NIGHT RANGER – Big Life [Japanese SHM-CD remastered]

NIGHT RANGER - Big Life [Japan SHM-CD remastered] full

Some time ago we already featured here “Big Life“, the last ’80s album recorded by NIGHT RANGER in its remastered Japanese SHM-CD version. It was a mini-LP replica limited edition / sold out, but few months after Universal Japan did a fresh reissue.
It supposedly uses the same, last remaster, the same manufacturing process, the same material for the physical disc, but… this one doesn’t sound the same.
Call me nuts, but while the original SHM-CD release delivered a bright sonic spectrum, this recent 2016 feels different; not better, not worse; different…

This “Big Life” SHM-CD release has a higher dynamic range, and in the case of a rocking album like this, it’s benefited to a punchy output while keeping the warm sound and avoiding brickwall.

Sometimes the term ‘underrated’ means it’s just a brilliant album but not heard by many, but it may also be a less popular album compared to the rest of a band’s discography. A clear example could be Night Ranger’s “Big Life”.
Blades & Co. had already released ‘Dawn Patrol’, ‘Midnight Madness’ and ‘Seven Wishes’, which were all million sellers, before venturing into making hit-singles for soundtracks, of which “The Secret Of My Success” written for the 1987 film of the same name starring Michael J. Fox it’s included here in “Big Life”.
The hardcore fans didn’t liked much this move, and also due that year (1987) success of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison and then newcomers Guns N’ Roses, “Big Life” didn’t reach platinum (a million units sold) status.

NIGHT RANGER - Big Life [Japan SHM-CD remastered] (2016) disc

When looking back it’s obvious that the music buying audience was overly spoiled at the second half of the ’80s, because this is one hell of a Melodic Rock album.
Rocking and catchy tunes like title-song “Big Life”, “Carry On”, “Love Is Standing Near” or “‘Color Of Your Smile” go hand in hand with lighter-swinging ballads as the sublime album closer “Hearts Away”.

“The Secret Of My Success” is great too, co-written by Blades together with David Foster, Tom Keane and guitar master Michael Landau, showing Night Ranger’s more AOR / commercial side. I still remember this being one of the most played videos in the spring of 1987 on MTV.
Produced by the band with the help of expert Kevin Elson (Europe, Journey, Mr. Big), as you expect, the sound in “Big Life” is lush, glossy and polished.

NIGHT RANGER - Big Life [Japan SHM-CD remastered] (2016) back

Needless to say, if you don’t have any copy of this luxury, glossy produced album, your Melodic Hard Rock collection is missing a true gem. Get this remastered SHM-CD and you’ll be in Heaven.
Musically, Night Ranger’s “Big Life” is a must have Melodic Rock gem.


【SHM-CD】 N I G H T   R A N G E R

01 – Big Life
02 – Color Of Your Smile
03 – Love Is Standing Near
04 – Rain Comes Crashing Down
05 – The Secret Of My Success
06 – Carry On
07 – Better Let It Go
08 – I Know Tonight
09 – Hearts Away

Jack Blades – lead and backing vocals, bass
Brad Gillis – lead and rhythm guitars, vocals
Jeff Watson – lead and rhythm guitars
Alan Fitzgerald – keyboards, piano
Kelly Keagy – lead and backing vocals, drums, percussion
additional musicians:
David Foster – additional keyboards
Kevin Chalfant – additional backing vocals



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