HNE Recordings Ltd has just released “Questions And Answers: The Atlantic Anthology 1987-1989”, a new three-CD collection from iconic FOREIGNER singer Lou Gramm.
Gramm had been recording with Rochester, New York-based band BLACK SHEEP since the early 1970s. Releasing two LPs for Capitol, Gramm met his future bandmate and songwriting partner Mick Jones in 1975 when BLACK SHEEP opened for SPOOKY TOOTH in Rochester. Jones was looking for a singer for his new band in 1976, and BLACK SHEEP having split at the end of 1975, Lou was free to audition for Mick‘s new group, FOREIGNER. Releasing their self-titled album on Atlantic Records in 1977, and featuring solid gold rock classics as “Cold As Ice” and “Feels Like The First Time”, FOREIGNER were an instant worldwide smash. Going from strength to strength, the band hit a commercial peak in 1984 with the “Agent Provocateur” album and the chart-topping power ballad “I Want To Know What Love Is”.
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.
Disc One: Ready Or Not (1987)
01. Ready Or Not
03. Midnight Blue
05. If I Don’t Have You
06. She’s Got To Know
07. Arrow Thru Your Heart
08. Until I Make You Mine
09. Chain Of Love
10. Lover Come Back
Disc Two: Long Hard Look (1989)
01. Angel With A Dirty Face
02. Just Between You And Me
03. Broken Dreams
04. True Blue Love
05. I’ll Come Running
06. Hangin’ On My Hip
07. Warmest Rising Sun
08. Day One
09. I’ll Know When It’s Over
10. Tin Soldier
Disc Three: Single Versions / Questions And Answers (1987-89)
01. Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys) (Vocal Edit)
02. Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys) (Vocal Lp Version)
03. Ready Or Not (Rock Remix)
04. Ready Or Not (Extended Dance Mix)
05. Ready Or Not (Instrumental Remix)
06. Midnight Blue (Extended Remix)
07. True Blue Love (Edit)
08. Questions And Answers (Unbanded – Promo Interview Album)
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