It was 45 years ago today (March 8th, 1977) that Foreigner released its self-titled debut album. Foreigner, which peaked at Number Four on the Billboard 200, spent 18 non-consecutive weeks in the magazine’s Top 10.
The album featured the band’s classic, original lineup of guitarist / songwriter/ producer Mick Jones, singer Lou Gramm, keyboardist Al Greenwood, bassist Ed Gagliardi, drummer Dennis Elliott, and the recently deceased multi-instrumentalist, Ian McDonald.
Foreigner featured three hit singles, “Feels Like The First Time” (#4), “Cold As Ice” (#6), and “Long, Long Way From Home” (#20). The album also included such AOR staples as “Headknocker” and “Starrider.”
Frontman Lou Gramm told us that back in the day, he and Foreigner were always offended by the “corporate rock” tag the band got upon hitting the scene in the late-’70s: “I don’t even know how that story got started. That a corporation picked the members of the band? That’s the farthest thing from the truth. We had auditions just like every other band — and people who quit and people who decided to stand. But a corporate band? I don’t think the music was corporate. How could you call ‘Dirty White Boy’ corporate?”
Leader Mick Jones told us that in addition to Lou Gramm’s songwriting abilities, Foreigner was lucky to have his soaring vocals setting them apart from its competition: “The time that we had in the beginning of the band through the ’80s was great, y’know? And I just feel like it was such a gift to have a voice like Lou singing these songs. And that was an incredible part of everything.”