“Ritual” by the Dan Reed Network: The Song That’s Been Stuck in My Head All Day

A couple of mornings ago, I awoke with a song stuck in my head.

Baby, you are my ritual
Burning in my soul
Never let you go
You are my ritual, my ritual

This literally blew my mind. Well, it blew my mind about as close to literally as something that blows your mind figuratively can do. Whatever song it was, I hadn’t heard it, or even thought about it, for at least a decade and a half and likely longer.

Over the following days, the song popped into my head over and over again, but never when I was near a computer, so I got no closer to solving my mystery. I even began to wonder if the melody was something I had composed in my head a long time ago. Certainly the lyrics sounded like placeholders–“you are my ritual” doesn’t make any freaking sense.

When I was able to hit Google, I found that, no, it was a real song, “Ritual” by the Dan Reed Network, from 1988. I must have seen it on MTV or heard it on the radio back then. I have no recollection of this.

The Dan Reed Network was apparently one of the early “funk metal” bands that had some popularity in the late ’80s and early ’90s. “Ritual” leans more to the pop-metal side of things, and would have fit in pretty easily with the hair metal popular at the time.

Judging by the articles at Wikipedia and All Music Guide, it looked at one point like the Dan Reed Network was going to take off commercially, but they never quite did. They opened for the Rolling Stones in Europe, as well as for Run-DMC, UB40(!), and the Jets(!!).

I blame the band name. “The Dan Reed Network” sounds more like an Eagles cover band than a funk-metal band.

Anyway, two decades after the last time I’d either heard or thought of it, here’s “Ritual.”

YouTubeAnyone else remember this song?

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