3.5 out of 5 Stars!
Does the name Lou Grammatico sound familiar? No? Then how about the shortened version of the name by which he is better known?…Lou Gramm?
Yes, this is the same Lou Gramm who went on to worldwide fame as the frontman for the group Foreigner. This album has since been re-released and re-titled numerous times under various monikers in order to (I’m sure) further cash in on Lou’s eventual name recognition. I have a copy of the original re-published vinyl version from 1987 with the title listed above (complete with the cover I’ve included, including the “let’s cash in on the money” sticker announcing Lou’s revised–and more famous–name). But originally, the band’s sole album was released as nothing more than a demo, handmade version back in 1970 under the simple name Poor Heart with the same tracks, only in a different order.
Regardless…if one were to close their eyes when listening to this album, they would think that someone had slipped on an album by Three Dog Night. Yep, Three Dog Night! There are, in actuality, three singers, with Lou Gramm being one of them, and the music is in nearly the same exact vein as Three Dog Night. Same instrumentation, same guitar and organ tones, same production sound, same everything! Gramm takes the “Chuck Negron” role (the highest tenor voice) when it comes to the three singers, and the majority of vocals are done in harmony or inter-changed vocal swapping, so it’s usually hard to pinpoint which vocalist is singing actual lead most of the time. But Gramm’s higher voice comes through loud and clear and is the most recognizable.
If you’re a fan of Three Dog Night’s, this might be of interest to you (if you can even locate a copy). Don’t expect any of the Dog’s magnificence when it came to selecting memorable songs, however, since that’s where Poor Heart lacked in supplying the goods (and likely why they fizzled out quickly). Yet the album is enjoyable enough and brings back memories of an era when arena-rock such a Three Dog Night ruled the roost in America. Plus is also allows a glimpse into Lou Gramm’s past prior to his success in Foreigner.