NIGHT RANGER – Feeding Off The Mojo [Japanese Edition] HQ
After NIGHT RANGER broke-up 1988-89, Jack Blades quickly moved on to co-found Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent and Styx veteran Tommy Shaw, but not all of Blades’ former bandmates were ready to start over. After taking some time away, drummer/vocalist Kelly Keagy and guitarist Brad Gillis decided to reunite Night Ranger — to a point.
Opting to forge ahead as a trio, Keagy and Gillis enlisted Gary Moon, a former member of Three Dog Night whose band the Pack had seen a number of potential record deals go belly-up in the late ’80s. By the time Moon met up with the reanimated Night Ranger, he was ready to make a change.
The result is one of the greatest US Melodic Hard Rock album from the Nineties: “Feeding Off The Mojo“. While perhaps this line-up should have gone under a different moniker, what matters is the awesome tunes packed on it.
This Japanese CD press of “Feeding Off The Mojo” sounds a million bucks.
“In 1989, I was approached by a friend of mine who knew Brad and Kelly,” Moon later explained. “They were wanting to bring Night Ranger back into the studio and reclaim the harder-rock sound they were known for earlier in their career. I came to a session and jammed with Brad and Kelly, and it was magic.”
The new lineup set about writing new material, which they slowly tested through a series of live dates that started in the fall of 1991, when they supported Foreigner. Over the next several years, Night Ranger continued to play the club circuit, delivering new versions of their greatest hits while road-testing songs for an eventual album.
Along the way, their paths couldn’t help but cross with Blades, who remained on friendly terms with Keagy and Gillis. Blades even caught a show when he happened to be in town one night while on tour with Damn Yankees.
Night Ranger were a multi-platinum band at their mid-80s peak, but by the late first half of the Nineties, the musical landscape had changed a great deal. They weren’t overly eager to sign with a major label even if one came knocking anyway.
This ‘new’ Night Ranger ended up contracting with a new indie label founded by longtime record exec Don Grierson. They entered the studio with David Prater, whose previous clients included Firehouse and Dream Theater.
Despite the album’s bluesy title, “Feeding Off The Mojo” harkens back to the days when pop metal / melodic hard rock ruled the charts and airwaves, paying absolutely no mind to current 1995 musical trends.
Standouts include “Last Chance,” “Precious Time”, “Music Box”, but all are really good songs written by the three members from other industry writers like Jeff Paris.
Gary Moon has an excellent voice with a bluesy background, and fits perfectly Keagy / Gillis style.
I always loved “Feeding Off The Mojo”, and still gets regular visits to my player – this Japanese CD sound great. Despite of being a 1994-95 recording, the production quality is amazing, thanks to David Prater pristine / bright / punchy technique, but also because Keagy, Gillis & Moon took the necessary time to polish the album – there wasn’t a rush to release it.
I don’t care if this is Night Ranger or not, this is fabulous. A year an half after the release the original NR line up reunite again, but this effort with Gary Moon remains as a MHR pearl into my collection.
01 – Mojo
02 – Last Chance
03 – Try (For Good Reason)
04 – Precious Time
05 – The Night Has a Way
06 – Do You Feel Like I Do/Tomorrow Never Knows
07 – Music Box
08 – Longest Days
09 – Tell Me I’m Wrong
10 – So Far Gone
Kelly Keagy – drums, vocals
Brad Gillis – guitar, vocals
Gary Moon – vocals, bass
David Zajicek – additional Guitars & Keyboards
Jimmy Shortell, James Hoover, Plinky – Keyboards
David Prater – Percussion & Background vocals
out of print