- Foreigner (band)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Foreigner
Background = group_or_band
New York City, New York
Years_active = 1976–present
Genre = Rock,
Label = Warner, Atlantic
Spooky Tooth, King Crimson
Current_members = Mick Jones
Thom (Tom) Gimbel
Kelly Hansen Jeff Pilson
Past_members = See: Foreigner former members
Foreigner is a rock band formed in
New York Cityin 1976 by veteran musicians Mick Jones and ex- King Crimsonmember Ian McDonald, along with then-unknown vocalist Lou Gramm(Louis Grammatico). Foreigner has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide [ [http://www.tickets4u.com/SearchResults.asp?EventHeadlinerID=101746 Foreigner Tickets with a 200% Guarantee; Foreigner Tour Dates, Foreigner Concert Tickets ] ] (including over 36 million in the United Statesalone).
The band is led by British journeyman rocker Mick Jones (former member of
Nero and the Gladiators, Spooky Tooth, and The Leslie WestBand) who in early 1976 met with ex- King Crimsonmember Ian McDonald in NYCand formed Foreigner with Lou Gramm(ex-Black Sheep), Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardias a sextet. Jones came up with the name from the fact that he, McDonald, and Elliott were British, while Gramm, Greenwood, and Gagliardi were Americans. [http://www.foreignerfiles.com/overview/faq/part1.htm Accessed: 11 March 2007]
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 20for 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", which was referred to by Gramm as their "grainiest" album, was also successful due to the thunderous "Dirty White Boy" and another title track hit "Head Games".
For 1979's "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). Greenwood soon joined Gagliardi to form the AOR band SPYSwith 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) was the band's biggest hit containing "Urgent", "
Waiting for a Girl Like You", " Juke Box Hero", and " Break it Up". Before releasing albums of his own, Thomas Dolbyplayed synthesizers on "4" (he contributed the signature synth sound on "Urgent" and played the intro to "Waiting For A Girl Like You"). [http://www.connollyco.com/discography/foreigner/four.html Accessed: 21 February 2008]
Their next album, "
Agent Provocateur", was released successfully in late 1984, and gave them their first and only #1 hit in 1985 (in U.S., UK, Australia, Norway, Sweden, etc.), " I Want to Know What Love Is", a gospel-inspired ballad backed by the New Jersey Mass Choir. "That Was Yesterday" was the next single released from the album in early 1985 and proved to be another sizable hit. In late 1987 Foreigner released " Inside Information"; spawning hits such as "Say You Will" and "I Don't Want To Live Without You". In the late 1980s, Jones and Gramm each put out solo efforts and Gramm decided to leave the group in 1990.
In 1990, Mick Jones brought in a new lead vocalist,
Johnny Edwards(formerly of the bands Montrose, King Kobra, Buster Brownand Wild Horses). This edition of Foreigner released the album " Unusual Heat" in the summer of 1991. This was at the time their worst selling album and only climbed as high as #117 on the Billboard 200, although "Lowdown and Dirty" was a minor mainstream rock hit, reaching #4 on that chart. Just after the start of the "Unusual Heat" 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, Ron Wikso, Brian Tichyand Denny Carmassi. Jason Bonhamis the current drummer.
Lou Grammrejoined 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", which included three new songs. Three years later Foreigner released what was supposed to be the band's comeback album, " Mr. Moonlight". This album fared even worse than " Unusual Heat", due to the rising popularity of alternative and grungerock, although the ballad "Until the End of Time" was a minor hit, hitting #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.
In 2001, the Warner Music Group selected "Foreigner" and "4" to be among the first group of albums from their catalog to be remastered, enhanced and released in the new DVD Audio format. In 2002, the 25th Anniversary Year brought affirmation of the enduring respect for Foreigner recordings with Rhino Entertainment re-issuing the 1977 - 1981 multi-platinum albums in special enhanced formats. "Foreigner", "Double Vision", "Head Games" and "4" received the attention of Rhino's staff with new photos, liner notes and bonus tracks of previously unreleased material. New greatest hits albums were also produced in the U.S. and in Europe. The U.S. version reached #80 on the Billboard 200 Album chart.
In late 2002, Foreigner played in the
Netherlandsat the annual Night of the Promsfestival. It was the last time to date that Gramm & Jones have played together as musical disagreements at that point caused Gramm to leave again by early 2003 to embark on another solo career.
Jones, the founder and only remaining original member of Foreigner, decided to take some time off before looking to form a new lineup in 2004. On July 25, 2004 in Santa Barbara,
Californiaat Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort, Jones appeared with a brand new version of Foreigner that included: Jeff Jacobs, Thom Gimbel, former Dokkenbass player Jeff Pilson, current UFO drummer Jason Bonham(son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who had also played with the brief Led Zeppelinreunions and his own band Bonham) and Bonham singer, Chaz West. West was hired for that show only and was eventually replaced by former Hurricane singer Kelly Hansen.
Def Leppardalong with Styx on tour in 2007. They also toured extensively in their own right in 2007 - the 30th anniversary of the founding of the band.
Their most recent album, "Extended Versions", featured the new line-up playing all their classic hits live in concert in one of the most "studio like, clean sounding" live album recordings produced. They are currently working on a new album which will include a mix of both new songs as well as new takes on their old material.
In September 2007 it was announced that Foreigner would join
Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, and Paolo Nutini as openers for the one-night-only Led Zeppelinreunion show in memory of Atlantic Records' Ahmet Ertegun. The show took place on December 10, 2007, in London, England, having been postponed by 2 weeks due to Jimmy Page fracturing a finger.
The band currently has a new greatest hits anthology that was released on July 15, titled "No End in Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner". The anthology will include all of their greatest hits plus some new live recordings and a new studio track, "Too Late", which will be the first new track since 1994's "Mr. Moonlight", and the first recorded output of the new lineup. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003801140 'No End In Sight' For Foreigner ] ] "Too Late" was released as a single on June 17, 2008. In 2008 Bonham parted ways with Foreigner
Kelly Hansen– lead vocals, percussion (2005–present)
*Mick Jones – lead guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals (1976–present)
*Thom (Tom) Gimbel – guitar, saxophone, flute, backing vocals (1993, 1995–present)
*Michael Bluestein – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (2008–present)
Jeff Pilson– bass, backing vocals (2004–present)
Lou Gramm– lead vocals, percussion (1976–1990, 1992–2003)
Dennis Elliott– drums, percussion, backing vocals (1976–1991)
*Ian McDonald – guitar, keyboards, saxophone, flute, backing vocals (1976–1980)
Al Greenwood– keyboards, synthesizers (1976–1980)
*Ed Gagliardi – bass, backing vocals (1976–1979)
Rick Wills– bass, backing vocals (1979–1992)
Mark Rivera– saxophone, flute, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (1981–1987, 1991–1992)
Bob Mayo– keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, backing vocals (1981–1985)
*Peter Reilich – keyboards, synthesizers (1981–1982)
*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)
Bruce Turgon– bass, backing vocals (1992–2003)
*Mark Schulman – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1992–1995, 2000–2002)
*Scott Gilman – guitar, saxophone, backing vocals (1992, 1993–1995)
*Ron Wikso – drums, percussion (1995–1998)
Brian Tichy– drums, percussion (1998–2000, 2007)
Denny Carmassi– drums, percussion (2002)
*Chaz West – lead vocals (2004)
*Jeff Jacobs – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (1991–2007)
Paul Mirkovich– keyboards, synthesizers (2007–2008)
Jason Bonham– drums, percussion, backing vocals (2004–2007, 2007–2008)
In popular culture
*Foreigner has been referenced multiple times on the show "
Aqua Teen Hunger Force". Most notably was the episode in which the Mooniniteswon the Foreigner Belt at a local carnival, which according to Ignignokt, gives the wearer of the belt "all of the superpowers of '70s supergroup, Foreigner." For example, whenever the wearer of the Belt speaks the title of the Foreigner song, "Cold As Ice," an adversary would suddenly freeze up, rendering him/her powerless. The character Carl is also known to be a big fan of Foreigner, having seen them at the Meadowlands in '83. During this concert he copped a feel off a passed out "broad" and now whenever he hears the song "Urgent" he thinks of "her boobs covered in vomit".
*Foreigner also has two songs within the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series: one on ' and one on '.
* The song Juke Box Hero is also a downloadable song for the
video games "" and " Rock Band".
* In the film
Epic Movie, when Edward looks at the White Bitch, the song Waiting for a Girl Like Youplays while she gets out of the buggy.
SModcast62, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier had a roleplay debate in which Mick Jones ( Scott Mosier) is in a cereal aisle, singing his own song, when Kevin Smithconfronts him about singing his own work.
* On the tv show
Bones, the character Seeley Booth (a huge arena rockfan) is an admitted fan of the band and even sang their song "Hot Blooded" in one episode.
* On the tv show "The Oblongs" while in drivers ed, Chip and Biff say that there is an old Foreigner 8-track tape stuck in their car's stereo.
Best selling music artists
List of number-one hits (United States)
List of number-one albums (United States)
List of best-selling albums in the United States
List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart
* [http://www.foreigneronline.com/ Foreigner's Official Website]
* [http://www.lougramm.com/ Lou Gramm's Official Website]
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