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Foreigner

While quite a few arena rock acts of the '70s found the transformation into the '80s quite difficult, several acts continued to flourish and enjoyed some of their biggest commercial success: Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, and especially Foreigner. Foreigner's leader from the beginning has been British guitarist Mick Jones, who first broke into the music biz as a "hired gun" of sorts, appearing on recordings by George Harrison and Peter Frampton, and as part of a later-day version of hard rockers Spooky Tooth. By the mid-'70s, Jones had relocated to New York City, where he was a brief member of the Leslie West Band and served as an A&R man for a record company. But it wasn't long before Jones felt the urge to be part of another rock outfit as he sought to put together a band that would be able to combine elements of rock, progressive, R&B, and pop into a single, cohesive style.

Jones soon assembled a group consisting of ex-King Crimson sax player Ian McDonald and ex-Ian Hunter drummer Dennis Elliot (both of whom were British), along with New York musicians Al Greenwood (keyboards), Ed Gagliardi (bass), and Lou Gramm (vocals), the latter of which was previously a member of an obscure '70s outfit called Black Sheep. Jones found immediate songwriting chemistry with Gramm (one of the first songs they wrote together was the eventual hit "Cold As Ice"), resulting in the newly formed band taking the name Foreigner and signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records. Foreigner's self-titled debut was issued in 1977 and became an immediate hit on the strength of the hit singles "Feels Like the First Time," "Long, Long Way From Home," and the aforementioned "Cold As Ice," as the album would eventually go platinum five times over.

Foreigner avoided the dreaded sophomore slump with an even stronger follow-up release, 1978's Double Vision, which spawned such further hit singles as "Hot Blooded" and its title track, and the album stayed in the Top Ten for a solid six months. As a result, the album's success established the sextet as an arena headliner and would go on to become Foreigner's best-selling album of their career (selling seven million copies in the U.S. alone by 2001). The group's third release overall, Head Games, followed in 1979 and marked the first of many subsequent lineup changes for the group, as Gagliardi was replaced by ex-Peter Frampton and Roxy Music bassist Rick Wills. While the album was another big seller and turned out to be their most straight-ahead musically, both Gramm and Jones felt that the album failed to break any new ground, something that they sought to correct on their next album.

The band's lineup was cut back to just a quartet consisting of Jones, Gramm, Elliot, and Wills as super-producer Mutt Lange (fresh off late-'70s success with AC/DC) was enlisted to oversee the proceedings. The ploy worked and the resulting 1981 release, 4, was another massive seller, spawning such further hit singles as "Urgent" (which featured a blazing sax solo from Motown vet Junior Walker), "Jukebox Hero," and the power ballad "Waiting for a Girl Like You." Although the latter tune was a massive hit, it confused some of the band's following as to whether Foreigner was a hard rock band or balladeers. In 1982, a stopgap best-of set, Records, was released and featured ten of band's biggest hit singles, remaining a steady seller to this day (becoming Foreigner's second album to achieve sales of seven million by 2001).

It took Foreigner three years to complete a follow-up to 4 with Agent Provocateur being issued in 1984. The band made the transition to the MTV video age without a hitch with the over-the-top, gospel-inflected ballad "I Want to Know What Love Is" (which featured the New Jersey Mass Choir) becoming one of the biggest MTV and radio hits that year. But despite the single's success, there was a noticeable dip in sales for Agent Provocateur when compared to their earlier albums due to the fact that the album wasn't as focused and strong overall as their previous recordings. After a mammoth nine-month tour wrapped up a year later, both Jones and Gramm focused on non-Foreigner projects during 1986. Jones produced Bad Company's Fame and Fortune and co-produced Van Halen's hit debut recording with Sammy Hagar, 5150, while Gramm worked on a solo debut. The release of both Gramm's solo album, Ready or Not, as well as Foreigner's sixth studio album overall, Inside Information, came in 1987. While both were successful and spawned Top Ten hits (Gramm with "Midnight Blue" and Foreigner with "Say You Will"), tension between Gramm and Jones came to a head regarding the singer's desire to focus on his solo career, which led to Gramm's split from Foreigner in 1989.

The same year as his split from Foreigner, Gramm issued his second solo album, Long Hard Look, which proved to be not as successful as its predecessor, while Jones produced Billy Joel's Storm Front and issued a star-studded self-titled solo debut. Jones, Elliot, and Wills tried to keep Foreigner afloat with a new singer, Johnny Edwards, issuing a largely ignored album in 1991, Unusual Heat, while Gramm fared no better with a new outfit, Shadow King, issuing a forgotten self-titled debut the same year. Seeing the error in their split, both Jones and Gramm listened to the advice of Atlantic Records and reunited for the recording of three all-new tracks to be included on a more extensive "hits" collection. Issued in 1992, the 17-track The Very Best...And Beyond was Foreigner's most commercially successful release in several years along with the band's first live release, Classic Hits Live, issued a year later.

The Gramm/Jones reunion soon turned permanent and new members Bruce Turgon (bass) and Jeff Jacobs (keyboards) were welcomed on board. The latest version of Foreigner issued an all-new studio recording in 1995, Mr. Moonlight, which failed to return the group to the top of the charts. Foreigner remained a popular concert attraction, but the band's future was thrust into doubt in 1997 when Gramm was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Luckily, the tumor was non-cancerous and was removed shortly thereafter. Gramm's recovery was slow and painful, but by 1999, the singer was well enough for Foreigner to team up with Journey for a summer tour. The early 21st century saw the release of several archival collections courtesy of the Rhino label: a pair of additional collections, Jukebox Heroes: The Foreigner Anthology and Complete Greatest Hits, as well as reissues of the group's self-titled debut and 4, both of which included extra bonus tracks. Can't Slow Down, a three-disc set that included a new studio album, a disc of remixed versions of the band's biggest hits, and a DVD documentary, arrived in 2009. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: No End In Sight: The Very Best Of Foreigner

Disc 1

1. Feels Like The First Time

2. Long, Long Way From Home

3. Cold As Ice

4. Headknocker

5. Starrider

6. Double Vision

7. Blue Morning, Blue Day

8. Hot Blooded

9. Dirty White Boy

10. Head Games

11. Women

12. Night Life

13. Break It Up

14. Juke Box Hero

15. Urgent

16. Waiting For A Girl Like You

Disc 2

1. I Want To Know What Love Is

2. Down On Love

3. Reaction To Action

4. That Was Yesterday

5. Say You Will

6. I Don't Want To Live Without You

7. Can't Wait

8. Tooth And Nail

9. Heart Turns To Stone

11. I'll Fight For You

12. Until The End Of Time

13. Too Late

x

Track List: Inside Information

1. Heart Turns To Stone

2. Can't Wait

3. Say You Will

4. I Don't Want To Live Without You

5. Counting Every Minute

6. Inside Information

7. The Beat Of My Heart

8. Face To Face

9. Out Of The Blue

10. A Night To Remember

x

Track List: Agent Provocateur

1. Tooth And Nail

2. That Was Yesterday

3. I Want To Know What Love Is

4. Growing Up the Hard Way

5. Reaction To Action

6. Stranger in My Own House

7. A Love In Vain

8. Down On Love

9. Two Different Worlds

10. She's Too Tough

x

Track List: Records

1. Cold As Ice

2. Double Vision

3. Head Games

4. Waiting For A Girl Like You

5. Feels Like The First Time

6. Urgent

7. Dirty White Boy

8. Juke Box Hero

9. Long, Long Way From Home

10. Hot Blooded (Live)

x

Track List: 4 (Remastered)

1. Night Life

2. Juke Box Hero

3. Break It Up

4. Waiting For A Girl Like You

5. Luanne

6. Urgent

7. I'm Gonna Win

8. Woman In Black

9. Girl On The Moon

10. Don't Let Go

x

Track List: Head Games

1. Dirty White Boy

2. Love On the Telephone

3. Women

4. I'll Get Even With You

5. Seventeen

6. Head Games

7. The Modern Day

8. Blinded By Science

9. Do What You Like

10. Rev On The Red Line

x

Track List: Double Vision

1. Hot Blooded

2. Blue Morning, Blue Day

3. You're All I Am

4. Back Where You Belong

5. Love Has Taken Its Toll

6. Double Vision

7. Tramontane

8. I Have Waited So Long

9. Lonely Children

10. Spellbinder

x

Track List: Foreigner

1. Feels Like The First Time

2. Cold As Ice

3. Starrider

4. Headknocker

5. The Damage Is Done

6. Long, Long Way From Home

7. Woman Oh Woman

8. At War With The World

9. Fool For You Anyway

10. I Need You

x

Track List: Alive and Rockin'

1. Double Vision

2. Head Games

3. Dirty White Boy

4. Cold As Ice

5. Starrider

6. Feels Like the First Time

7. Urgent

9. Hot Blooded

x

Track List: Can't Slow Down

1. Can't Slow Down

2. In Pieces

3. When It Comes to Love

4. Living in a Dream

5. I Can't Give Up

6. Ready

7. Give Me a Sign

8. I'll Be Home Tonight

9. Too Late

10. Lonely

11. As Long As I Live

12. Angel Tonight

13. Fool for You Anyway

x

Track List: Juke Box Heroes

1. Save Me

2. Feels Like The First Time

3. Cold As Ice

4. Long, Long Way From Home

5. Hot Blooded

6. Double Vision

7. Head Games

8. Dirty White Boy

9. Urgent

10. Waiting For A Girl Like You

11. I Want To Know What Love Is

12. Juke Box Hero

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Comments

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Love this song
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fidelperezda r i a s
What a song!!!
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we will show each other
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I love red
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This is perfect for us: )
When?
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You're cold as ice....burrr r r
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
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you have a lot of know-how I alot of subjects
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viskodimak
Finally met the girl....it took 35yrs but she showed up...song came alive all over...timel e s s music..
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One of my favorite songs. I love the video for this song.
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lizabdiaz
♡♡♡♡
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fidelperezda r i a s
One of their emblematic ones!!!
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Of course I like this artist...who doesn't I want to know what love is, I want you to show me :-)
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Love to make Music
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❤❤❤❤❤
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johnmargie6
This was when music was music
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Really awesome music Love it
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❤❤❤❤❤
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I'll try not to give you heart and pain I want to feel it too mimi
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❤❤❤❤❤
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It is the 90s I am on the front row...... watching Lou G.....at the mike.. Fan FunTastic... . . X X X X X X O O O O O O
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Good stuff! 80's
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❤❤❤❤❤
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OH yeah!!��
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this song is a classic
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One of the best songs I like by Foreigner Lou Gramm sings his balls off. Rock onForeigner. Kicks a**! Feels like the first time, man I'll never forget that! Awesome!!! Rock on!
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Someone once said this to me...hmmm I don't know why I listened :'(
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Bless your heart you will always watching deadliest catch and crab fishing in the older guy that cried about losing is why I want to divorce I wish that I could reach through the TV had hi bless your heart you will always watching deadliest catch on crab fishing in the older guy that cried about losing is why I want to divorce I wish that I could reach through the TV give him a hug and True love can get through anything just be honest with one another out drinking with your buddies there's noth
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Now if I just had me a small block 327 with the outback reverse
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Makes me cry every time I hear it
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best song by them so far
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Beautiful... p e r f e c t . . . l o v e everymoment. . . .
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beerman.rg
80's love ballets are the best
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Love this song
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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Now youve started reading this dont stop this is so freaky. But if you read this and ignore it you will have very bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 mins. When you are done press the spacebar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen this is so freaky it actually works.
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desiree.whee l e r
wrong lyrics on head games....... t i g h t e n up pandora
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bill.nellies
Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Now youve started reading this dont stop this is so freaky. But if you read this and ignore it you will have very bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 mins. When you are done press the spacebar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen this is so freaky it actually works.
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Love is assume
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love it.
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tonymarcanto n i o
80s Rock!!!!!! Long live
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Starrider. What a blast from the past
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Love it !!!!!
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Best love song ever!!!!!
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ohiotaxlaw
Miami university 1977 congratulati o n s Mark R. On getting Foreigner--- Bill M
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Love the this song Foreigner ROCKS!
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Love you
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Yes that's you Tab. A phone call a text your phone number damn
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