MANHATTAN, NY—Lou Gramm, the original lead singer of Foreigner, showed why he has ruled FM radio for nearly 40 years with a set packed with 13 Top 30 hits at City Winery. Between Foreigner’s 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, and Gramm’s solo career of Top 10 singles, he had a lot of chart-toppers he could choose. His ubiquitous rock anthems can be heard in pizza joints across the country and his ballads soundtrack every wedding. In fact, his voice gets so much airplay that you almost need to see him live to prove he’s not just a transmission.
Gramm sang “Feels Like The First Time,” the single that put the band on the map, as well as “Cold As Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home” from Foreigner’s self-titled debut album (1977). From Foreigner’s second album, Double Vision (1978), he picked “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision” and “Blue Morning, Blue Day.” “Dirty White Boy” was selected from the third album, Head Games (1978). He also belted out “Urgent” and “Juke Box Hero” from 4 (1981). And from Agent Provocateur (1984), he grabbed “That Was Yesterday” and Foreigner’s number one international hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” accompanied by the Harlem Choir. Gramm also offered up his successful solo singles like “Midnight Blue” and “Just Between You And Me.”
With a catalog this deep, it’s no surprise that Gramm and Foreigner founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame on June 13 in New York City. Jones currently tours with a band billed as Foreigner, without Gramm, but with nine Top 10 hits, the songwriting chemistry between the two men is undeniable. And Gramm recounts his rocky two-time breakup with the band in his new book, Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades In Rock ‘N’ Roll, due for release May 1.
Gramm may not perform Foreigner’s arena rock in arenas anymore, but he enjoyed being closer to his fans—the ones that fiddled with stereo dials for decades to find him.