Tag Archives: Foreigner

Foreigner: Foreigner(1977)

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 album if I ever cross paths with it someday!

 

 

April Wine/Foreigner..July 27th 1993/Thunder Bay Ontario

imageSmack Dab in the middle of GrungerMania comes 70s/80s Rock Dawgs April Wine and Foreigner playing a one and only double bill full headlining set right smack in Good Ol Tbay….

The promoters pumped this one as the only Canadian Date these two AOR Titans would share a stage together  in 1993. Of course with my trusty sidekick Tbone off to the show we go!

April Wine in 1993 had a bounce back with their career with the Attitude release going Gold in Canada whereas Foreigner were back in the ring with singer Lou Gramm after he split in the late 80s and so here they be….

April Wine were up first and it’s basically all the cats from the heyday of the Wine in the early 80s except for the guitarist who went by the name (James! You ready for this…) Steve Seagal…not that Segal Ha! Along with Segal on guitar you had Brian Greenway/Myles Goodwyn an Wowzers Tbone, this is triple ax attack right before our eyes! Not the first time though the Gardens hosted a band with Three guitarists in tow. That Honour goes to Ted Nugent who back in 1981 showed up to Tbay with a Commnado Squad and obliterated my hearing (review of that show can be found on this site). Rounding out The Winer’s were Jerry Mercer on Drums and Jim Clench(RIP) on Bass.

April Wine were a real good band this night and aside from plugging a few tracks from the Attitude release it was a Greatest Hits Fest.

Still recall the opening 3 pack of songs that were played with opener Anything You Want which led into I Like To ROCK. Ooowatanite with the ringing Bell and Police Cherry Lights going off with Clench handling the lead vocals as well. Sign OF The Gypsy Queen/Roller/Just Between You And Me/Enough Is Enough so as you can see by these tracks that it was indeed a Hits set and why not!

Come to think of it this is the only time I have ever seen April Wine Live which is alright as they were here a few weeks back in early July  at our Blues  Festival (GAH!)  by all intent and purposes  were quite good from what I heard but man them Wine  dudes are looking ancient in 2016….

Back to 1993…..

After a quick turnover Foreigner with Lou and Mick Jones took to the stage and blasted out I believe Double Vision  that moseyed into one of my  fav tracks of Foreigner ever and that would be Long Long Way From Home ( the swirly synth at the beginning gets me every time).

Like April Wine everything Foreigner plays you’ve heard. Head Games/Dirty White Boy/Juke Box Hero(with an inflated Juke box Prop for added pleasure) basically its all hits of course I Want To Know What Love Is is dealt but man what can you do? I don’t wanna hear it but many that night did soooo stuff it Deke’s!

One kooky part of the show was that bass player Bruce Turgon did a solo which at first was kinda Gah! Than he just went bonkers riffing like a lunatic locked in with the drummer and they did a bass and drum dual thing and it was quite good including Turgon flinging back his long hair and soaking it in…

Me and Tbone giggled like a couple of school girls as we said Turgon was frozen from the 80s and was  starting to thaw in the warm July 1993 Tbay weather ….Needless to say he was amusing….

It was good to see Wine N Foreigner show up to Tbay when the musical climate was not favourable  for bands of their genre and basically sell out about 4000 tickets and put on a real good rock show! Which band was better that night? Too be totally fair they were both real good so it was $29 well spent!(1993 Prices)….