Night Ranger - Dawn Patrol

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited December 2022 in Year-1982

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 80's, Night Ranger's debut came about during the early months of 1982.

Blades and Gillis spent their formative years with the 70's 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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  • gdazegodgdazegod Antipodes
    edited November 2022

    Just saw on Twitter that they are celebrating the 40th anniversary of this exceptional album. For 1982, it's a masterpiece.

  • edited November 2022

    I still think it's their best album too.

  • The solos on Don't Tell Me You Love Me are one of my favs. Great songs and an all time classic for me

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