Saturday, 25 February 2012



   Foreigner is a British-American rock band, originally formed in 1976 by veteran English musicians Mick Jones and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist Lou Gramm. Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide (including over 37.5 million in the United States alone).

   Since its inception, Foreigner has been led by English musician Mick Jones (former member of Nero and the Gladiators, Spooky Tooth and The Leslie West Band) who, in early 1976, met with ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald and formed Foreigner with Lou Gramm (ex-Black Sheep), Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardi as a sextet. Jones came up with the name from the fact that he, McDonald, and Elliott were English, while Gramm, Greenwood, and Gagliardi were Americans.

   The band's debut album Foreigner was released in March 1977 and sold more than four million copies in the United States, staying in the Top 20 for a year with such hits as "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice" and "Long, Long Way from Home".

   Their second album, Double Vision (released in June 1978), topped their previous, selling five million records and spawned "Hot Blooded," the title track "Double Vision" and "Blue Morning Blue Day."

   Their third album, Head Games (August 1979), which was referred to by Gramm as their "grainiest" album, was also successful because of the thunderous "Dirty White Boy" and another title track hit "Head Games." For Head Games, bassist Ed Gagliardi was replaced by Englishman Rick Wills.

   In September 1980 keyboardist Al Greenwood and co-founder Ian McDonald were sacked as Jones wished to have more control over the band and write most of the music (along with Gramm). The band was now stripped down to a quartet, with session players brought in as needed to record or tour (see below for complete list of members). Greenwood soon joined Gagliardi to form the AOR band Spys, with John Blanco, Billy Milne, and John DiGaudio. The band released two albums, a self-titled debut, and the follow-up Behind Enemy Lines.

   In the meantime, Foreigner's next album, 4 (released in July 1981), contained "Urgent" (which includes a Junior Walker sax solo), "Waiting for a Girl Like You," "Juke Box Hero" and "Break it Up." Before releasing albums of his own, Thomas Dolby played synthesizers on 4 (he contributed the signature synth sound on "Urgent" and played the intro to "Waiting For A Girl Like You"). For their 1981-82 tour in support of 4, the group added Peter Reilich (keyboards, synthesizers, who'd played with Gary Wright), former Peter Frampton band member Bob Mayo (keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, backing vocals) and Mark Rivera (sax, flute, keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, backing vocals). Mayo and Rivera had also appeared on the sessions for 4. Reilich was dropped in May 1982 but Mayo and Rivera continued with the band through 1988.

   Their next album, Agent Provocateur, was released successfully in December 1984, and gave them their first and only No. 1 hit in 1985 (in U.S., UK, Australia, Norway, Sweden, etc.), "I Want to Know What Love Is," written by Mick Jones, a gospel-inspired ballad backed by the New Jersey Mass Choir. The song was their biggest US hit. "That Was Yesterday" was the next single from the album in early 1985 and proved to be another sizable hit.

   In December 1987, Foreigner released Inside Information, spawning hits such as "Say You Will" and "I Don't Want to Live Without You."

   On May 14, 1988 the band headlined Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden, culminating with "I Want to Know What Love Is," in which the likes of Phil Collins, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Roberta Flack and other Atlantic artists joined in, singing in the choir. Later that year, the band went back on the road. But the touring for Inside Information was limited to Europe, Japan and Australia. For this tour, Mark Rivera and Bob Mayo were not available, so Larry Oakes (guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals) and Lou Cortelezzi (sax) augmented the quartet of Gramm, Jones, Elliott and Wills.

   In the late 1980s, Jones and Gramm each put out solo efforts on Atlantic. Gramm released Ready or Not in July 1987 and Jones had Mick Jones in August 1989. Gramm followed with his second solo release, Long Hard Look (October 1989), and decided to leave the group in March 1990, while preparing to tour behind Long Hard Look.

   In June 1990 Mick Jones brought in a new lead vocalist, Johnny Edwards (formerly of the bands Buster Brown, Montrose, King Kobra, Northrup and Wild Horses). This edition of Foreigner released the album Unusual Heat in June 1991. This was at the time their worst selling album and only climbed as high as No. 117 on the Billboard 200, although "Lowdown and Dirty" was a minor mainstream rock hit, reaching No. 4 on that chart. For their 1991 tour, Jeff Jacobs, who'd played in Billy Joel's band, was brought in as the new keyboardist and Mark Rivera returned. But just after the start of this tour, Elliott decided to leave the group. Larry Aberman was then recruited as a temporary replacement. Since 1992 several other drummers have come & gone, including Mark Schulman (1992–1995, 2000–2002, 2011–present), Ron Wikso (1995–1998), Brian Tichy (1998–2000, 2007, 2008–2010), Denny Carmassi (2002–2003), Jason Bonham (2004–2007, 2007–2008), Bryan Head (2008) and Jason Sutter (2010–2011). Scott Gilman(guitar, sax, flute) joined the touring band in 1992 and took over from Rivera in 1993 after he departed. Thom Gimbel briefly subbed for Gilman in 1993 then replaced him permanently in 1995.

   During the Los Angeles riots in late April 1992, inside the confines of the Sunset Marquis hotel in downtown LA, where Mick Jones had gone to meet with Lou Gramm, they both ended up sequestered due to a city curfew. They decided to use their time together putting a two year feud to rest and resurrecting their partnership. "I flew to Los Angeles, during the riots," says Gramm. "We got flown to John Wayne Airport instead of LAX because they were shooting at the planes. Mick and I were holed up in the Sunset Marquis in LA, with armed security guards walking around on the roof. It was a little weird, to say the least."

   Gramm ended up rejoining Foreigner (bringing along his Shadow King bandmate bassist Bruce Turgon) and produced the band's second greatest hits album, The Very Best of ... and Beyond (September 1992), which included three new songs.

   In November 1994 Foreigner released what was supposed to be a comeback album, Mr. Moonlight, in Japan. This album was not released in the US until February 1995 but fared even worse than Unusual Heat, although the ballad "Until the End of Time" was a minor hit, reaching No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100.

   In 1997 Gramm underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. The medications he was prescribed caused considerable weight gain and affected his singing voice.

Band members:


  • Mick Jones – lead guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals (1976–present)
  • Mark Schulman – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1992–1995, 2000–2002, 2011–present)
  • Thom Gimbel – guitar, saxophone, flute, backing vocals (1993, 1995–present)
  • Jeff Pilson – bass, backing vocals (2004–present)
  • Kelly Hansen – lead vocals (2005–present)
  • Michael Bluestein – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (2008–present)

  • Lou Gramm – lead vocals (1976–1990, 1992–2003)
  • Ian McDonald – guitar, keyboards, saxophone, flute, backing vocals (1976–1980)
  • Dennis Elliott – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1976–1991)
  • Al Greenwood – keyboards, synthesizers (1976–1980)
  • Ed Gagliardi – bass, backing vocals (1976–1979)
  • Rick Wills – bass, backing vocals (1979–1992)
  • Thomas Dolby – keyboards (1981)
  • Mark Rivera – saxophone, flute, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (1981–1988, 1991–1992)
  • Bob Mayo – keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, backing vocals (1981–1988)
  • Peter Reilich – keyboards, synthesizers (1981–1982)
  • Jack Allen Smith – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1986)
  • Larry Oakes – guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (1988)
  • Lou Cortelezzi – saxophone (1988)
  • Johnny Edwards – lead vocals, guitar (1990–1992)
  • Larry Aberman – drums, percussion (1991–1992)
  • Andrew "Raven's Claw" Peters – drums, percussion (1992–1993)
  • Jeff Jacobs – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (1991–2007)
  • Scott Gilman – guitar, saxophone, backing vocals (1992, 1993–1995)
  • Bruce Turgon – bass, backing vocals (1992–2003)
  • Ron Wikso – drums, percussion (1995–1998)
  • Brian Tichy – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1998–2000, 2007, 2008–2010, 2011)
  • John Purdell – keyboards, synthesizers(filled in for Jacobs 2000)
  • Denny Carmassi – drums, percussion (2002)
  • Sonny Emory – drums, percussion (2002)
  • Chaz West – lead vocals (2004)
  • Jason Bonham – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2004–2007, 2007–2008)
  • Paul Mirkovich – keyboards, synthesizers (2007–2008)
  • Bryan Head – drums, percussion (2008)
  • Jason Sutter - drums, percussion (2010–2011)
  • Doug Aldrich – lead guitar (2010)
  • Deen Castronovo – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2011)
  • Joel Hoekstra – lead guitar (2011)
  • Bruce Watson – lead guitar (2011)


   Foreigner is the self-titled debut studio album by rock band Foreigner, released in 1977.

   In July 2010, the audiophille label Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs released this album on the Super Audio Compact Disc SACD format. It is presented in a "Mini Vinyl" replica cardboard case but omits the bonus tracks.


   Double Vision is the second studio album by British/American rock band Foreigner, released in 1978.

   This album features the band's signature song "Hot Blooded", which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The title track was also a major hit, peaking at #2.

   The track "Hot Blooded" is featured as downloadable content for Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 3.

   The track "Blue Morning, Blue Day" is available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.

   The track "Tramontane" was also the band's only instrumental to be released on a Foreigner studio album.


   Head Games is the third studio album by Anglo American rock band Foreigner, released in 1979. The album charted at #5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has sold over five million copies in the US alone. It is perhaps as famous (or infamous) for its album cover, depicting a worried young woman (portrayed by actress Lisanne Falk) in a men's urinal, as it is for its music. The title track and "Dirty White Boy" were the album's big hits, peaking at #14 and #12, respectively. This was the album in which bassist Rick Wills replaced bassist Ed Gagliardi. It was the band's only album produced by Roy Thomas Baker, best known for producing Queen's classic albums.


   4, also known as Foreigner 4, is the fourth studio album by British-American rock band Foreigner, released in 1981 on Atlantic Records. Several singles from the album were successful, including "Urgent", "Waiting for a Girl Like You", and "Juke Box Hero". These propelled the album to being Foreigner's only #1 album in the US.

   The album was originally titled Silent Partners and later was changed to 4. In 1981, renowned artist Storm Thorgerson was asked to design a cover based on the original title, and he developed a black & white image of a young man in bed with a pair of binoculars looming overhead. The resulting design was rejected by the band as they felt it was "too homosexual". The replacement cover for 4 was designed by Bob Defrin and modeled after an old fashioned film leader.

   The album marked the completion of the band's shift to hard rock, begun in Head Games. Both Ian McDonald and Al Greenwood had left before the recording of 4. As a result, all of the songs on the album are compositions by Mick Jones and/or Lou Gramm. McDonald and Greenwood had played saxophone and keyboards, respectively, and so several session musicians were needed to replace their contributions, among them Junior Walker, who played the saxophone solo in the bridge of "Urgent", and a young Thomas Dolby, who would later have a successful solo career.


   Agent Provocateur is the fifth studio album by American/British rock band Foreigner, released in 1984. A concept album, the songs tell the story of a spy who sees life through both the inside and the outside. The album was the band's first and only number one album in the UK, and it reached the top 5 in the U.S. Although album sales were lower than their previous work in the U.S., it contains the band's biggest hit single, the album's love theme, "I Want to Know What Love Is", which is their only #1 single in the UK and the U.S., staying at the top spot for three and two weeks respectively. The follow-up single, "That Was Yesterday", also proved to be a sizeable hit, peaking at #12 in the U.S. The album was certified Platinum in the UK by the BPI, and triple Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.


   Inside Information is the sixth studio album by American rock band Foreigner, released in 1987. The album hit #15 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and was certified Platinum in the U.S. for sales exceeding one million copies.

   "Say You Will" was released as the album's first single. Allmusic later noted that the single was a "good example" of the band's "balancing act" as "the guitar-heavy style of their early work gave way to slick arrangements that pushed electronics to the fore...temper(ing) its rock guitar edge...and Lou Gramm's quasi-operatic thick layers of chiming synthesizers and an array of electronic textures." The single reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became their fourth #1 hit on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, holding the top spot for four weeks. The song also became the band's third-highest charting hit in Germany, where it reached #22, faring even better in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and particularly Norway, where it reached #4. A rare CD single featured an extended remix version of the track.

   The second single, "I Don't Want to Live Without You", reached #5 on the Hot 100. Markedly softer than any of their work to date, the record was their first and only #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, after the more rousing ballads "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "I Want To Know What Love Is" had reached #5 and #3 on that chart respectively. Allmusic would later observe that while "the end result lacked the distinctive rock touches of past Foreigner ballads," Lou Gramm "contributes a lead vocal that avoids histrionics in favor of an emotional but very smooth delivery" over "washes of synthesizer...fleshed out by some meditative electric piano riffs". Nevertheless, the song charted at mainstream rock radio, where it peaked at #18. The #5 Hot 100 peak was their best showing in six singles, yet despite being followed up by more impassioned, up-tempo material it would be their last major pop hit to date.

   Further singles from the album included "Heart Turns to Stone", which had peaked at #7 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in an earlier non-commercial release only to rock radio but only managed #56 on the Hot 100 several months later, and the harder "Can't Wait", which matched the #18 Mainstream Rock Tracks charting of "I Don't Want To Live Without You" but failed to crack the Hot 100. It was the last album to feature the classic '80s core lineup of Gramm, Jones, Wills and Elliott. The following year saw a successful solo album and singles from Lou Gramm and found Mick Jones releasing an album and producing for artists including Billy Joel.


   Unusual Heat is the seventh studio album by American rock band Foreigner, released in 1991. By now original frontman Lou Gramm had parted company with the band and had been replaced by original Wild Horses singer Johnny Edwards. The album was a commercial failure and Gramm returned to the band the following year.


   Mr. Moonlight is the eighth studio album by American rock band Foreigner, released in 1994. The album was the first full-length release with original singer Lou Gramm since 1987's Inside Information. (Gramm had left the band in 1990, but re-joined in 1992. Prior to recording this album, Gramm also sang lead on three newly-recorded tracks on Foreigner's 1992 best-of compilation.

   This was also the group's first album in 15 years without longtime members Rick Wills (who joined the band in 1979) and Dennis Elliott (who was a founding member). To date, this is Foreigner's final studio release with Gramm, and it was the band's final studio release in the 20th century. A track also entitled "Crash And Burn" was featured on the Japanese import edition.


   Can't Slow Down is the ninth album by the rock group Foreigner. It is the group's first studio release with lead singer Kelly Hansen and the group's first new studio album since 1994. In the U.S. the album was first available exclusively through Wal-Mart retailers. As of May 28, 2010 it is available anywhere CDs are sold.

   Marti Frederiksen and guitarist Mick Jones' stepson, Mark Ronson co-produced the album.

   Can't Slow Down debuted at #29 on the Billboard 200. The first two singles from the album, "When It Comes to Love" and "In Pieces" both reached the Top 20 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.

And now friends of rock listen to some old Foreigner:

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