Came across the debut of Foreigner’s debut’s in one of my recent Record Store jaunts with my daughter Lexie. There it was for $5!
A quick easy grab as I have never owned the debut by these guys or for that matter not much I have owned in the Foreigner catalogue! Let’s see I have the Greatest Hits opus Records on disc and purchased as well the Mr Moonlight CD back in mid 90’s after Lou Gramm and Mick Jones brought the band here to Tbay along with April Wine back in 93. (review is around this blog somewhere).
Now onto the task at hand…
When I was buying albums at a rapid rate in the mid 80’s Foreigner became one of those big bloated ballad acts that seemed to enjoy the cash flow from singing I Want To Know What Love Is to the video masses of MTV and MuchMusic!
To me it seemed like all was lost with these guys sonically but I did dig the Lou Gramm solo album(Ready or Not) with the classic Midnight Blue which was such a good rock track.
So all these years later and here’s the original band before Mick Jones turned into another of those touring tribute acts with disposable members and at times even Mick doesn’t even play! I’ll stop now as this is turning into a Rant N Roll! But yeah here is the debut from these dudes…
To start things off how about Tracks 1 & 2 that being Feels Like The First Time followed by Cold As Ice. Two bona-fide classics still to this day and beyond and they are the first two songs on the album!! No wonder this album sold a cool 5 million!
Foreigner rocks it right out of the gate and yet lets talk about third track which is Starrider which is a blend of acoustic/electric guitars and an almost psychedelic chorus with big time chorus action. Mick sings lead along with Lou. Speaking of which a great guitar solo is laid down.
HeadKnocker is along about a hard rocker a real head knocker. That’s Lou singing that not Deke’s saying that. Straight ahead mid tempo like track…
Wrapping up Side 1 is The Damage Is Done. Song features the acoustic guitar mixed right up front with the electric guitar. Kinda a fitting end to Side 1. Basically more mid tempo Foreigner Rawk!
Well Just like the start of Side 1. Side 2 starts with a bang of epic proportions and that would be Long Long Way From Home with that super-duper opening riff mixed with that twirly wirly blast of the synth and were off! Love the mashup of that synth/horns/twirly synth and Gramm delivers the vocals like he’s BOSS! Thinking of which this is my Fav-o tune by these guys!
Woman Oh Woman slows it right down and this track you can hear where Foreigner learned the art of Power Ballad. Its an ok track…
Third track on Side 2 and its Mick and Lou going At War With The World which starts off with a bang and ramps up the album back into rock mode. The verses rock while Keys/Synth chill the chorus out. Big lush backing vocals carry the tune as well.
Fool For You Anyway goes right back into mellow mode. I’m not a big fan of a running order of Rock Track/Mellow Track/Rock Track etc. But in these guys case I get it as they made a career out of doing it that way!
Album closer is Foreigner going all Prog crazy which is a real interesting listen as its so far out left field for these guys yet it is a pretty decent album closer. Almost Styx like with the vocals. Pre Mr Roboto era mind you. Great solo as Mick rips it up while the rest of the guys just go all in on a Progger’s delight!
The debut from Foreigner was a real interesting listening angle. As when I think of these guys a lot of Ballad sap comes into play. I know the ballads made em a ton of dough so yeah they were playing the corporate rock game that so many did back than. So I get that part.
But man to release your debut with THOSE first two tracks coming atcha?? Wowzers! Still though, glad I go this one for the collection and I wouldn’t mind picking up the 4 album if I ever cross paths with it someday!