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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Night Ranger - 1982 Dawn Patrol
Night Ranger - 1982 Dawn Patrol

ARTIST: Night Ranger
ALBUM: Dawn Patrol
LABEL: Boardwalk
SERIAL: 33259
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2002, MCA, MCAD-31031


LINEUP: Jack Blades - lead vocals, bass * Kelly Keagy - lead vocals, drums * Brad Gillis - guitars * Jeff Watson - guitars * Alan Fitzgerald - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Tell Me You Love Me * 02 Sing Me Away * 03 At Night She Sleeps * 04 Call My Name * 05 Eddie's Comin' Out Tonight * 06 Can't Find Me A Thrill * 07 Young Girl In Love * 08 Play Rough * 09 Penny * 10 Night Ranger


One of the Bay Area's finest AOR bands .. Period. Blessed with two excellent singers in Blades and Keagy, and arguably the best dual guitar pairing in melodic rock (this side of Thin Lizzy) with Gillis and Watson. Riding on the back of a strong surge in AOR and melodic rock coming out of San Francisco during the early eighties, Night Ranger's debut came about during the early months of 1982. Blades and Gillis spent their formative years with the seventies disco/pop band Rubicon, while Fitzgerald had stints with the red rocker Sammy Hagar and fellow Bay Area luminary Ronnie Montrose and Gamma.

The Songs
There was some pre-release murmurings saying this album 'Dawn Patrol' was gonna be a good one, and it proved to be right. The initial single 'Don't Tell Me You Love Me' blasted into the US Top 40. Gillis at this stage was torn between Night Ranger and assisting Ozzy Osbourne, by standing in for Randy Rhoads, tragically killed in a plane crash during early 1982. Gillis thus appeared on Ozzy's live album 'Speak At The Devil' . However, Bernie Torme was able to fill in not long after and Gillis returned to the fold. 'Dawn Patrol' is brimming with class songs all the way, like 'Sing Me Away', 'Can't Find Me A Thrill', 'Penny', 'At Night She Sleeps' and the aforementioned 'Don't Tell Me You Love Me' with that classic Gillis/Watson dual solo. The Jeff Glixman production is great, and IMHO, this album remains the definitive Night Ranger album, as it shows them at a stage in their career where they were not pressured or influenced by media, trends, and record executives! (ha ha). Just pure AOR.

In Summary
Blazing guitar runs, magical keyboard lines, and lyrically strong AOR material makes 'Dawn Patrol' one of the better albums of 1982. They followed this up with appearances on TV's 'Solid Gold' and at Bill Graham's legendary 'Day At The Green'. From here, their career was assured with excellent follow up releases over the next few years.

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#1 | Eric on November 24 2007 21:08:37
Night Ranger's band house in SF in the early 80's was just up the street from Starcastle's (SF years) and from what I have heard they were a true California band, although in my mind they were more in league with Styx and REO simply because the toured so much and everywhere especially in the Midwest where they played every town with a concert hall or cold hockey arena. While 'Seven Wishes' is my personal fave (and thier most Midwest sounding record), this debut is a classic.
#2 | gdazegod on December 19 2007 10:10:33
Whoever decided to shoot this video on a railway line should've been lined up against a wall and pelted with rotten tomatoes. Great song, appalling vid. The lead guitar solo spots (arguably some of the best heard on a rock song) aren't even shown. What a shame!
#3 | jeffrey343 on December 19 2007 17:46:55
I always liked this video Cool. Definitely one of the all-time great solos, showcasing both Gillis & Watson. Great album too - I remember buying it very soon after hearing the song, and that was in the days I had to get money from the parents and get them to drive me to the record store. Still one that I play frequently, and I don't skip any of the tracks.
#4 | rostoned on June 07 2008 13:50:56
Beautiful first single 'Don't Tell Me...', as noticed by George, reached the american TOP 40 of the Billboard HOT 100 singles chart peaking exactly at #40. The follow up, the classic 'Sing Me Away' fared worse, reaching only #54.
#5 | Jez on June 13 2008 04:47:27
An album that left most of the others of the genre quaking in their boots, and quite rightly so. Almost a greatest hits on it's own.
#6 | reyno-roxx on June 13 2008 07:41:37
An absolute diamond. I seem to recall that this was the first album I ever bought in the much missed 'Shades' store when it first opened in a leaky lock up next door to the later basement location.
#7 | sabace on July 26 2008 14:22:09
excellent lp, top notch material from start to finish!
#8 | shelf stacker on April 21 2009 16:55:58
'Don't tell Me You Love Me' was a guaranteed floor filler at a rock club called Oscar's in Newbury Park circa 1986. This, and anything off YandT's Earthshaker or Black Tiger, would always spark mass gurning and air guitar playing. My now-wife experienced a similar reaction to this track when it was played regularly at her local rock dive in Manchester. Has to be one of the best opening tracks on any melodic rock album! Great dynamics, perfect guitar solo... Excellent!
#9 | rkbluez on November 13 2009 01:24:57
Like others mentioned here I happened to hear the lead off track while I was at work one night and bought the album the day it came's one of the best melodic rock albums of all just can't get much better than this.
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