Thursday, August 11, 2011

Foreigner: Original singer says current lineup is misleading fans

Original Foreigner singer Lou Gramm isn’t a big fan of the current version of the band.

Like Journey, when Foreigner lost its original voice they eventually replaced it with a virtual sound-alike; exit Gramm, enter Kelly Hansen.

In a new interview with Spinner, Gramm sounds off on the subject of having his voice, and vocal style, replicated.

“It is [strange]. It totally is,” says Gramm. “But what's stranger to me is that, as I've learned talking to people who see those shows, is that in many cases the audience, especially if they're younger, don't even know it's not the original lead singer.”

“In Foreigner's case,” continues Lou, “as I understand it, the singer was actually trained to deliver pretty much exactly everything as I did it, note for note. If I were in the audience and learned that while I was there, I'd get up and leave. I think when the band name remains the exact same, but something as important as the lead vocal is different, it's misleading. It's like false advertising.”

Lou may not be too pleased, then, when he catches up with the news this week that Foreigner are releasing a 3-disc set next month, including newly-recorded versions of the band’s hits with Hansen handling vocal duties.

Due September 13, “Feels Like The First Time” is a new 3-disc set featuring Foreigner’s classics in three different versions: acoustic, re-recorded and live on DVD. What will likely be of special nuisance to Gramm is disc 2: “Juke Box Heroes: Brand New Digital Recordings of Foreigner’s Greatest Hits,” where the band did just that – redid their songs with Hansen.

Foreigner may have been inspired to redo their songs based on what current tour mates Journey did a few years ago: Journey re-recorded their hits with current singer Arnel Pineda replicating Steve Perry’s vocals for an additional disc on 2008’s “Revelations,” which also featured new material.

Lou continues to perform material from his days in Foreigner as he tours with the Lou Gramm Band.

Read Gramm’s full interview with Spinner here.

Foreigner Foreigner

Foreigner – Juke Box Hero
Vocals: Lou Gramm
Dortmund, Germany – 1984

Foreigner – Juke Box Hero
Vocals: Kelly Hansen

See also:

Foreigner to release 3-disc set next month