Between 1977 and 1984, Foreigner released five albums that all peaked inside the top four and were certified 3x Platinum or better. Their 1981 release, 4, went to the top of charts to become the band’s only number one album. These classic rock albums featured songs like “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Urgent,” and “Waiting For a Girl Like You.” The band’s only number one single, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” was released in 1984 and is found on the album Agent Provocateur. The song’s memorable backing vocals were provided by the Thompson Twins, the New Jersey Mass Choir, and Broadway star Jennifer Holiday.
The band released another album in 1987 called Inside Information. It peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified Platinum. Foreigner’s next two releases marked the nadir of their recording career. Those releases are 1991’s Unusual Heat and 1994’s Mr. MoonLight. They peaked at number 117 and 136 respectively. The band would comeback in 2009 with their ninth studio album, Can’t Slow Down. It was the first album with lead singer Kelly Hanse and was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart store. Can’t Slow Down peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200.
Foreigner was formed in 1976 by Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, and Lou Gramm. Jones and McDonald are British and Gramm is English. Their different nationalities inspired the name “Foreigner.” The band’s lineup has changed many times over the years with the only constant member being Jones. There is an exception though; on May 22, 2010 Jones missed a Foreigner concert in Las Vegas. He was replaced that night by Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich.
Gramm left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo a career. In April of 1992, Gramm met with Jones in Los Angeles to discuss his return. Their meeting corresponded with the L.A. Riots and the two musicians were forced to stay in a hotel while armed guards patrolled the grounds. Gramm had to fly into John Wayne Airport because rioters were shooting at planes landing at LAX. Despite the turmoil going on around them, the couple agreed that Gramm should return to the band. He remained with Foreigner until early 2003. This time Gramm departed the group citing a lack of communication between himself and Jones.
Through the years, Foreigner tickets have been sold to venues all over the world. The band has also played with a number of well-known acts including Phil Collins, Jason Bonham, Styx, Kansas, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Electronic keyboard pioneer Thomas Dolby played synthesizers on the band’s seminal album, 4. His playing is especially prevalent on the tracka “Urgent” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”