7 million copies sold in the United States alone if that tells you anything while it went 4 times Platinum here in Canada!
Big changes were taking place for Lou Gramm and Mick Jones regarding the recording of the ‘4.’ Gone were two original members Ian MacDonald and Al Greenwood so the band went from 6 members down to 4 dudes hence the album title!
Along with Lou and Mick on this album were original guys, Dennis Elliot(Drums) and Rick Willis(Bass).
Mutt Lange coming off the 3 pack of hit AC/DC albums (Highway To Hell-Back In Black- For Those About To Rock) was manning the producer’s chair on 4.
Mutt Lange gives Foreigner a real crisp sound on this album. Having Lou Gramm totally helps as the dude has proven he has one of the most distinctive rock voices ever. When you hear Gramm sing you know its Lou!
Looking at the classic Atlantic Records label with the tracklisting you see the two big singles staring right at you(I’ll get to those) but opener Night Life should not be ignored! Night Life sets the table with a straight-ahead rock track that has some great guitar work as well as a really fantastic chorus! The perfect length of an opening track if any!
Two big singles on Side 1 are of course Juke Box Hero and Waiting For A Girl Like You.
Juke Box Hero I still hear all the time on local crap radio and why wouldn’t this song be played as it does that slow stomp like beat that builds up into the pre-chorus while the chorus brings the song home! Stellar written track as Jones lays down a classic guitar solo while that leads right back into the chorus which is a fireball of an ass-kicker of a track.
While J.B.H flies down the sonic highway the brakes are put on when Waiting For A Girl Like You comes on. The ballad of 1981 well one of them that is. I’ll tell you what Gramm takes the ballad and makes it an enjoyable listen as his voice can carry the tune. To be honest I appreciate this song in 2019. In 1981 I didn’t want to know about it. LoL
You know I talk about those end of album Gem tracks. Well, Luanne which ends Side 1 is one of those tracks. A well-written airtight hard rock track that features a real catchy ear candy like chorus that Gramm delivers superbly. A great under the radar track if there was ever any.
Side 2 begins with another stellar track that being Urgent! How about that sax solo(courtesy of Junior Walker) that sails to the upper regions of sax heaven. Man, what a set of lungs on that dude! Urgent is such a great song.
The rest of Side 2 features some straight-ahead rock tracks and I’m really surprised after digging into these songs that Girl On The Moon never came out as a single as its the ‘single like song’ on Side 2. But with Juke Box Hero/Waiting For A Girl Like You and Urgent pushing this album in sales, I guess the powers that be decided against it.
4 is a great rock record period. Jones and Gramm had a mission and that was to create a masterpiece with catchy hooks. ripping solos and wicked vocals. They succeeded on all fronts! I have to add that they cleverly let the synthesizers do their thing and not overpower the rock, Thomas Dolby( remember him?) played all the synths on 4 and Mutt Lange dialed them back enough that they are heard but they don’t overpower the guitars!
Even the album cover is cool with the grainy like TV screenshot from yesteryear before TV shows would begin there broadcast day. A timeless cover to go along with a timeless album!
A must own!