than a few good songs. Fans of Y&T, Sammy Hagar, Loverboy and Foreigner should dig this one, and it’s mandatory for fans of Sabu’s solo work.
Reissue Notes: Kidd Glove was reissued back in 2011 by Z Records with a pair of bonus tracks (“Where There’s Sex” and “Here’s Lookin’ At You.” It was reissued again this year by the Rock Candy label, which gave it “the Rock Candy treatment” of new remastering, expanded liner notes with a new interview with Paul Sabu, and four studio bonus tracks (none of which are very good). Unfortunately the two bonus tracks from the prior reissue are not among them, so as good as this version is, you can’t really call it the definitive version. Still, it’s a nicely put-together reissue, and is ideal for those who missed this album the first (and second) time around.
Summary: Solid melodic rocking one-off...re-reissued