Night Ranger
Big in Japan

Label: Collectors Dream Records/Massacre Promotion
Three similar bands:
Rating: HHHHHHH (2/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Neverland
2. Touch of Madness
3. My Elusive Mind
4. Sing Me Away
5. Someday I Will
6. Brad Gillis Solo
7. Rumours in the Air
8. Jeff Watson Solo
9. Eddie's Coming Out Tonight
10. Sentimental Street
11. Goodbye
1. Forever All Over Again
2. Slap Like Being Born
3. When You Close Your Eyes
4. New York Time
5. Don't Tell Me You Love Me
6. Sister Christian
7. (You Can Still) Rock in America
8. Interview With Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy

Jack Blades – bass , lead & backing vocals
Kelly Keagy – drums, backing & lead vocals
Brad Gillis – guitars, backing vocals
Jeff Watson – guitars, backing vocals

Dawn Patrol (1982)
Midnight Madness (1983)
Seven Wishes (1985)
Big Life (1987)
Man in Motion (1988)
Feeding off the Mojo (1995)
Neverland (1997)
Seven (1998)
Hole In The Sun (2007)
Somewhere in California (2011)


recorded at Akasaka Blitz, Tokyo, Japan in 1997

Released 2013-01-18
Reviewed 2013-03-23



Night Ranger has never been a favourite of mine, their music has never really gotten to me. They have gotten to quite a few though as their music has been sold in great numbers and they are a well respected band in many regards. They are also quite well liked amongst AOR fans so I guess it is a good band to exploit I suppose, because that is how I really see this as this is probably a re-issue of the live release for the Japanese market that was released in 1997 which also happens to be the year this one was recorded. This is also being released by a label that isn’t the label that Night Ranger has today and the question is if it is even counted as an official release. If it is, it still feels a bit pointless considering that this band has already issued an array of live album and in my mind one or an absolute maximum of two live album is what you should have in a career. Sure you can make exceptions for those who have very long career but Night Ranger hasn’t had that because with long I think of the likes of Uriah Heep, Status Quo, Judas Priest and other bands with well over 35 years of history. This of course means that I have my question marks about this album even before listening to it.

Listening to it does not really give you any surprises as it sounds as you can expect with the typical AOR, catchy choruses, melodic and all of that. And it does not really differ from any other Night Ranger live album, there are songs you expect to be there and all of that. Everything sounds a lot worse than the studio recording which is customary for a live album and nothing about it strikes me as interesting, the production and performances sounds quite average if I am honest and it sounds dated as well. And on top of that they have added an interview from the era with two of the band’s members which raises even more questions as to why they do what they do. Who thought an interview was a good thing on an album? I don’t, I don’t even like listening to my own interviews, let alone someone else’s recorded in worse quality than mine and you don’t see my W.E.T. interview ending an upcoming W.E.T.-album, but then again I would never even publish such a recording. Not much in terms of quality when looking at this album.

Who is it for? I don’t see a logical target audience, the only ones I can see are those who collect Night Ranger stuff and don’t really care how it sounds. Sure it is not too bad, I have heard worse live albums but it is the release itself. It is not possible to see how anyone would want anything like it, pointless is the word of the day. Another question I get is why? Why even make it in the first place, I don’t think I will ever see a point in releasing old live shows as live albums, especially not if they aren’t anything special. If it was a rare live recording of the band performing one of their albums in full or doing someone else’s album in full like Dream Theater does at times then maybe it would be cool I have a live bootleg of Dream Theater doing Master of Puppets and that is quite cool, such live albums has more of a point than this.

In the end I don’t think there is much more to say, this album is simply pointless. It offers nothing we haven’t seen or heard before, it offers no new insights about the band and you cannot play the second CD as it ends in a boring interview which would ruin the party quite badly if it was not stopped in time. So, to me this is a waste of time and a waste of money, unless of course you collect everything Night Ranger but then again I suppose you curse the release as well considering that you will have to spend money on something that shouldn’t have been released. The music is mostly half-decent though so it is not all terrible even though most of it is, if you consider this album I can assure you that you will not miss out on anything if you save your money to something more exciting.



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