All posts tagged: Lou Gramm

Jimi Jamison

The Popdose Interview: Jimi Jamison of Survivor

In more than four decades in the music business, Jimi Jamison has worn quite a few different hats. While perhaps best known for his work with Chicago-based AOR rockers Survivor, his trademark vocals also helped to power albums by ZZ Top (take a fresh listen to “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” for example), George Thorogood and Joe Walsh, among others. When he stepped into the lead vocalist slot for Survivor in the mid-’80s, following the departure of original vocalist Dave Bickler, it was an important addition that would bring the band a second lease on life and add an extra five Top 20 hits (four of them went Top 10) to their resume. The road-worn huskiness of Jamison’s vocals helped make him one of the most distinctive vocalists of the decade, instantly identifiable on a crowded radio dial, where sounding different was the key, especially considering the hefty amount of competition that he was up against. Never Too Late, the new solo album from Jamison, plays out like a lost chapter from the Survivor discography and …

Ticket Stub: Foreigner in Atlanta, November ’79

Some times you have to give in to nostalgia, which is why I found myself at a St. Louis area casino a few weeks ago to see Foreigner. A note had been left with our complimentary tickets letting us know that we were in for a good night of music. We were assured that although Foreigner guitarist/founder Mick Jones is the only remaining original member, these guys still put on a kick ass show that is worthy of the Foreigner name. And indeed, having seen the new lineup a year prior, I was very aware that this lineup of Foreigner, with veteran singer Kelly Hansen replacing Lou Gramm on vocals, did in fact have the goods. The rest of the Foreigner lineup in addition to Hansen and Jones fills out with veteran players that include former Dokken member Jeff Pilson on bass and vocals, journeyman drummer Brian Tichy, longtime multi-instrumentalist Thom Gimbel (with the band since 1995), and Michael Bluestein on keyboards. Out of all of the bands touring with “replacement singers,” the revitalized Foreigner …

Death by Power Ballad: Foreigner, “Out of the Blue”

“It’s always that one song that gets to you. You can hide, but the song comes to find you.” — Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape) I dislike Rob Sheffield for many reasons—his writing comes off as pompous, hipper-than-thou snark (and that’s just for the stuff he likes); his greasy, perpetual grad student look smacks so obviously of affectation; his voice on those VH1 shows sounds like he’s gargling bathwater with a tampon shoved up each nostril; and he made music writing safe for a whole army of people just like him (read Spin lately?). I also dislike him out of insane jealousy; in spite of all the above, he wrote one of the most moving books about music and music fans I’ve ever read. The bastard done really good. Go to Amazon now and purchase a copy, or borrow one from your local library, that most wonderful of socialist institutions. A song I’d relegated to the leaky, cobwebby space in the back of my mind recently came to find me. I’d been in …

Dw. Dunphy On… An Open Letter to Mick Jones

This week, I’m taking a cue from Popdose’s own Uncle Donnie (and not from my cousin Donnie, thank you very much) to offer up a little pre-emptive career advice. It was made known recently that Kiss would be releasing a three-disc, brand new album soon, it would be an exclusive to WalMart, and it should have the Lazarus-like qualities found in Journey’s last album, Revelations. Oh, I had something to say about it, but only after its release, as one of the curious benefits of being a WalMart exclusive is that you don’t have to market your band to the critics – meaning you critics are probably not getting promotional copies with which to skewer the provider. You’ll buy your review copy like everybody else. What does all this have to do with Mick Jones? Well, aside from the fact that the Clash’s Mick Jones gets all the love while Foreigner’s Mick Jones has to keep reminding folks he’s not the Clash’s Mick Jones, Kiss just pooped on his band’s parade ground, for only a …

Death by Power Ballad: UFO, “Try Me”

One of the great eccentrics (and notorious drinkers) in rock, Michael Schenker also served in one of the great hard rock bands of the mid- and late 70s.  The Schenker/Phil Mogg/Pete Way/Andy Parker nexus that powered UFO in this period produced a handful of classic albums, including the scorching, varied Lights Out (1977).  Mogg is an oft-overlooked voice in this period who, at his best, could match Paul Rodgers and Lou Gramm in strength, sleaze, and swagger. Don’t believe me?  Check out “Too Hot to Handle,” the lead cut from Lights Out.  To these ears, that chorus is easily the equal of “Baby I’m a bad man” or “I’m hot blooded / Check it and see” in sheer potency and sexual bluster.  And that shit was important in 1977, dawg.  I remember how the girls went nuts when little Eddie Blevins sang “Cat Scratch Fever” during second grade recess.  Never forgot it. Back to Michael Schenker.  He was a Scorpion at 15 (older, mustachioed bro Rudolph is still at it) and hooked up with Mogg, …

CHART ATTACK!: 4/11/87

Hi, everybody! This week’s CHART ATTACK! takes us back a whopping 22 years, and wow, do I feel old, considering I remember hearing just about every single one of these songs on the radio when they first came out. The songs this week aren’t that bad, actually, but as you’ll soon see, almost all of them are linked together in…well…just about the worst way possible. Stay tuned as we review the Top 10 from April 11, 1987! 10. The Finer Things — Steve Winwood Amazon iTunes 9. Let’s Go! — Wang Chung Amazon iTunes 8. Midnight Blue — Lou Gramm Amazon iTunes 7. Sign ‘O’ the Times — Prince Amazon iTunes 6. Come Go With Me — Exposé Amazon iTunes 5. Don’t Dream It’s Over — Crowded House Amazon iTunes 4. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight — Genesis Amazon iTunes 3. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) — Aretha Franklin and George Michael Amazon iTunes 2. Lean on Me — Club Nouveau Amazon iTunes 1. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now — Starship Amazon iTunes 10. The Finer …

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 37

This week we have a ginormous, gigantic, gargantuan post, as we finish up with the letter G on our trek through the bottom of Billboard‘s Hot 100 charts during the ’80s. Michael Gore “Theme From ‘Terms of Endearment’” — 1984, #84 (download) You know, it feels like every week here at Bottom Feeders starts with something completely bland or just plain douche-a-rific now. I guess if you’re listening to everything from top to bottom you can consider this your intro song. Or if you’re putting together a nice light-rock CD for grandma, you can make this your centerpiece. That’s it — grandma music. Go West “We Close Our Eyes” — 1985, #41 (download) “Call Me” — 1985, #54 (download) “Eye to Eye” — 1985, #73 (download) If I didn’t collect ‘80s music I most certainly would have missed out on these gems and thought that “King of Wishful Thinking” (1990) was Go West’s first single and Indian Summer (1992) their first album. If you ever wanted to get into Go West for some reason, that …

Chartburn: 1/18/08

Mainstream Rock: Lou Gramm, “Midnight Blue” (1987) John: Move over, Foreigner! There’s something blander! Zack: Despite Lou Gramm’s dreadful, dreadful hairstyle, I really enjoy this song. I can’t help it. It’s such a simple song I could probably play it myself (and I don’t play any instruments), but I appreciate that, the same way one appreciates an old rotary telephone: not too many moving parts, won’t break down too easily, can take a good knock without falling apart, and works even when the power is out. Scott: When Lou Gramm left Foreigner (the first time), I thought it was because he wanted to rock again, not produce mediocre pop like this. I love this guy’s voice, though. And I think that the follow-up song, “Just Between You and Me,” was a better, more passionate mediocre pop single.