For Record Store Day, April 23, 2022, Night Ranger and Frontiers Records released an RSD “First Release” of two previously unreleased songs recorded during the recording sessions for their latest album ATBPO (And the Band Played On). That is right, two never before released tracks. Now that my friends, is a single worth picking up.
According to the back cover and the stickers on the vinyl, the A-Side is “Wasted Time” and the B-Side is called “Free”. However, that is not what you get. The A-Side of “Wasted Time” is actually the song “Free”. Which naturally means, the B-Side of “Free” is actually “Wasted Time”. Talk about a screw up. The Stickers are on the wrong sides. Oops. I find that pretty cool though, as I love little mistakes like that. The one thing that is not a mistake is the pretty Green Vinyl!! I like colored vinyl!
For Night Ranger, how do you follow-up your biggest hit, “Sister Christian”. Well, you release another ballad and they did it this time with “When You Close Your Eyes” the third single off their 1983 album ‘Midnight Madness’. It was released on July 14, 1984 as a single and it didn’t do as well as “Sister Christian” as it only went to #14 on the Billboard Charts. Only..right! Most bands would kill for that. It did help continue to catapult the album to well over 1 million copes giving them their first and maybe only Platinum album.
The song was written by Jack Blades with the help of Alan Fitzgerald and Brad Gillis. The song came about from Jack noodling around on the piano and he sang the chorus and thought it was great. He had Alan and Brad help but he couldn’t finish it with all the distractions while recording the album. He flew home and sat around the pool and then was inspired by his ex-girlfriend and wondering if she ever still thought about him. That inspiration turned in to a big hit for the band.
My copy is a U.S. Pressing with the B-Side as “Why Does Love Have to Change” which is also off ‘Midnight Madness’. My copy is the Gloversville pressing as it has this little flower symbol in the runout. Plus it only has the Midnight Madness album cover on the back where later pressing have that plus Dawn Patrol. It is pretty good shape and plays great.
After the massive success of their previous album, ‘Pump’, the band took a little break in 1992. They started recording the next album in January & February, but stopped for some rest and didn’t return until September of that year to finish up the album. The music environment had significantly changed since 1989’s ‘Pump’ so I believe everyone was curious as to what they would do. And it turns out, they would keep doing what they do best and didn’t change a thing. When most bands faded away around this time, Aerosmith ended up flourishing even more. How did they do it?
First thing was they brought back Bruce Fairbairn as their producer as he has been creating gold with everything they had done…or should I say Platinum since the last album went 7 x’s Platinum. Second, they brought in some friends to help out such as Don Henley and Lenny Kravitz. Third, the record company wanted them to continue using outside writers to help so back was Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw, Richard Supa, Mark Hudson and Taylor Rhodes. Damn, that is a lot of help!!
The line-up was still unchanged with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. The Boston Boys we ready to take on the world again. The album was released on April 23, 1993 and became the band’s first album to debut at #1 on the Charts. They released 7 singles on the album and selling over 7 million copies again in the U.S. It was the band’s third straight album of over 5 million in sales. If that wasn’t enough, the album won two Grammy’s for Best Rock Vocal Performance for a Duo or Group in both 1993 and 1994. The band was on fire still and the fans were eating it up.
I haven’t done one of these in awhile so I figured it was time to do another. I have been listening to a lot of Night Ranger lately so why not do one on them. Night Ranger have released 12 studio albums and numerous Live and Collection albums and they have been together off and on since 1979. They have had quite a long career.
The have released three albums since 2011 and their latest release is why I have gone back and listened to everything as I hadn’t done that in a very long time. In doing so, I remembered what albums I really loved, which ones were so-so and which ones I do not like. I might as well tackle the daunting task of ranking the albums from Worst to First. Without any further delay, lets get to it.