Top 10 Foreigner Songs
Foreigner's lone remaining founding member and guitarist Mick Jones has been at the helm of the legendary American rock group for 35 years and if you've seen the band lately, it seems like they're just getting started. Jones put together a turbo-charged version of the group six years ago, injecting new vocal blood into the mix courtesy of frontman Kelly Hansen. The resulting string of nonstop sold-out shows with the extremely vocally qualified Hansen took one small pit stop for a new studio album, 2009's 'Can't Slow Down,' which proved that they still had the goods to make a damn fine Foreigner album. Their latest recordings revisit the band's legendary catalog of hits both electrically and acoustically. With Jones celebrating his 67th birthday today (Dec. 27), we're looking at the Top 10 Foreigner songs.
Foreigner's only U.S. No. 1 album contains this ace album track, which drew simple inspiration from the hookers that were hanging out outside New York's Electric Lady studios where the band was hard at work on '4.'' Hearing Lou Gramm singing about getting “caught up in the action” suggests that some members of the band just might have taken advantage of “those bad girls hanging around.”
'Blue Morning, Blue Day'
The tangled relationship depicted in 'Blue Morning, Blue Day' is very clearly reaching its breaking point and Gramm delivers the final kiss-off to his apparently soon to be ex-lover, telling her "well, honey don't telephone/ cause I won't be alone/ I need someone to make me feel better.” Or to put it another way – here's a quarter, call someone who cares.
'Head Games' remains as one of the best lasting artifacts of the Jones/Gramm partnership, a song that can usually be found in the second slot of Foreigner's modern-day setlist. A soaring opening riff from Jones leads into urgent lyrical communication from Gramm, who struggles to figure out and face the true mental reality of his fractious relationship.
'Feels Like The First Time'
'Feels Like The First Time' is a pretty genius name for your first single, and it certainly paid plenty of dividends for Foreigner, giving them their very first Top 5 hit. For Jones, it simply signified a new beginning as he had gotten married, moved to America ... and started what would become a very successful rock 'n' roll band.
'Urgent' oozes with gobs of machismo on every level, from the way Jones' guitar struts at odds with the backbeat from Dennis Elliott to the muscular sax solo from Motown's Junior Walker, a solo that due to the perfectionism of Jones and Mutt Lange, was pieced together from multiple takes by Walker.
'Cold As Ice'
Hearing the famous piano beginning of 'Cold As Ice,' it's hard now to believe that the song was initially released in some territories as the B-side to 'Feels Like The First Time.' It was much too good to languish in obscurity, however, and when it was finally released as a single, it matched the Top 10 placement of 'Feels,' charting at No. 6 on the Billboard Charts and was the second of a total of three Top 20 singles from the band's self-titled debut.
'Waiting For A Girl Like You'
Mick Jones calls 'Waiting' the “song that wrote itself,” telling Classic Rock that he felt like the “conduit” for the track and that “something was coming down through me.” He says that the “serious emotional experience” made it hard for him to hear the song in playback without breaking down. Space-age synthster Thomas Dolby played the famous keyboards on 'Waiting,' which financed the beginning of his own solo career.
Gramm says that “it's up to you / we can make a secret rendezvous,” but the overall tone of 'Hot Blooded' seems to make things pretty clear that there isn't really much choice in the matter. What's the polite way to ask “come on baby do you do more than dance?”
'I Want To Know What Love Is'
Foreigner got downright spiritual with 'I Want To Know What Love Is,' which featured backing vocals from the New Jersey Mass Choir and one of Lou Gramm's finest vocal moments. Driven by his own romantic struggles, Jones wrote this emotional plea, which deeply moved many of those who were first to hear it -- including the legendary Ahmet Ertegun, who found himself brought to tears when Jones played it for him.
'Juke Box Hero'
For anyone who has ever been on the wrong side of a sold out concert, 'Juke Box Hero' will touch a chord. The real-life version had a happier ending, as Foreigner invited a Cincinnati fan that they met outside of soundcheck (and helped to inspire the eventual song) inside to watch the show from the side of the stage.