At Foreigner’s core is founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones, the visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to escalate Foreigner’s influence, along with lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, bass guitarist Jeff Pilson and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel.
Founded in 1976, Foreigner’s debut album produced the hits Feels Like The First Time, Cold As Ice and Long, Long Way From Home. The album Double Vision followed, as did a string of hits like Urgent, Juke Box Hero and Waiting For A Girl Like You. Those songs helped give Foreigner’s next album, 4, its impressive run at #1 on the Billboard chart. At the zenith of 80’s sound, Foreigner’s fifth album, Agent Provocateur, gave the world the incredible #1 global hit, I Want To Know What Love Is. This musical milestone followed the record-breaking song Waiting For A Girl Like You.
An unprecedented new level of energy commenced in 2002 when Mick Jones decided to take Foreigner to the next level. He was joined by the astonishing Kelly Hansen on vocals, and continues as they lead the group in a re-emergence of astounding music that speaks to long time foreigner fans and younger generations. With renewed energy and direction, Foreigner hit the Billboard charts again with the 2005 release of their live greatest hits album, Extended Versions. Can’t Slow Down followed in 2009, and entered the Billboard chart in the Top 30, driven by two Top 20 radio singles, “In Pieces” and “When It Comes To Love.” To follow was the release of the band’s 3-disc set, Feels Like The First Time, which included an acoustic CD with an intimate and unique re-interpretation of many Foreigner classics, studio re-records by the new lineup and a live performance DVD showcasing the group’s exceptional live energy.
Foreigner experienced another surge in popularity when several of their hits were featured on the Rock Of Ages soundtrack, including “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You” – more songs than any other one band on the soundtrack. Hollywood quickly took note, and several more tracks were featured in hit films “Anchorman 2,” “Magic Mike” and “Pitch Perfect,” sending Foreigner downloads up 400%. The video game industry was soon to follow. The blockbuster release, “Grand Theft Auto V,” features Foreigner’s “Dirty White Boy,” and “Hot Blooded” is included in the November 2013 release of “BandFuse”. The high visibility of Foreigner’s songs continues to introduce the band’s music to a whole future generation of fans.
Juke Box Heroes, a new compilation of digitally recorded Foreigner hits, spent over thirty weeks in the Billboard Top 200 in 2013/2014. In September 2013, it hit #4 in the Nielsen SoundScan Top 200 Catalog chart, an astonishing feat that allowed Foreigner’s catalog sales that week to eclipse those of AC/DC, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Van Halen and most of their Classic Rock peers (Source: Nielsen SoundScan Top 200, September 15, 2013).
In June 2013, Mick Jones was inducted to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. A multi-talented and multi-dimensional “musician’s musician,” Jones has also written songs such as “Bad Love” with Eric Clapton and “Dreamer” with Ozzy Osbourne, and produced records for others including Billy Joel’s Storm Front and Van Halen’s 5150. A Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter, Jones is the winner of the prestigious British Ivor Novello Songwriter Award for “The Flame Still Burns”, the soundtrack music for the film Still Crazy.
In May 2014, Atlantic Records Chairman Craig Kallman presented Mick Jones with RIAA gold and platinum digital awards for six Foreigner songs. These awards signify 500,000 and 1,000,000 downloads of Foreigner hits. That is more individual awards than any other heritage rock band, and an illustration of Foreigner’s resonance in the digital era.
The year continued with Foreigner’s headline run in The Soundtrack of Summer US amphitheater tour. The hits compilation album of the same name was released to coincide with the tour and immediately hit the Billboard Top 200 chart, peaking at #64. For most weeks during the tour, Juke Box Heroes joined The Soundtrack Of Summer in the Billboard Top 200 making Foreigner the only Classic Rock band to have such a remarkable presence in today’s chart.
Foreigner’s latest release is entitled The Best Of Foreigner 4 & More, a high-definition live recording from the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ in October 2014, celebrating the band’s most successful album of all time. The set features some of the band’s best-known hits including I Want To Know What Love Is, Feels Like The First Time, Cold As Ice and Hot Blooded, along with a selection of best songs from ‘4’, such as Waiting For A Girl Like You, Juke Box Hero and Woman In Black.
Foreigner is one of the most viewed YouTube artists with anywhere between 700,000 and 900,000 weekly viewings of their songs (Source: Next Big Sound).