Tuesday, January 7, 2020

"Midnight Blue" by Lou Gramm

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3005
Date:  01/31/1987
Debut:  82
Peak:  5
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Singles from Foreigner's 1984 album Agent Provocateur kept them on the charts throughout a good chunk of 1985. This included their biggest hit, the #1 "I Want to Know What Love Is." After the associated tour wrapped up, the band took a little break. During that time, lead singer Lou Gramm decided it was the right time to record a solo album. He headed into the studio with producer Pat Moran and came out with a debut solo effort titled Ready or Not. This first single got issued out and it became a major hit at Rock getting to #1. Pop would also embrace the tune and it would go on to become Gramm's first Top 10 hit on that chart. While the album wouldn't be a major seller, it still did well reaching #27.

ReduxReview:  Gramm ramped the pop side of his songwriting for this track and it worked well. It doesn't sound like a Foreigner track, which is good. Mick Jones was the main songwriter for Foreigner with Gramm co-writing several tracks, so Gramm's solo album allowed him to flesh out his own ideas that may not have been right for Foreigner. This song sounded great on the radio and you knew what it was immediately when the tambourine and opening guitar lick came out. It was all hooky and easy to digest. With the hit, Gramm proved he could step out on his own and be successful.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  For his solo album, Gramm chose to work with old friend and former bandmate Bruce Turgon. The pair co-wrote all the songs for Ready or Not. Gramm (using his given name Grammatico at the time) and Turgon were both in an early 70s rock band named Black Sheep. Based out of Rochester, New York, the band first was signed to Chrysalis and issued out a single in 1974. They then moved over to Capitol for a self-titled debut album the following year. A quick follow-up, Encouraging Words, was pushed out in late '75. The albums didn't do well, but it seemed like their star was on the rise and an opening slot on a Kiss tour was sure to help break the band. Unfortunately, a traffic accident completely wiped out their equipment. With no money to buy more, they had to drop out of the tour. More bad news came when they lost their contract with Capitol. It was around that time that Gramm was contacted by Mick Jones to join Foreigner. Gramm decided to jump ship and Black Sheep was no more. Gramm and Turgon remained friends and came together for Gramm's solo album. Turgon would later become a member of Foreigner in 1992 and stay with the band for nine years.


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