The true force behind legends Night Ranger and Damn Yankees, JACK BLADES, the man with the coolest name in rock comes straight back at us with an autobiographical look at his career on his second solo album, “Rock ‘n Roll Ride”.
Coming some eight years after his first effort self titled in 2004, any follower of AOR / Melodic Rock will be very familiar with Jack Blades and his ‘day job’ band Night Ranger, or they certainly should be from the late 2011 release ‘Somewhere In California’. If you don’t own that record then you should! Following on with a successful tour with Journey and Foreigner, Jack’s certainly showing no signs of slowing down or that any signs of his incredible ability to write a quality tune is fading.The special guests listed on “Rock ‘n Roll Ride” are really unnecessary as no one bar Jack is needed to lift the saleability or quality of this album, but I’m gonna tell you as all are stars in the genre. We’ve got fellow Night Rangers Kelly Keagy, Joel Hoekstra and Eric Levy, Brian Tichy (Foreigner, Whitesnake), as well as a special guest appearance by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander.
Kicking it off with “Back In The Game” (if he was ever out of it!), simply a great opener with many of Blades’ trademark qualities that all Night Ranger, Damn Yankees fans will be very familiar with.
The theme of Blades’ statement of mindset continues with the title track “Rock ‘n Roll Ride” which feels more DY that NR though, having said that, this song really could sit nicely on either Night Ranger’s ‘Neverland’ or ‘Seven’ releases.
The tremendous quality continues with hooks that would give Moby Dick a fright and we’re into “Born To This” another celebration of Jack’s life which tells me how satisfied he must be feeling as NR and Jack truly are on top of the Melodic Rock / AOR tree right now.
Any Night Ranger and Damn Yankees or Jack Blades release just wouldn’t be worth its salt without a tune which puts you on Mulholland Drive with a beautiful girl in tow, hood down and watching the shooting stars over the L.A. skyline on a Friday night in mid Summer; well, here it is the form of “Hardest Word To Say”. I just love this tune. It’s perfect. It’s pure Jack Blades magic.
I will stop here describing track by track, ‘cos the hits just keep coming and it would just be a folly to give you the merits of each song here as to ‘pitch’ this album to a perspective buyer would be ridiculous.
Jack Blades has once again produced a top quality product that any band labelled Melodic Rock / AOR would sell their soul (to the gods?) to release.
It really doesn’t matter that this album has the name Jack Blades across it.
For Jack Blades read ‘Supreme Melodic Rock & AOR’.
01 – Back In The Game
02 – Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride
03 – Born For This
04 – Hardest Word To Say
05 – Anything For You
06 – Love Life
07 – West Hollywood
08 – Don’t Give Up
09 – Say You Will
10 – Rise And Shine
11 – Hey Now
Jack Blades – Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Joel Hoekstra – Guitar
Will Evankovich – Guitar, Mandolin, Sitar, Backing Vocals
Kelly Keagy – Drums
Brian Tichy – Drums
Eric Levy – Keyboards
Christian Matthew Cullen – Keyboards
Robin Zander – Vocals
Jack Blades – Rock ‘N Roll Ride (2012)
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