Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm's 1987 solo album Ready or Not is a winner. It came at a precarious time for Foreigner, despite coming off the success of 1985's Agent Provocateur and the band's first number one single, "I Want to Know What Love Is." Ready or Not is rich with melody and snap, but its sound does vary just enough from Foreigner that Gramm can't really be accused of stealing from himself. The production by Gramm and Pat Moran definitely has that bright 1980s style. Gramm's main sidemen include guitarist Nils Lofgren, keyboardist Philip Ashley, bassist/guitarist/keyboardist Bruce Turgon, and drummer Ben Gramm. Side one absolutely sizzles. "Ready or Not" is a strong, hard-rocking leadoff track and it was a minor hit single. The melodic, lyrical, and vocal hooks on "Heartache" are massive and Lofgren's guitar solo adds an edgy bite. The Top Five hit "Midnight Blue" is a terrific pop/rock song; despite its hit status, it's one of the decade's truly underappreciated singles. Lofgren's rolling, effective guitar riffing and a captivating chorus make "Time" one of the best cuts. Foreigner helped create and master the rock power ballad, and Gramm utilizes that gift on the dark, ethereal "If I Don't Have You." Side two is generally a letdown considering the high quality of the first half. Fortunately, there are two exceptions, "Arrow Thru Your Heart" and "Until I Make You Mine." The commercial and artistic success of Ready or Not was a turning point for Gramm. Foreigner issued the lackluster Inside Information late in 1987, and Gramm followed that troubled project with a second moderately successful solo album, Long Hard Look, in 1989 and then left the band for a few years before returning.
Perhaps choosing to return to a simpler rock format, Gramm released his debut solo album, "Ready Or Not", in 1987. Produced by Pat Moran with Gramm, it featured the hits "Midnight Blue" and "Ready Or Not" among a collection of songs that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a FOREIGNER record. Having come from a very musical family, "Ready Or Not" is very much a family affair, featuring contributions from Lou's brother Ben Jr. on drums and his father Ben Sr. on trumpet. The core of the band was Lou's former BLACK SHEEP bassist Ben Turgon, who make a significant songwriting contribution to the album, plus guitar hero Nils Logfren. Lou also found time in 1987 to record a track for the soundtrack of teen horror flick "The Lost Boys".
After returning to FOREIGNER for 1987's "Inside Information", Lou released his second solo album, "Long Hard Look", in 1989. Capitalizing on the success of his debut, it was produced by Peter Wolf (famed for his production and arrangement work for Frank Zappa, HEART and Kenny Loggins),"Long Hard Look" built on the foundations set by Lou's debut. "Just Between You And Me" was another huge smash, making No. 6 in the U.S. Hot 100, followed by the single "True Blue Love". The album concludes with a cover of THE SMALL FACES' "Tin Soldier".
Although Gramm only recorded two solo albums for Atlantic, a third disc gathers together some of his Atlantic-era rarities, including two versions of "Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys)" from the aforementioned soundtrack. "Ready Or Not" is represented by a "Rock Remix", an "Extended Dance Remix" and an "Instrumental Remix". Hit single "Midnight Blue" was issued in various formats, including a very collectible transparent blue 12-inch single, which featured an "Extended Remix" of the track. A single edit of "True Blue Love" has been selected from "Long Hard Look". To promote Lou's 1987 debut, Atlantic Records released the very rare and highly collectible LP, "Questions And Answers", a promotional album distributed to radio stations featuring Lou interviewed by Dan Neer as he discusses the genesis of the "Ready Or Not" record, and his career to date, in 1987.
Lead Vocals: Lou GrammBacking Vocals: Sherryl Marshall, Mark Rivera, Cookie WatkinsGuitars: Richard Grammatico, Nils Lofgren, Don Mancuso, Eddie Martinez, Bruce TurgonKeyboards & Programming: Phillip Ashley, Bruce TurgonBass: Bruce Turgon, Stanley SheldonDrums, Percussion: Benny Gramm, Jack Allen SmithTrumpet: Ben Grammatico, Sr.Saxophone: Crispin Cioe, Mark Rivera
After the top-20 Inside Information (1987), Gramm quit to go solo, having already issued his debut, Ready or Not (1987), containing the hit "Midnight Blue." His Long Hard Look followed two years later. 1e1e36bf2d