If you’re like me — and everyone else on the planet older than 30 — the first thing you think of when you hear Night Ranger‘s name is the ’80s band one major hit, “Sister Christian.”
“Sister Christian” has endured over the past 30 years, probably for three reasons: 1) A hilariously cheesy video. 2) That “motorin’!” refrain at the beginning of the chorus, which has a tendency to lodge itself in your brain, not unlike the key parts of “Sweet Caroline” or “Don’t Stop Believin’.” And 3) Well, it’s just a solid song. So kudos, Night Ranger. Kudos.
But after doing a bit of Night Ranger-related research (did I just type that?) last week, I discovered something: The single the band released immediately following the success of “Sister Christian” is actually a much better song. It’s called “When You Close Your Eyes,” and it has an equally cheesy video to go with it. And now you will watch it:
A few observations:
1) The acting in the “break up” scene at the beginning of the video is pure gold.
2) The pre-chorus (one at :53, 1:55 and 3:05) is super catchy. No irony. It just is.
3) The drummer in this video — he’s also the guy that sings in front of the car and the giant paper moon — is like a fully formed Will Ferrell character. Every second he’s on screen is a joy, especially 2:24 to 2:30. My wife saw that and said, “He must not know which camera to look at.” I LOL’d.
4) 2:04: Mouthful of hair. Blech.
5) The guy at 2:50 really wants you to know he has a “flying v” guitar.
6) The parts of the video where the band is actually performing just scream “rock ‘n’ roll” don’t they? But what’s up the normal-looking, short-haired guy all the way to the left on the keys? Do you think he feels left out when he sees all his buds swinging their manes around like that? Poor dude.
7) Leather Vest’s harmony on the “dream about me” part of the chorus is totally awesome. That is the part I will be singing along to at tonight’s show (if I am there).
Bottom line is this: “Sister Christian” gets lots of love, and deservedly so. But based on “When You Close Your Eyes,” I believe that Night Ranger deserves to be remembered as more than just a One Hit Wonder. I believe the time has come for the world to know that Night Ranger did not peak with “Sister Christian.” The world should know about “When You Close Your Eyes” and the time for this revolution is now.
Maybe I should set up a booth at the show or something to try to sign people up for the cause. Will you join me?
Night Ranger plays at 8:30 tonight at Troy Field, next to McMenamins Old St. Francis School in downtown Bend. Sagebrush Rock opens at 5 p.m., followed by The Show at 7 p.m. The concert is free, but you need a ticket to get in. To find out how to get a ticket, listen to 98.3 FM The Twins radio station.