Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lou Gramm

Origin: Rochester, New York (USA)

Lou Gramm aor melodic rock
Lou Gramm

Lou Gramm [Ready or not - 1987] aor melodic rock music blogspot full albums bands lyrics
Ready or not - 1987 (with lyrics)Lou Gramm Long hard look 1989 aor melodic rock music blogspot full albums bands lyricsLong hard look - 1989 (with lyrics)


- Solo endeavours from Rochester, New York native LOU GRAMM, the frontman for the massively successful radio Rock outfit FOREIGNER. The 'Ready Or Not' debut solo affair features Gramm's old BLACK SHEEP band mate Bruce Turgon (who, by this time, had left the Los Angeles based Metal outfit WARRIOR). Turgon not only co-wrote a healthy percentage of the material with Lou but also contributed guitar, bass and keyboard parts. Much of 'Ready Or Not' reportedly comprised tracks rejected by FOREIGNER.

Other players on 'Ready Or Not' include NILS LOFGREN, Ronnie Mancuso and Eddie Martinez on guitar, Phil Ashley on keyboards and Lou's brother Ben Grammatico on drums. Aiding on the pre-production front would be Gramm's erstwhile BLACK SHEEP colleague Don Mancuso. Not one to shy away from nepotism Lou also enlisted the talents of brother Richard Grammatico on guitar and Ben Grammatico senior on trumpet. None too surprisingly bearing in mind the status of FOREIGNER this first effort succeeded in reaping healthy sales and radio play. The song 'Midnight Blue' scored well both in the Billboard singles charts and on MTV. Before long 'Ready Or Not' had come close to achieving gold sales status. An additional non album track, 'Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys)', also featured on the soundtrack to the hit teen horror film 'The Lost Boys'. However, a solo tour was interrupted by the need to concentrate on FOREIGNER's next album 'Inside Information'. With relations strained Gramm put in Japanese shows with the band before quitting upfront of a projected 1988 US tour.

1989's 'Long Hard Look' saw the renewal of Gramm and Turgon's songwriting partnership. As Gramm announced his departure from FOREIGNER he set out on a solo tour. The band assembled for this trek, supporting STEVE MILLER spanning June through August in the USA, found Gramm joined by Turgon, Ben Gramm, guitarist Scott McKinstry and Larry Oakes on rhythm guitar and keyboards. Despite charting well, overall though, many critics found this second album lacking the sparkle of its predecessor.

Gramm later assembled SHADOWKING with Turgon, ex-DIO and WHITESNAKE guitarist Vivian Campbell and drummer Kevin Valentine. This band was to fall apart as Campbell joined DEF LEPPARD, Valentine joined CINDERELLA and Gramm rejoined FOREIGNER.

The singer reunited with FOREIGNER in 1992. However, in 1998 FOREIGNER's progress was halted dramatically though when on the eve of a projected tour of Japan Gramm was diagnosed as suffering from a brain tumour. It took the singer over a year to recover from surgery.

During April of 2002 Gramm would unite with former TALAS, BLOOD RED FLOWER and 24K man PHIL NARO for a live show in aid of the 'Bright Eyes Fund' in New York. Gramm, besides guesting on the album 'Welcome To The Revolution' from Christian Rockers LIBERTY N' JUSTICE, would be back on the road in a solo capacity during 2003, summer shows seeing Gramm fronting up a band comprising guitarist Rocket Ritchotte, bass player Bruce Turgon and keyboard player John Purdell. Sadly Purdell, taken ill suddenly, passed away on the 11th July. The musician had been suffering with cancer.

Gramm's band for live work throughout 2004 comprised guitarist Don Mancuso, bassist Richard Grammatico, keyboard player Andy Knoll and drummer Ben Grammatico.

Italian label Frontiers issued a brand new album, credited simply as THE LOU GRAMM BAND, in June 2009. -


- Pre-Foreigner Era
Gramm was born in Rochester, New York, and began his musical career in his
mid-teens, playing in local Rochester bands, including St. James Infirmary (later
The Infirmary), and PHFFT. He later sang harmony vocals in another local band,
Poor Heart. Gramm then went on to sing and play drums, and to eventually
become front man for the band Black Sheep. Black Sheep had the distinction of
being the first American band signed to the Chrysalis label, which released their
first single, "Stick Around" (1973). Black Sheep played in niteclubs in Rochester
and Buffalo, NY including McVan's, formerly at Niagara Street and Hertel
Avenue. Soon after this initial bit of success, Black Sheep signed with Capitol
Records, releasing two albums in succession [Black Sheep (1974) and
Encouraging Words (1975)]. They were the opening act for KISS when an icy
accident with their equipment truck on the New York State Thruway suddenly
ended the band's tour on Christmas Eve, 1975. Unable to support its albums with
live performances, Black Sheep came prematurely to a screeching halt.
A year earlier, Lou Gramm had the opportunity to meet his future bandmate Mick
Jones. Jones was in Rochester performing with the band Spooky Tooth, and
Gramm had given Jones a copy of Black Sheep's first album (S/T). It was early in
1976, not long after Black Sheep's truck accident, when Jones, in search of a
lead vocalist for a new band he was assembling, expressed his interest in
Gramm and invited him in a phone call to audition for the job of lead singer.

Foreigner Formation
With the blessings of his Black Sheep bandmates, Gramm flew down to New
York to audition for the still-unnamed band. With his powerful vocals, he got the
job. Lou Grammatico then became Lou Gramm, and, with the band initially
known as "Trigger," and later renamed Foreigner, became one of the most
successful rock vocalists of the late 1970s and 1980s. Circus magazine in 1978
upon release of "Hot Blooded" commented that Lou Gramm had a voice that
Robert Plant might envy. His unique vocals have made Foreigner one of
Billboard's Top 100 Artists of All Time in hit songs history.
Gramm was the lead vocalist on all of Foreigner's hit songs, including "Feels Like
the First Time", "Cold as Ice", "Long, Long Way from Home", "Hot Blooded",
"Double Vision", "Blue Morning, Blue Day", "Head Games", "Dirty White Boy",
"Urgent", "Juke Box Hero", "Break It Up" and "Say You Will". He co-wrote most of
the songs for the band, which achieved two of its biggest hits with the ballads
"Waiting for a Girl Like You", which spent ten weeks at #2 on the 1981-82
American Hot 100, and "I Want to Know What Love Is", which was a #1 hit
internationally (US & UK) in 1985. Their first 8 singles cracked the Billboard Top
20,(4 went Top 10) making them the first group since the Beatles to achieve this
in 1980.
Following the band's second album, the wildly successful Double Vision, shifts in
personnel began to take place. Following their next album, Head Games, Gramm
and Jones jointly decided to reduce the band's lineup from six to four members.
The next album, which Gramm has called the high point of his work with
Foreigner, was aptly titled 4. Gramm wanted the band to remain true to its purer
rock origins, favoring music with a solid drum and guitar structure, whereas
Jones embraced the 1980s style of synthesizer ballads — a more lucrative
approach at the time. Indeed, the next album, Agent Provocateur, would find
Jones moving creatively in the opposite direction from Gramm, seeking out
potential co-producers such as Trevor Horn, and then Alex Sadkin, which ended
up giving Foreigner's sound a somewhat new-wavish, keyboard-dominant quality.

Late 1980s and 1990s
By 1987, Foreigner continued to struggle with ongoing internal conflicts. During
this period, Gramm released his first solo album, Ready or Not, which received
critical acclaim and contained a top five hit single with "Midnight Blue". This was
followed by the late-1987 Foreigner album Inside Information, which reached
number 15 on Billboard's album chart. The extracted "Say You Will" was released
late that year, reaching number 6 on the Hot 100 early in 1988, and "I Don't Want
to Live Without You" followed, reaching number 5 on the Hot 100 and number
one on the adult contemporary chart in the spring. A third single, "Heart Turns to
Stone" reached number 56 in the summer. Eventually a second solo effort, Long
Hard Look, that included the top ten hit, "Just Between You and Me", and "True
Blue Love", reached the Top 40. Gramm also contributed a song to the
soundtrack for the 1987 movie The Lost Boys, titled "Lost in the Shadows."
Encouraged by his solo success, Gramm left the group in 1990 to form Shadow
King with close friend and former Black Sheep bassist Bruce Turgon. The new
group's 1991 self-titled album was released by Atlantic Records. Despite positive
reviews, the group lacked cohesiveness. It also did not enjoy the level of
marketing and promotional support necessary to sustain a new project. Shadow
King soon disbanded. The same year, Foreigner released the album Unusual
Heat, a relatively unsuccessful effort fronted by vocalist Johnny Edwards.
Gramm returned to the group in 1992 to record three new songs for the
compilation, The Very Best of ... and Beyond, bringing a new energy back into
the mix. Gramm also brought Bruce Turgon with him to join the Foreigner lineup
at this point.
In 1992, Gramm became a Born Again Christian "after being tired of the rock 'n'
roll life and not feeling very fulfilled...I was falling prey to some of the bad habits
that can go along with that, and I just decided that my own willpower and
strength was not enough, and [being raised a Catholic Christian], I knew
the answer was something deeper for a long time."
In 1995, Foreigner released the album Mr. Moonlight on the Rhythm Safari
label which, although relatively successful in Europe, was not as widely marketed
or distributed in the U.S. Still, "Until the End of Time" made inroads at adult
contemporary radio. With the changing trends in popular music, this now-classic
rock band came to suffer the inevitable slowing of their genre's momentum.
In 1996, Mick Jones invited Gramm to perform backing vocals on a cover version
of "I Want to Know What Love Is" he was producing for the Australian singer Tina
Arena. The song went on to become a major hit again throughout Europe.
In April 1997, two months after providing vocals for Christian rock band Petra's
Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus, and on the eve the band was to leave for a
Japan tour, Gramm was diagnosed with a type of brain tumor called a
craniopharyngioma. Although the tumor was benign, the resulting surgery
damaged his pituitary gland. In addition, the recovery program had caused
Gramm to gain weight, and likewise affected his stamina and voice. He continued
to work with Jones throughout his illness and in 1999, Gramm was back touring
with Foreigner playing summer festivals and smaller markets.

2000s to present
Gradually, Gramm's health and energy have rebounded. Gramm left Foreigner
again in 2003, and has been touring the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (as well as
performing occasional dates off the continent) steadily since January 2004. As of
2013, Lou Gramm continues to tour with his band (Ben Gramm - drums, A.D.
Zimmer – bass, Andy Knoll - keyboards, Michael Staertow – guitar), performing
many of his old Foreigner hits. In May 2013, Triumph Books released Gramm’s
autobiography Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll. On June 13,
2013, Gramm, along with Foreigner bandmate Mick Jones, were inducted in to
the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame where the two performed “Juke Box Hero” and “I
Want to Know What Love Is”, marking their first performance together in nearly a
decade. -


0 comentarios:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...