The debut of Foreigner was the coming together of several diverse musical talents. The pedigree included members of Spooky Tooth, King Crimson and several other lesser known bands. Released with little or no fanfare, it suddenly became one of Atlantic Records’ best selling albums of all time and launched this conglomerate of Brits and Americans.
With good reason. Just about every song on this album was a ready made polished hit. Songs like “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold as Ice” jumped from the stereo with commanding force, and newfound vocal presence Lou Gramm had a perfect arena rock voice. To make the album safe for those few progressive album radio stations left in the late seventies, the adventurous “Star Rider” would lure them in with its flawless musicianship. (It also became a concert staple for the length of Foreigner’s career.) Need a little aggro-angst as a seventies teen? Then “At War With The World” and “Head Knocker” probably fed your white collar aggression better than the Sex Pistols did back then.
“Foreigner” was so laden with classic material that at least one of four tracks is probably blaring forth from some classic rock station as you read this. “Feels Like The First Time,” “Headknocker,” “Cold As Ice” and “Long Way From Home” still make you want to party like it’s 1979.
The re-issue is a step up from the original CDs. Better sound and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald gets better exposure. The demos are laughable….sometimes a bonus cut is NOT really a bonus. Especially the sirens and marching boots on “At War With The World.”