Monday, June 22, 1981

Foreigner “Urgent” released



Writer(s): Mick Jones (see lyrics here)

Released: June 22, 1981

First Charted: July 3, 1981

Peak: 4 US, 5 CB, 3 HR, 9 RR, 3 CL, 14 AR, 45 UK, 12 UK, 24 AU, 4 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 36.0 video, -- streaming

About the Song:

Through three albums, Foreigner had established themselves as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. All three releases reached the top five of the Billboard album charts and have been certified for sales of at least five million. They’d landed eight songs in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100; half of those reached the top 10. Could they get any bigger?

Yes. With their fourth album, simply titled 4, Foreigner hired producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who is no slouch when it comes to blockbuster albums. He’d already done AC/DC’s Back in Black and would go on to do monster albums by Def Leppard (Pyromania, Hysteria) and Shania Twain (Come on Over). The band leapt into the stratosphere with an album that has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and spent ten weeks atop the Billboard album chart. The album also gave the world one of the greatest power ballads of all time in “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” which spent an astonishing ten weeks at #2.

That, however, was not the album’s first single. “Urgent” was released a few weeks prior to the album and scaled the charts all the way to the #4 slot. Billboard’s Gary Graff rated it Foreigner’s all-time greatest song. WK

Interestingly, the then-unknown Thomas Dolby (who would later have a top-5 new-wave hit with “She Blinded Me with Science”) played synthesizer on the track. A demo of his song “Urges” where he sings “urges, urges…” was incorporated into Foreigner’s song with the lyric “urgent, urgent…” WK

The song also features Motown artist Junior Walker on saxophone. WK The group wanted a sax solo in his style for the R&B-flavorted song. They read that Walker was performing that night just blocks from the recording studio. SF


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First posted 7/9/2022.

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