"I was always a big Foreigner fan back in the late 70's and early 80's, so when Lou Gramm came out with his solo effort Ready or Not in 1987, I was all over it. It was one of my most played albums of the 80's. Fifteen years later, I got the CD after not having listened to the album for at least a decade, and rediscovered why I played it so often. If you are (or ever were) into Foreigner, you'll like Ready or Not. Songs like "Ready or Not", "Time", and "Midnight Blue" are great Rock tunes that sound just as good today as they did in the late 80's. And with the ever recognizable vocals of Lou Gramm, you sometimes forget that you're not listening to Foreigner. The second song on the CD, "Heartache", has the same exact sound that is typical of the second songs on the first 3 Foreigner albums ("Cold As Ice" - FOREIGNER, "Blue Morning, Blue Day" - DOUBLE VISION, "Love On The Telephone - HEAD GAMES). The rocker "She's Got To Know" is a semi clone of the Foreigner song "Headnocker".I didn't listen to the second side of the album as much as the first side when it was new, but now I've found that my favorite song on the album is 8th track "Until I Make You Mind". It has a timeless sound that cannot be pegged as an 80's style song.So if you're into Foreigner, you won't be disappointed with this Lou's RON. If I were to rank this CD along with the Foreigner albums, it would be:1. HEAD GAMES
2. DOUBLE VISION
4. LOU GRAMM - READY OR NOT
5. FOREIGNER"I used to follow, yeah that's true. But my following days are over. Now I just have to follow through.""
Fantastic debut solo effort
Brad | CT | 04/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album measures up to the Foreigner albums of the 1980s. I classify Foreigner tracks from this era into three categories: out-and-out rockers, uptempo melodic anthems, and beautiful ballads. This solo effort includes all three--and all of high quality.The title track is an absolutely fantastic leadoff rocker that shows Lou's vocals at their searing, rocking best. "Heartache" is a melodic anthem gem along the lines of Foreigner's hits "That Was Yesterday" and "Say You Will"--which were from the Foreigner albums released right before and right after this solo one. "Midnight Blue" is of course the one song off the album that is still remembered by more than a few--and to this day it is a fantastic, unique song that showcases Lou's vocals perfectly. Other highlight tracks include the heart-rending ballad "If I Don't Have You", the rocking "She's Got To Know", and the uptempo and at the same time pretty "Until I Make You Mine." Not that the unmentioned tracks are also anything but great. This is an excellent album from beginning to end. Strongly recommended for Foreigner fans and fans of melodic rock. Lou's follow-up solo effort "Long Hard Look" (includes the great hit "Just Between You and Me"), while now out of print, is also strongly recommended. This one, however, is the more rocking effort of the two."
The Direction Foreigner Should Have Gone...
Matthew J. Bross | Northeast Ohio | 09/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1981, Foreigner released their best album in"4". Their late 1984 follow up. "Agent Provocateur", was an overly slick, keyboard laden affair that pracitcally had forsaken their hard rock roots, which in turn alienated a good portion of their core audience, including this reviewer. Flash forward to 1987, two and a half years since Agent Provocateur's release, Foreigner lead vocalist Lou Gramm comes through for the Foreigner core fan base with his first solo effort, "Ready or Not" . With most of the track co-written by bass player Bruce Turgon, who himself would later join Foreigner in 1995; the songs are well-composed and accessible. Nils Lofgren (of Grin and also Bruce Springsteen fame) supplies most of the lead guitar work.
The result was very pleasing; Lou Gramm goes back to the straight-up rock roots that Foreigner nearly abandoned. Gramm wastes no time by straightening things out immediately by leading off with the most aggressive track on the album, the title track. He defiantly came ready and so were the true Foreigner fans. The tempo continues with another good track, "Heartache".
Things get musically better with the album's most commercially successful and accessible track "Midnight Blue". This energetic, straight up pop-rock track is a definite breath of musical fresh air. This was also Gramm's first solo single to ever be released, which turned out to be a top five hit for him, peaking at #5 in 1987. Also it hit #1 on Billboard Album Rock Tracks Chart, a notable feat in the era of Bon Jovi, Guns & Roses and U2. "Time" is another quality rocker which keeps things musically up to speed.
Much further into the CD Gramm still does not let up with two other hard-rocking tracks, "She's Got to Know" and "Arrow Through Your Heart".
If you are a Foreigner fan, this Ready Or Not is just as essential to have in your collection as Foreigner's "4" or any of their classic albums from the 70's. After listening to it, you will then know who the real rocker in Foreigner was. And by the mid-1980's it wasn't Mick Jones. "
Better Than Later Foreigner
Matthew J. Bross | 05/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"READY OR NOT, Lou Gramm's first solo album, is better than anything Foreigner released after AGENT PROVOCATEUR. He seems at ease working with his father, brothers, and other relatives on this album, which proves that if you obey the commandment "Honor thy Father and thy Mother", you will be rewarded. He did here, and the result was an album that beats Foreigner's INSIDE INFORMATION and UNUSUAL HEAT by a country mile. He equalled this one on much of LONG HARD LOOK, but this was his last totally consistent album until Foreigner's indie release MR. MOONLIGHT."
Dasha | b'ham,al usa | 12/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OKAY, SO I'VE BEEN A FOREIGNER FAN SINCE I WAS 14. I'M NOW 35. BUT LOU PROVED ON R.O.N. THAT HE KNOWS HOW TO JAM AND LOVES TO DO IT. I ALSO THOUGHT IT WAS COOL THAT HE USED FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND AN OLD BAND MEMBER (BRUCE TURGON) FROM "BLACK SHEEP" DAYS TO JAM WITH. THE TITLE TRACK IS EXCELLENT AND THERE IS NOT A BAD SONG ON THE DISC! LOU'S VOICE IS PRIMO WHICH IS WHY I EMBRACED FOREIGNER TO BEGIN WITH. HIS PIPES ARE PERFECT FOR ROCK & ROLL. NOBODY'S DONE IT BETTER"