The Dan Reed Network formed in Portland, Oregon and began packing out the local clubs from late 1984 through 1986 with their infectious mixture of hard rock, funk, and soul.
After releasing their local EP 'Breathless' with Dark Horse Records and finding a top ten single on local radio entitled 'Steal Me' DRN signed to Polygram/Mercury Records with the aid of Derek Shulman, who was enjoying great success with his other signings 'Bon Jovi' and 'Cinderella'. DRN were then managed by legendary concert promoter Bill Graham from San Francisco, who at the time compared the energy of DRN to the first time he saw The Rolling Stones.
In the winter of 1987, the group released their debut album, produced by Bruce Fairbairn (Bon Jovi, Aerosmith), and engineered/mixed by Mike Fraser in Vancouver, Canada. They released their first single "Ritual", which peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard Charts and became a staple of the genre now known as 'Funk Rock'. Their debut album brought DRN to Europe for the first time and performances at the Marquee Club in London, The Melody Club in Stockholm and Grosse Freiheit in Hamburg are considered legendary and are still talked about to this day.
While at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in January 1989 in New York, Dan Reed met with producer Nile Rodgers (Duran Duran, Madonna, David Bowie) and this meeting led to the creation of the album Slam, produced by Rodgers, and better represented the Dan Reed Network's live sound and accelerated the band's growing status in Europe. At this time Def Leppard's managers Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch would take the management reigns and DRN would go on to tour Europe with Bon Jovi's as part of their 'New Jersey Tour' in 1989 and then with the Rolling Stones' on their European 'Urban Jungle Tour' in 1990.