Night Ranger – High Road

Night Ranger - High RoadHappy Metal. If there ever was a genre called that, then Night Ranger would own that genre. Because there is something really happy and natural over their music that makes you smile and feel good. It really doesn’t matter if they write a really tough rocker or a big ballad, they just sound happy – and boy, do I love that. Night Ranger started out back in 1982 and scored a big hit with their debut single “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” from their debut album Dawn Patrol and when the band had an even bigger hit with the power ballad “Sister Christian” the following year, which led to their second album Midnight Madness shipping  platinum in the States (1 000 000 sold albums) and 1985’s Seven Wishes did the same, Night Ranger had become one of the biggest bands in America, touring arenas all over the country. But with those three albums being produced by Pat Glasser, a man who do not like his music hard, who had given the band a polished and commercial touch, but still with the rock elements left, bringing in Journey producer Kevin Elson (also responsible for the lightweight and sterile sound on Europe’s The Final Countdown a year earlier) for 1987’s Big Life turned out a bad idea. The album was full brilliant tunes and they scored a hit with the soundtrack “The Secret Of My Success” for the movie by the same name (starring Michael J Fox), but the production was too pop and too light weight and instead of scoring another platinum record, Big Life “only” went gold (500 000 copies). Not bad, but still showed a downward spiral for the band. Jack Blades (lead vocals, bass), Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson (lead guitars) and Kelly Keagy (drums, lead vocals)(Alan “Fitz” Gerald (keyboards) had left the band by then) tried to make up for that a year later with the much rockier and hard-edged Man In Motion, produced by Keith Olsen (Whitesnake, Magnum), but the train had already left the station and the album bombed.

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