250 356 Foreigner
Produced by John Sinclair and Gary Lyons
in collaboration with Mick Jones and Ian McDonald
Released on March 8, 1977
US CHART POSITION #4 . . . PLATINUM RECORD (8/11/77), 4x PLATINUM (11/16/84), 5x PLATINUM (11/6/00)
Find it at GEMM
250 356 cover  

I t would never feel this way again: a monument of music tailored to the teenage male, capturing all the vivid detail, the swagger and the insecurity, defiance in lieu of defenses. As a youth, I subverted those natural adolescent tendencies in the pursuit of unnatural idols (David Bowie, Elvis Costello, The Clash), fighting against a generation for whom Foreigner was a flag, so I missed this the first time around. My bad, since they were right all along: this album rocks. From the opening “Feels Like The First Time,” Foreigner raises the stakes of rock & roll: it’s no Beethoven symphony, but the welling of emotion it taps must have elicited the same effect from young minds. What follows is a song I did appreciate at the time, “Cold As Ice,” which could be seen as the hard rockin’ alternative to “The Things We Do For Love.” To this day, there are only a handful of songs (the aforementioned, “Mr. Blue Sky”) that generate as much pleasure as the chorus to “Cold As Ice.” These and the workmanlike “Long, Long Way From Home” took America by storm, announcing that Foreigner was here to stay. The remaining songs are the stuff that separates a great album from a good one. There isn’t a bad song to be found, from the epic “I Need You” (which would have been my choice for a fourth single) to the sober “The Damage Is Done” to the science fiction fantasy of “Starrider.” The songwriting team of Lou Gramm and Mick Jones is a force to be reckoned with; the songs may have dealt with matters of the heart, but the band played them like they were matters of national importance. It’s that urgency, that vitality, that defines the essence of Foreigner’s appeal. They understood that young love and fear of the future were the two suns on which teenage life centered, and teenagers naturally gravitated to Foreigner’s first album in the absence of anything like it. Even today, it must be the music on here that brings out the man in me.

250 356 back lyric booklet
250 356 back lyric booklet

TRACK LISTING

  1. FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME    (Mick Jones)    3:49
  2. COLD AS ICE    (Mick Jones/Lou Gramm)    3:19
  3. STARRIDER    (Mick Jones/Al Greenwood)    4:01
  4. HEADKNOCKER    (Lou Gramm/Mick Jones)    2:58
  5. THE DAMAGE IS DONE    (Mick Jones/Lou Gramm)    4:15
  6. LONG, LONG WAY FROM HOME    (Mick Jones/Lou Gramm/Ian McDonald)    2:53
  7. WOMAN OH WOMAN    (Mick Jones)    3:49
  8. AT WAR WITH THE WORLD    (Mick Jones)    4:18
  9. FOOL FOR YOU ANYWAY    (Mick Jones)    4:15
  10. I NEED YOU    (Lou Gramm/Mick Jones)    5:09

    CD reissue bonus tracks

  11. FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME (DEMO)
  12. WOMAN OH WOMAN (DEMO)
  13. AT WAR WITH THE WORLD (DEMO)
  14. TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

CREDITS

DENNIS ELLIOTT -- drums
ED GAGLIARDI -- bass, vocals
LOU GRAMM -- lead vocals
AL GREENWOOD -- keyboards, synthesizer
MICK JONES -- lead guitar, vocals, musical direction, mixing
IAN McDONALD -- guitars, keyboards, horns, vocals, mixing
Gary Lyons -- engineer
Jimmy Douglass -- mixing, associate engineer
Alex Gnidziekjo -- cover illutration
Bob Defrin -- art direction

return to FOREIGNER discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US March 8, 1977 Atlantic LP/CS SD/CS 18215 lyric sleeve
UK 1977 Atlantic LP/CS K50356 lyric sleeve
CAN 1977 Atlantic LP KSD 19109 lyric sleeve
GER/NET 1977 Atlantic LP ATL50356 lyric sleeve
US 1984 Atlantic LP/CD/CS SD/CS 19109 lyric sleeve
GER 1984 Atlantic CD 250 356 lyric sleeve
US October 1995 Atlantic CD 87298 digital remaster
US April 2, 2002 Rhino CDX 74270 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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