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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Gramm, Lou - 1989 Long Hard Look
Gramm, Lou - 1989 Long Hard Look

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ARTIST: Gramm, Lou
ALBUM: Long Hard Look
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 81915-2
YEAR: 1989
,b>CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records, CANDY225


LINEUP: Lou Gramm - lead and backing vocals * Bruce Turgon - bass, rhythm guitars, backing vocals * Dann Huff, Vivian Campbell, Nils Lofgren, Peter Maunu - guitars * Ben Gramm - drums * Pino Palladino - bass * Peter Wolf, Gary Corbett - keyboards * Siedah Garrett, Reinhold Bilgeri, Peter Wolf, Ina Wolf, Darryl Phinnessee, Phillip Ingram, Merry Clayton, Robin Clark, Lani Groves, Maxi Anderson - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 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


We went into a bit of detail about Lou Gramm's departure from Foreigner in the late 80's. Read the article on our 'Ready Or Not' write-up. Lou preferred instead his solo career with Atlantic Records, which yielded two albums, and then the band Shadowking for a short-lived career in the early 90's. 'Long Hard Look' is also a very good release. In my earlier review of 'Ready Or Not', I did place that one as being slightly superior. But years later, I'm not so sure now.. lol! Produced by Peter Wolf, this is what albums should sound like in the current day, but alas, we have to resort to pulling CD's like this out of the collection just to remind us of what we're missing.

The Songs
'Angel With A Dirty Face' has Gramm's urgent styled delivery, coupled with Dann Huff's killer guitar-work. Beaut track! 'Just Between You And Me' (co-written with Holly Knight) was the big hit off the album, going Top 10 (#6) into the Billboard Singles Charts. Another great melodic song. 'Broken Dreams' is a shuffly Toto like affair, straight from the 'Fahrenheit' era. Something you wouldn't normally expect from Gramm. Cool nonetheless. 'True Blue Love' was the second single, reaching #40 on Billboard. This sounds like something you expect off 'Agent Provocateur', though it has a sparse quality to it. The snare drum is the feature piece on 'I'll Come Running', and with a chorus set to stun, this song is typical of the high quality toonage which came out of the 1989 year. 'Hangin' On My Hip' is another sassy rocker, with Vivian Campbell driving this one hard and true. 'Warmest Rising Sun' is slightly different. A feel good dreamy tune with big stacked backing vocals from an ensemble cast which casts its shadow like a choir. 'I'll Know When It's Over' rides a darker edge, the sound synonomous with Shadowking's and Bruce Turgon's solo work. Very dramatic. 'Tin Soldier' is a cover of the Small Faces/Humble Pie tune from a few years earlier. The song has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

In Summary
All in all, going back to listen to this album proved a worthwhile exercise. Even though melodic rock and AOR were quietly exiting the door in 1989, Gramm did enough for Atlantic to generate two decent singles on the Billboard Charts. Of course, he, Turgon and Campbell would join forces for the under-appreciated Shadowking album during 1991. Gramm did seriously have some amazing vocal chops, so it was very sad when he lost those abilities after a series of health and medical issues over the next decade. He's still out there as part of the Lou Gramm Band, but probably nowhere near the peak of his powers.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on December 29 2015 14:57:16
Even though I consider Gramm to be a 'sing the phone book' kind of singer, I never got into this particular album. The first solo album was very good, and I really like the Shadowking album. And of course all things Foreigner. But aside from a couple good tunes, this one never has really worked for me.
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