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Night Ranger

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Biography

Featuring ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Brad Gillis and former Montrose keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald, Night Ranger was one of the most popular mainstream hard rock bands of the mid-'80s. The group formed in the early '80s in San Francisco; in addition to Gillis and Fitzgerald, the members included Jack Blades (vocals, bass), Jeff Watson (guitar), and Kelly Keagy (drums). After a few local gigs, promoter Bill Graham managed to get them supporting slots on Judas Priest, Santana, and Doobie Brothers concerts. Night Ranger's first album, Dawn Patrol (1982), reached number 38 on the U.S. charts, yet it was 1983's Midnight Madness that established the band as a commercial force. Featuring the AOR hit "(You Can Still) Rock in America" and the number five single "Sister Christian," the record peaked at number 15 and sold over a million copies. 1985's 7 Wishes was just as successful, reaching number ten on the charts. Night Ranger's audience began to diminish after 1987's Big Life. Fitzgerald left the following year and the band released their last album, Man in Motion, which failed to go gold or spawn any Top 40 singles. Night Ranger broke up the next year. Jack Blades joined the supergroup Damn Yankees, which also featured Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw. A reunited Night Ranger returned in 1998 with Seven. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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