Saturday, June 21, 2014

Top 10 by Foreigner #1

Here I am back again, music lovers! Today we are going to do a top 10 centering around my second favorite band after Heart, Foreigner. Now of course being born in the 80s, I discovered this band around that time which led me to discovering Foreigner's 70s contributions and I also own their latest release (well 2009) that has Kelly Hansen as lead vocalist and not the legendary Lou Gramm. Most bands change line-ups all the time but Foreigner had to have Lou Gramm replaced on vocals due to the man receiving surgery for a brain tumor that affected his voice due to slight damage of the pituitary gland. Being a born-again Christian and giving up the hard parts of the rock and roll lifestyle, Lou Gramm still continues to perform and to me still has one of the best voices ever! Foreigner is not all just about Lou Gramm but also Mick Jones, to me one of the best guitarists and one of the greatest song writers and producers in music. So with all of idolatry out of the way let's countdown the first set of my favorite ten songs by Foreigner.

#10. Heart Turns To Stone from the album Inside Information

Why Do I Like It ?: The opening of the song with that Mick Jones guitar just drags you in! As I have said before I love Lou Gramm's vocals from those high notes to that smooth tenor he possesses and well any song he sings melts me like butter! A relationship goes wrong where the man is at fault and because of his past transgressions, he has broke the heart of the girl he loves and as she pieces it back together it has now become stony. He's willing to admit he is wrong but all the pity has dried up inside of her as she moves on. I admit sometimes after all the ways my heart has been hurt (not romantically per se) I wish I could have a heart of stone but sadly I don't think I ever can if I did though this would be my song!

#9. That Was Yesterday from the album Agent Provocateur

Why Do I Like It?: I don't know why a lot of people give synthesizers a hard time because the one in this song just kicks! A lot of songs draw me in by either the opening, the beat or the lyrics and this surely is one of those again thanks to Lou Gramm's voice and that catchy chorus! Though it may seem kind of upbeat I can see some sadness underneath the surface of these lyrics about a love that just doesn't work out. You can give too much love or not enough that the other person in the relationship just walks away. At the moment you may be shattered by it but eventually that's in the past, all that pain, but the memories and feelings that are good remain in your heart always.

#8. Waiting For A Girl Like You from the album 4

Why Do I Like It?: Another song with a wonderful use of synthesizer that is almost sexually hypnotic and when Lou Gramm's voice wraps around those lyrics...I swear I am just a puddle of water on the floor because first I had chills and then just melted away like an ice cube! Being a romantic, I think that every guy should sing this song to their girl and girls that actually do get that treatment, I envy you so! Mick Jones states he wrote this song after getting divorced and meeting the new love of his life and boy does it show! Do I really have to go into detail any more as to why I love this song? I don't think I need to...the song pretty much speaks for itself.

#7. Can't Slow Down (title track from the album of the same name)

Why Do I Like It?: Sometimes hard-core, die-hard fans don't like when the line-ups of their favorite bands change or the sound of the music does. As long as the sound remains, I don't mind line-up changes but sometimes it's tricky with lead singers. When I bought Can't Slow Down I thought I wouldn't like it since Lou Gramm wasn't on lead vocals anymore but I'm happy to admit that I like Kelly Hansen's vocals because at times they sound uncannily like Gramm. Now I may seem like a power ballad, soft rock person who only enjoys stuff on the adult contemporary or pop charts but if it has the right components I enjoy a good fist-pumping rocker like this album's title track. Now I know for a fact this song is about NASCAR racing and has become almost the sport's anthem but if you try to look at it in another context I see it as a song about chasing a dream on the road...but in a search for love. You go from place to place getting just a little taste of romance and passion but not exactly finding what you really need and you can't slow down until you find it!

#6. Head Games (title track from the album of the same name)

Why Do I Like It?: The driving hard rock beat of this song and those forceful Lou Gramm vocals are what pull me in the most on this other title track. Couples fight, say words they don't mean and even manipulate each other into guilt about just who is the one at fault. Laying in bed at night with these types of feelings can sometimes drive you almost completely mad and instead of thinking with your heart, your mind starts going into overdrive to sort out all of these manipulations. If there's something I've learned...never go to bed angry because your mind won't let you sleep if you do!

#5. Hot Blooded from the album Double Vision

Why Do I Like It?: This is the Foreigner song I hear the seems to follow me everywhere! I have taken it to quite literally be my personal theme song as I am naturally a hot-blooded person: body temperature and temper-wise. Who can deny that opening riff that leads into Lou Gramm's sizzling vocals and Mick Jones' smoking guitar work (sorry for the puns but they just come naturally!) Is there any other interpretation of this song than it being about sex? I thought not...guy sees girl lord only knows where and begs her to stay the night with him if she can get away from...the guy she's with or is it the woman he's there with? Any way, he's hot for her but is she just as hot for me or is she just being a tease? Based on that is this still my theme song? Yes but I'm only hot for one guy in particular.

#4. Feels Like The First Time from the album Foreigner

Why Do I Like It?: Foreigner's first big hit and not to mention a good way to introduce someone to the hard rock sound that is Foreigner. Since I grew up on 80's Foreigner, it's nice to go back and discover such a great band from the beginning. Everything is there from the beginning: Mick Jones' lyrical prowess and Lou Gramm's powerful vocals as well as my favorite part: the keyboard solo in the middle! Seriously, I love the anthem-vibe of the song that you could sing with your buddies after a few beers (what you think that hasn't happened to me before? you would be surprised!) Written by Mick Jones, this is a song about finding a love that can make you accomplish anything and bring back the passion like the first time you fell in love. It's positive and so polished but who says a song about finding love can't rock?

#3. Say You Will from the album Inside Information

Why Do I Like It?: Another song where I am hooked by that opening of Lou Gramm's vocals and then hit with that driving keyboard sound! There is no other way to describe the song then as a non soft ballad asking for a significant other to be with you but a forceful song where you are just going crazy every night until the coy object of your desire stops playing games. What makes this a little different is that this is no passing fling but a romance that has left someone reeling because they have felt love before just not a love of this magnitude. I mean this is a love you are afraid of losing that you may never find again and instead of being mopey about you are going to make sure you get what you want!

#2. I Want To Know What Love Is from the album Agent Provocateur

Why Do I Like It?: This is without a doubt Foreigner's biggest hit and the first time I ever heard Foreigner in my life and it was definitely love at first sound! With a soulful choir, Lou Gramm's almost hypnotic vocals and a dreamy underlying  of keyboards and synthesizers. Believe me, we all want to know what love is but it doesn't always have to be romantic can also be about the love found in friendship for anyone who has never had true friends kind of the way I didn't have any real friends in my younger days. So being little when it came out that's always what the lyrics meant to me but as I got older and my romantic side developed, I knew it was about that kind of love too. I wanted a love as epic as this song and I have it now (even if it is not a fairy tale or a romance novel sort of love) and I think this song is a personal anthem for everyone.

So since I have Foreigner's biggest hit at number two...what's taking the number one spot on this first installment of my Foreigner Top 10? Well it just happens to be another ballad...

#1. Girl On The Moon from the album 4

Why Do I Like It?: I've said it before about Lou Gramm's voice and some of the music in these past nine songs but I will continue to say it especially here...utterly entrancing! There is almost an otherworldly vibe set here and adds to the atmosphere of a guy dreaming about his fantasy girl who isn't that imaginary as he has seen her briefly before. Love at first sight...just a moment of hands touching and eyes meeting that now she haunts his dreams. So you can see why the romantic in me is so spellbound by this song in every aspect: lyrics, music and vocals. This ballad is lovely and if you only like Foreigner because they can rock you have no idea what you are missing when it comes to the band's more adult contemporary sound!

So we have gone from rock to pop and back again...where will we go next? I hope you return to find out here on my personal mix-tape blog!

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