With their third album, 1979’s “Head Games,” and with new bassist Rick Wills onboard, Foreigner responded to their critics who claimed that the band’s first pair of albums sounded too “polished” by getting tougher. “Head Games” is easily the most hard-edged, guitar-heavy album in the band’s catalog, but, thankfully, the band didn’t completely abandon their keyboards, or their knack for melody either. “Head Games” is a leaner, meaner-sounding Foreigner, but it’s still Foreigner all the same, with ace guitarist Mick Jones & the powerful vocal chops of Lou Gramm leading the way. The rockin’ hit title song is an all-time Foreigner classic, and the band also fire on all cylinders on tracks like “Dirty White Boy” (the other hit from the album), “Love On The Telephone,” “Women,” “Seventeen,” and the killer finale, “Rev On The Red Line.” Mick Jones’ “The Modern Day” is excellent guitar-fueled pop-rock, and the CD bonus track, the previously-unreleased “Zalia,” is a very lovely song, indeed, a true buried treasure. I happen to like Foreigner’s so-called “polished” sound, as that’s always been part of their appeal. But it was definitely the lack of studio shine that contributed to the disappointing sales—by Foreigner standards—of “Head Games” (not to mention the controversial album cover). But it still managed to go platinum, and it cleared the way for Foreigner to enter the 80’s in a big, BIG fashion, with 1981’s “4,” their biggest album to date. “Head Games” may be a departure of sorts, but it’s still a very strong Foreigner album. Pick it up and crank it up!