I once used this space to make some rather unkind remarks about the collected works of Damn Yankees, as well as the overall existence of Tommy Shaw. Judging from the amount of mail I continue to get regarding those statements, I’m guessing some of you may get a big kick out of today’s visit to Bootleg City.

No, it isn’t Damn Yankees, and no, it isn’t Tommy Shaw (though it looks like we will be hosting a guest-blogged Complete Idiot’s Guide to Styx in the coming months). But it’s sort of close.

I thought I mentioned this in my Shaw/Blades review, but maybe not: As a teenager, I was a major Night Ranger fan. What’s deeply ironic about this is that I totally fucking hated the band while they were still together — due mainly to the fact that for about an entire year, I couldn’t turn on MTV without seeing the video for “Sister Christian.” It wasn’t until they’d already broken up that I went back and discovered the pure Velveeta joy that is Night Ranger.

You want to know something else? I never even really cared about their hits. I mean, records like Dawn Patrol and Midnight Madness are okay, but for me, it’s all about 1987’s Big Life (which contains “The Secret of My Success,” the theme to the Michael J. Fox movie of the same name and the worst song ever to take five people to write) and 1988’s hair-metal masterpiece, Man in Motion. I really may do a Night Ranger Idiot’s Guide at some point, and we can all relive the memories of my mulleted, misspent youth together.

But I digress. My point is mostly that, again, I’m posting a set of files I haven’t listened to. This is partly because I didn’t come into possession of them until after my Night Ranger phase had bitten the dust, and partly because — as I said — the stuff they did in the early-to-mid ’80s never really got me excited. For my money, the best live Night Ranger album — bootleg or otherwise — is 1990’s Live in Japan. Of course, I haven’t listened to it in over ten years, but I thought it rocked at the time, and I’m not playing it now just so I can change my opinion.

For most Night Ranger fans, though, this is probably the apogee of the band’s brief heyday. These performances were taped during the Seven Wishes Tour in 1985, and include all the hits that pretty much anybody cares about. I dare all of you to burn this set to disc and crank it up in your respective office parking lots today. It is Friday, after all — what better time to remind The Man that you can still rock in America?

Seven Wishes
Sing Me Away
Rumours in the Air
Sister Christian
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
Sentimental Street
Touch of Madness
(You Can Still) Rock in America
Rumours in the Air
(You Can Still) Rock in America
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me

About the Author

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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