Deep Tracks: Night Ranger – Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight

Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight (1982)

This is the fifth track on the first album, Dawn Patrol and helps establish Night Ranger as a serious rock band. It opens with a haunting keyboard that blends into a strong rhythm guitar. The song has a somewhat sparse sound without much filler and a strong solo. Lyrically, the song is basically a character sketch. In the world of literature, a reader is able to analyze a character by identifying indirect character traits. We can tell what a character is like by what they say, how they look, what they do, their thoughts, and what others think about them. While Night Ranger does not hit on all of these, they do use a few to provide a look at Eddie, a slick type who enjoys his night life. Eddie definitely looks the part, “He wears his trousers real tight / And his skin is so white . . . He wears Italian shoes / that are used to good news.” We do learn that his appearance may not represent the truth as he “Lives beyond his means . . . The street’s his type / The alley is where he’s king.” Like most of us, Eddie has a love interest, but she too has a suspicious way about her as she, “Doesn’t care for a halo / She never ever says ‘No’ / She’s so insane.” They spend time together running through the city night and may even be looking for trouble, “They like the late night madness / To break through the silence . . . They say tonight’s the night / They’re gonna cut you to the limits / Tonight you live or you die.” I am not sure what to make of Johnnie other than I do not think we would be close friends. I do think that Eddie will find a way to survive because, “He says he loves the rat race / He always plays to win.” This song foreshadows the potential that Night Ranger has a rock band – only great rock and roll is on the way.

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