Monday, November 29, 1982

A Foreigner Retrospective

First posted 9/20/2020.

Records

Foreigner


Released: November 29, 1982


Recorded: 1977-1982


Peak: 10 US, 58 UK, -- CN, 26 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.06 UK, 11.4 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks: (1) Cold As Ice (2) Double Vision (3) Head Games (4) Waiting for a Girl Like You (5) Feels Like the First Time (6) Urgent (7) Dirty White Boy (8) Juke Box Hero (9) Long, Long Way from Home (10) Hot Blooded (live)


Total Running Time: 39:23


Rating:

4.157 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


Awards:

The Players:

  • Lou Gramm (vocals, percussion): 1977-82
  • Mick Jones (guitar, keyboards, vocals): 1977-82
  • Ian McDonald (guitar, backing vocals, saxophone, keyboards): 1977-79
  • Al Greenwood (keyboards): 1977-79
  • Ed Gagliardi (bass): 1977-78
  • Dennis Elliott (drums): 1977-82
  • Rick Wills (bass): 1979-82

A Brief History:

English musician Mick Jones, formerly of Spooky Tooth, formed Foreigner in 1976 with Ian McDonald (formerly of King Crimson) and American singer Lou Gramm. He suggested the name “Foreigner” after the group had blossomed into a six-piece with three Brits and three Americans. In the short five years covered on this page, they lost three founding members and by 1981 were working as a four-piece unit.

From 1977 to 1981 the band released four studio albums, all of which hit the top 5 on the Billboard album charts and sold at least five million each. Their most successful album was 4, which spent 10 weeks on top. They hit the top 40 eleven times in that same span with their biggest hit being “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” a #2 hit for 10 weeks.

Here are the four studio albums covered by the Records compilation. Each has a link to a separate DMDB page, but snapshots of each album are offered on this page.

The Studio Albums:

Under each album snapshot, songs featured on the anthologies below are noted. If the song charted, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.


Foreigner (1977):

The debut album from Foreigner was an immediate success, spawning three top-10 hits and a third top-20 hit. The album sold more than five million copies and hit the top 5 on the Billboard album chart.

  • Feels Like the First Time (3/26/77, 4 US, 2 CL, 39 UK, 7 CN, 41 AU)
  • Cold As Ice (7/23/77, 6 US, 1 CL, 24 UK, 9 CN, 32 AU)
  • Long, Long Way from Home (12/10/77, 20 US, 7 CL, 22 CN, 70 AU)


Double Vision (1978):

With two top-five hits, Foreigner wasn’t suffering from a sophomore slump. Not only did the album chart a notch higher (#3) than its predecessor, but it outsold it with more than ten million copies worldwide. A third song, “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” was a top-20 hit, but isn’t included on the Records compilation.

  • Hot Blooded (live version) (7/1/78: studio version, 3 US, 2 CL, 42 UK, 3 CN, 24 AU)
  • Double Vision (9/22/78, 2 US, 2 CL, 7 CN, 97 AU)


Head Games (1979):

While Head Games still put two songs in the top 20 on the U.S. pop chart, it wasn’t quite the same lofty heights as the Double Vision album. Still, the album was a top-five hit with sales over five million.

  • Head Games (11/10/79, 14 US, 6 CL, 14 CN)
  • Dirty White Boy (9/8/79, 12 US, 6 CL, 14 CN)


4 (1981):

This was Foreigner’s most successful outing. The album spent a whopping ten weeks atop the Billboard album chart and gave them their biggest hit to date with the power ballad “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” which spent ten weeks in the runner-up spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • Urgent (7/4/81, 4 US, 1 AR, 45 UK, 1 CN, 24 AU)
  • Juke Box Hero (7/25/81, 26 US, 3 AR, 48 UK, 39 CN, 53 AU)
  • Waiting for a Girl Like You (10/10/81, 2 US, 1 AR, 5 AC, 8 UK, 2 CN, 3 AU, sales: ½ million)


About Records:

After four top-10 albums and 11 top-40 singles in five years, Foreigner took a break, offering fans their first compilation. It was a multi-platinum, top-10 hit just like its predecessors despite offering nothing new, save a live version of “Hot Blooded.” In fact, this wasn’t just a multi-platinum seller; it was Foreigner’s third album (after Double Vision and 4) to top ten million in sales worldwide.

As packed as this is with hits, it still misses a few, most notably the #15 hit “Blue Morning, Blue Day” and the #41 hit “Women.” They could have easily been added, considering the album’s sub-40-minute running length. Still, there’s no arguing with what is here. There would be many compilations to follow over the years, but this was the first and most successful.

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Saturday, November 13, 1982

Men at Work’s Business As Usual hit #1 for 1st of 15 weeks

First posted 4/19/2012; updated 9/20/2020.

Business As Usual

Men at Work


Released: November 9, 1981


Peak: 115 US, 15 UK, 110 CN, 19 AU


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.3 UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop rock/new wave


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Who Can It Be Now? (6/6/81, 1 US, 46 AR, 45 UK, 2 AU, 8 CN)
  2. I Can See It in Your Eyes
  3. Down Under (10/23/81, 1 US, 1 AR, 13 AC, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 1.6 million, airplay: 2 million)
  4. Underground (3/5/83, 20 AR)
  5. Helpless Automation
  6. People Just Love to Play with Words
  7. Be Good Johnny (4/82, 3 AR, 78 UK, 19 CN, 8 AU)
  8. Touching the Untouchables
  9. Catch a Star
  10. Down by the Sea


Total Running Time: 38:11


The Players:

  • Colin Hay (vocals, guitar)
  • Greg Ham (flute, keyboards, saxophone, vocals)
  • Ron Strykert (guitar, vocals)
  • John Rees (bass, backing vocals)
  • Jerry Speiser (drums, backing vocals)

Rating:

3.994 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Business as Usual was the debut album for the Australian new wave band Men at Work. It was released in their home country in November 1981 and saw U.S. release five months later in April 1982. They became “the most unlikely success story of 1982,” AZ spending 15 weeks atop the Billboard album chart and winning the Grammy for Best New Artist.

Their success came primarily on the basis of “two excellent singles that merged straight-ahead pop/rock hooks with a quirky new wave production and an offbeat sense of humor. Colin Hay’s keening vocals uncannily recall Sting, and the band’s rhythmic pulse and phased guitars also bring to mind a bar band version of the Police.” AMG “Like Sting, Colin Hay’s vocal inflections were more suited to reggae than to white guitar-pop; the band, meanwhile, seemed to aim for much the same kind of earnest, slightly arch tone as early XTC.” AZ

The lead single, Who Can It Be Now?, was released in Australia in June 1981, where it became a #1 hit. More than a year later, it made its U.S. chart debut, eventually soaring to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

While that song played up paranoia in its video, the follow-up hit, Down Under, showcased Men at Work’s goofier side. The almost-novelty song celebrated their native country with a campy and popular video. The song was an even bigger hit on the U.S. charts. “For a time, Australians abroad seemed destined to have ‘Down Under’ sung at them – often by whole groups of strangers – as if it were a sunny gesture of greeting or camaraderie, instead of what it actually was: a tacit reinforcement of cultural stereotypes.” AZ “For the record: to ‘chunder’ means to vomit. And a Vegemite sandwich is nothing you’d want to eat.” AZ

The song met with more controversy in 2010 when it was determined it had been plagiarized from a 1934 Australian song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree,” written by Marion Sinclair. The band were ordered to pay a portion of royalties to the company holding the copyright on “Kookaburra.”

“There’s a fair amount of filler on the record, but Be Good Johnny, I Can See It in Your Eyes, and Down by the Sea are all fine new wave pop songs, making Business as Usual one of the more enjoyable mainstream-oriented efforts of the era.” AMG


Notes: A 2003 rerelease adds non-LP B-side, “Crazy,” the non-U.S. single track, “F-19,” and live versions of “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Underground.”

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Friday, November 5, 1982

Phil Collins’ Hello, I Must Be Going! released

First posted 9/15/2020.

Hello, I Must Be Going!

Phil Collins


Released: November 5, 1982


Peak: 8 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 15 AU


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.9 UK, 13.8 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream pop-rock


Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. I Don’t Care Anymore (12/4/82, 39 US, 47 CB, 3 AR)
  2. I Cannot Believe It’s True (5/7/83, 79 US, 80 CB)
  3. Like China (12/4/82, 17 AR)
  4. Do You Know, Do You Care? (11/6/82, 41 AR)
  5. You Can’t Hurry Love (11/6/82, 10 US, 10 CB, 9 AC, 24 AR, 1 UK, 9 CN, 3 AU)
  6. It Don’t Matter to Me
  7. Thru These Walls (10/23/82, 56 UK, 34 AR)
  8. Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away (3/19/83, 45 UK)
  9. The West Side
  10. Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning (5/83, 89 UK)


Total Running Time: 45:03

Rating:

3.475 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards:

About the Album:

After Genesis released their 1980 Duke album, Phil Collins decided it was time to release a solo album. One would understandably think the success of that album, Face Value, would mean he was moving on from the group he’d been with for ten years. Instead, he went back to work with Genesis and released Abacab later that year. Then he went right back to his solo career, releasing Hello, I Must Be Going! in 1982.

“The album wasn't a huge departure from the formula established on Face Value, built as it was on introspective, gut-spilling ballads, horn-driven R&B jams, arty rockers, and dramatic breakup songs. In fact, the first track, the vitriolic I Don’t Care Anymore, sounds like a very close relative of ‘In the Air Tonight,’ only less mysterious and more in your face. Still effective though, and with the same magical drum sound Collins got on that earlier song.” AMG

“The R&B-based tracks are well served by Earth, Wind & Fire horns, and if nothing is quite on par with ‘I Missed Again,’ there’s not a huge drop-off in quality.” AMG He does, however, offer up “the almost note-perfect take on the Supremes’ You Can't Hurry Love, which sounds less like a pastiche and more like a loving tribute.” AMG

There are a few less ballads, with Collins only slowing down on the lovely Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away and the lush Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning, which foreshadows his career as a singer for hire on many a movie soundtrack.” AMG

“There are a couple of surprises on Hello, notably the uptempo pop tune Like China, which features some blistering guitar work from Daryl Stuermer.” AMG “Another departure from Face Value comes on the song Thru These Walls, where Collins is playing a character instead of writing from a place of pain and frustration, which was one of the things that made that album so devastating.” AMG

Despite the change in tone from intensely personal and dark to slightly detached and even lighthearted in spots, the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.” AMG


Notes: A 2016 deluxe edition of the album included nine live songs from different years and demos for “Do You Know, Do You Care” and “Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away.”

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