Midnight Blue

Album: Ready Or Not (1987)
Charted: 82 5

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Lou Gramm sings about how life is simple, really: it's either cherry red or midnight blue.

    In our interview with Gramm, he explained that cherry red is "everything going as best as it can," while midnight blue is "dark and mysterious."

    On this track, he makes it clear that he is the darker shade, letting the girl know that he's going to forge his own path, and while they are split at the moment, he'll be coming back for her.

    It's a very unapologetic love song, as Gramm makes it clear that he doesn't regret the way he treated her, but is confident that everything will be cherry red once he decides to win her back.
  • This was Gramm's first single as a solo artist. He had staggering success as the lead singer of Foreigner, which in the previous 10 years had become one of the biggest bands in America. Gramm, who co-wrote most of their songs with guitarist Mick Jones, was disheartened by the direction that band had taken, fearing that slick ballads like "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and "I Want to Know What Love Is" had gotten them away from their roots.

    Looking to rediscover a raw, spontaneous sound, Gramm released the album Ready Or Not in early 1987, and by April, "Midnight Blue" reached #5 on the Hot 100. Later in 1987, Foreigner released another successful album (with Gramm on lead vocals), Inside Information, which contained the hits "Say You Will" and "I Don't Want to Live Without You." Gramm released another solo album in 1989 with contained the hit "Just Between You and Me."
  • Gramm wrote this song with Bruce Turgon, a longtime friend who was in an early band with Gramm called Black Sheep. In 1992, Turgon became the bass player in Foreigner, a position he held until Gramm left the band in 2003.
  • Midnight Blue is the color of the sky under certain shades of moonlight. Gramm wasn't the first to use the color as a song title: Melissa Manchester had a #1 Adult Contemporary hit with her "Midnight Blue" in 1975.
  • Jim Hershleder directed the video, which benefited from airplay on VH1, which had launched two years earlier. Hershleder's other credits include videos by Steve Earle ("Telephone Road," "Someday") and Lorrie Morgan ("Go Away").

    Hershleder told us: "The concept stemmed from the power of the song, which seemed to me captured the feeling of being young, having your first car, and picking up your girlfriend who had just snuck out of her house to meet you. My teen years in Minnesota, basically." (here's the full story on making the "Midnight Blue" video.)

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