Classic Oldies News

Classic Oldies News

Classic Oldies News

Foreigner is a band that has helped define classic rock radio for decades. They have a catalog of hits that most bands only dream of. Those tracks helped the British-American band sell over 80 million albums worldwide.

Foreigner’s success is thanks, in large part, to the songwriting team of guitarist Mick Jones and former singer Lou Gramm. While the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame finally acknowledged Foreigner with a nomination in 2024, Jones and Gramm were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.

Foreigner has had many lineup changes over the decades, but the constant has always been Jones, who started the band in 1976. After nearly 50 years, Foreigner is saying goodbye. They kicked off their farewell tour on July 6, 2023 in Alpharetta, Ga.

When the tour was announced, Jones said in a statement, “While I’m sure our fans will have mixed feelings about the end of the road for the band, I know our shows are going to delight audiences everywhere.”

In honor of their farewell tour and their incredible run, here’s our ranking of Foreinger’s ten best songs.

2024 Rock Hall Nomination

As previously stated, Foreigner finally received their first nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year. They’ve been eligible for induction since 2003 and are considered one of the Rock Hall’s most notable snubs over the years.

Guitarist/founding member Mick Jones said in a statement about the Rock Hall Nomination, “I deeply appreciate the recognition from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame committee … Getting this news today is an incredible endorsement of what we have achieved over time.”

Foreigner fans can vote for the band and other nominees once a day at Vote.RockHall.com as part of the Rock Hall’s Fan Vote. This year, voting will last through April 26. Unlike previous years, fans will get to vote for up to seven nominees every day. Previously, the choices were capped at five nominees.

Once voting closes, the top five vote artists in the Fan Vote will create what is called a “Fans’ Ballot.” It will be counted among the other ballots that various artists, historians, and music industry professionals fill out and submit.

  • 10. 'Dirty White Boy' - 'Head Games' (1979)

    A little bit cheeky and whole lot of fun, “Dirty White Boy” was the lead single off of Foreigner’s third studio album, Head Games. Guitarist Mick Jones told SongFacts that the song was loosely inspired by Elvis Presley. He said, “To me, he always was that dirty white boy who changed the shape of music completely. It was talking about the kind of heritage that he left, and I think that had an effect on all the musicians that came after, like Mick Jagger – he was also a dirty white boy.”

  • 9. 'Cold As Ice' - 'Foreigner' (1977)

    Mick Jones’ piano intro is so effective on this track. Just playing the first two or three notes makes most listeners recognize this hit right away. However, Mick Jones told Classic Rock, “I must admit though that I was surprised when it went into the Top 10 in America. But then we were a new band, and everything was exciting and surprising at the time.”

  • 8. 'Head Games' - 'Head Games' (1979)

    Man…Foreigner can’t seem to catch a romantic break on this one! Whoever inspired “Head Games” must have done a real number on Lou Gramm and Mick Jones. But that chorus is one earworm we just can’t quit. (Seriously, just try!)

  • 7. 'Urgent' - '4' (1981)

    Foreigner wasn’t wasting any time on 4. Out the gate, its lead single, “Urgent,” set the tone for this classic album, which is the band’s only album to top the Billboard charts. Fun fact: Thomas Dolby, who released “She Blinded Me with Science” the following year, plays synthesizers on this track. Here’s hoping that nugget will earn you a free drink at a trivia night in the future.

  • 6. 'Double Vision' - 'Double Vision' (1978)

    No, this jam isn’t about seeing double due to intoxication. Singer Lou Gramm said a game between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers actually inspired the song. During the game, Rangers goalie John Davidson was knocked out by an elbow from the Flyers left winger Dave Schultz. Gramm was watching the game on a small TV at the recording studio, and the announcer said Davidson wasn’t returning to the game due to experiencing double vision.

  • 5. 'I Want to Know What Love Is' - 'Agent Provocateur' (1984)

    “I Want to Know What Love Is” is an iconic power ballad. (In fact, we ranked it at number 11 on our list of the ‘50 Best Power Ballads of All Time.’) The track is notable for being Foreigner’s lone number-one hit when it was released in 1984 as the lead single off of Agent Provocateur. It also has one of the best choruses to scream-sing of all time.

  • 4. 'Blue Morning, Blue Day' - 'Double Vision' (1978)

    Lou Gramm, obviously, doesn’t need help in the vocal department. However, there’s truly something special about the harmony in the chorus thanks to backing vocals from Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, Ed Gagliardi and Ian Lloyd. Al Greenwood’s keyboards are a secret weapon that adds another layer to this surprisingly moody track. “Blue Morning, Blue Day” is somehow both a hit and underrated in that regard.

  • 3. 'Hot Blooded' - 'Double Vision' (1978)

    The riff on “Hot Blooded” is such a monster hook it makes you forget Foreigner rhymes “mind” with “mind” in the first verse. (“You don’t have to read my mind/To know what I have in mind.”) Nitpicking the lyrics aside, the pressure Foreigner was under to follow up their hit debut must have been intense. However, they more than delivered with “Hot Blooded,” the lead single off of Double Vision, which topped out at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • 2. 'Juke Box Hero' - '4' (1981)

    Some of the biggest rock stars of all time likely have “Juke Box Hero”-esque origin stories. This is just one of the reasons this track never fails to hit you “right in the feels.” It never loses its grandness, even after repeated listens. If there’s a hallmark for an iconic track, it’s that.

  • 1. 'Feels Like the First Time' - 'Foreigner' (1977)

    As far as debut singles go, “Feels Like the First Time” is one of the best. And yet, it may be the most underrated in the grand scheme of classic rock. Foreigner gets a lot of love from its fans, but they never really got their due. Perhaps, to paraphrase the Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy, they only caught a bad rap because most critics are cynical a–holes.

    There’s no debating it, though; “Feels Like the First Time” is an undeniable classic. If you need a reminder, just listen to the track below and judge for yourself.

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