MIDNIGHT BLUE, a song performed by Lou Gramm of Foreigner fame has been described as “the last great single of the album-rock era”. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, reviewing Jukebox Heroes: The Foreigner Anthology (2000)
It was recorded in 1986 and released as a single in 1987 by Atlantic Records and featured on Gramm’s debut album, “Ready or Not”. It peaked at Number 5 on the American Charts.
This was Lou Gramm’s first solo hit after performing in the American rock band Foreigner for a decade. The song was a hit because it was a good song and also because of the great video which featured heavily on MTV and VH1 at the time.
“Midnight blue is a dark shade of blue named for its resemblance to the apparently blue color of a moonlit night sky around full moon.” (Wikipedia)
To me going into the Midnight Blue means stepping into Mystery and Adventure. Throwing caution to the wind. There’s a magical quality to that phrase. It symbolises leaving civilisation and conformity and mundane stuff behind and getting off grid and ending up somewhere supremely different and exciting. Even if it’s for one moonlight night. Even if it’s driving to a Moonlit lake on a star filled night. It’s a song for wannabe runaways. It’s a song for travellers, gypsies and drifters. It’s a song of escape. It’s a song about heading in a new direction. It’s a song about breaking free.
Cherry Red is when life is going good, it’s ticking along nicely. But it’s missing something…. that je ne sais quoi! Midnight Blue is the kick of chilli in the chocolate. It’s the magical ingredient that turns life from being good to being fantastic, even exhilarating.
I love this song, it’s a feel good song for a restless Moonlit night. It had a great video with the restless girl climbing out the window on a night of the Full Moon. She decides to hitchhike and gets picked up by a guy in a red sports car who just happens to be her ex boyfriend. A Teen dream kind of adventure, escape, romance video. Open roads, running through forests and the full moon. With some nice blue denim and great hair thrown in.
You really get the feel for the young guy wanting to show off his flashy car on a night full of promise. In the video it feels like he’s been working on his car behind the scenes waiting for the perfect moment to bring it out. And viewing it as a perfect vehicle to woo his girl back and impress her. When he catches sight of the full moon that’s it. He realises he’s going to seize the moment.
It’s a song with fired up energy about a boy finally knowing what he wants after a bit of soul searching and going for it. He’s zooming in on what he wants and there’s no going back. It’s a song about determination. And winning back the girl he loves.
“I used to follow
Yeah, that’s true
But my following days are over
Now I just gotta follow through
I remember what my father said
He said “Son, life is simple”
It’s either cherry red or
The video was shot in and around Los Angeles, California by Jim Hershleder. “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… The chorus made me recall lying down in the back seat of my father’s speeding car looking at the moon through the trees… The house that the girl, actress Traci Lind, sneaks out of belonged to my producer… The video was the biggest I had made up until that time, and I was too young to realize it would be one of the greatest weeks of my life”. (Songfacts)
In an interview with Gramm by music journalist, Gregg Prato, he explained that cherry red is “everything going as best as it can,” while midnight blue is “dark and mysterious.”
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.” (Songfacts)
“You were the restless one
And you did not care
That I was the trouble boy
Lookin’ for a double dare
I won’t apologize for
The things I’ve done and said
But when I win your heart
I’m gonna paint it cherry red”
This song is a classic and it’s one of my all time favourites. It isn’t the only song called Midnight Blue. There are others by various artists including Melissa Manchester and ELO but this one’s by far the best in my opinion. It captures the powerful energy of the Full Moon and the excitement of the open road and the lure of an old romance. It’s a song you want to blast in a car as you drive off into the Moonlight as you disappear into the Midnight Blue…
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