Saturday, July 23, 1977

Foreigner “Cold As Ice” charted

Cold As Ice


Writer(s): Lou Gramm, Mick Jones (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 23, 1977

Peak: 6 US, 10 CB, 7 HR, 4 RR, 1 CL, 24 UK, 9 CN, 32 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.1 video, 151.15 streaming

About the Song:

The band Foreigner formed in 1976 in New York City. Guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones had been with Spooky Tooth while bandmate Ian McDonald was formerly of King Crimson. They joined with drummer Dennis Elliott, a fellow Brit, and Americans Lou Gramm (vocals), Al Greenwood (keyboardist), and Ed Gagilardi (bass). They found success right out of the gate with their self-titled debut, 1977’s Foreigner. The album reached the top 5 on the Billboard charts and eventually sold five million copies in the U.S.

The lead single, “Feels Like the First Time,” went gold and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. To prove they weren’t a one-hit wonder, the follow-up single, “Cold As Ice,” nearly matched its predecessor’s success by also going gold and climbing to #6 on the charts. Hartford Courant’s Henry McNutty said the song “is propelled by Elliott’s drums…but the interplay between Gramm’s lead vocal and Greenwood’s electronic keyboard is what raises this from the rock pile.” WK Janey Roberts of Classic Rock History said the opening piano hook will “go down as one of the signature riffs in classic rock history.” WK

The song was a replacement for another on the album which producer Gary Lyons didn’t think fit the album. WK It was about “a woman who is materialistic and selfish, with the singer warning that her behavior will come back to haunt her someday.” SF Jones said the song “was based on the idea of the stereotypical cold-hearted, bad girl – the sort of woman Joan Crawford would play in a film – but it wasn’t aimed at anyone specific.” WK

The night they recorded the song, a blizzard hit New York and, according to McDonald, “we heard on the radio that it had been the coldest night in New York on record! Somehow that seemed to be a good omen for the song.” WK


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First posted 7/9/2022.

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