I first heard of Foreigner when I was in the fourth grade, back when “I Want to Know What Love Is” was a current single. I remember seeing the video on MTV and really liking the song. After this, I ended up being exposed to some more of their material, specifically “That Was Yesterday,” “Waiting For a Girl Like You,” “Hot Blooded,” and “Urgent.”
My next memory of Foreigner comes in 1987, when I was hearing “Say You Will” on the radio and seeing the video on MTV. I absolutely fell in love with that song, and it motivated me to buy a cassette copy of the Inside Information album. I have to admit that the follow-up single, “I Don’t Want to Live Without You,” didn’t do too much for me at the time; at 13 years old, I just thought that the song was rather bland. Over the years, though, I’ve come to appreciate this one a lot better. I know that “Heart Turns to Stone” was also released as a single from the album, and that song managed to catch my interest the first time I heard it.
I lost track of Foreigner for a few years, and didn’t hear anything from them again until 1994. However, I have since learned the band actually put out an album in 1991 titled, Unusual Heat, but it appears that I never managed to hear any songs from this album on the radio. My next, and last, exposure to new Foreigner material was in 1994, when I was hearing “Until the End of Time” on the radio. It wasn’t a big pop hit, but the song itself was a rather decent ballad, although it was a bit “watered down” compared to their earlier AOR ballads.
In more recent years, I was actually was introduced to an older Foreigner song that I had never heard before. My husband and I had bought a compilation CD that had “Juke Box Hero” on it. You can imagine how flabbergasted my husband was when I told him that I’d never heard that song. He quickly rectified this by playing it for me, and I really liked it.
Foreigner was definitely one of the premier AOR bands of the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Unfortunately, as the band hit the 1990s, their status had waned, and the one song I heard in the mid-1990s was definitely more of an Adult Contemporary song than an AOR one. While I appreciate much of Foreigner’s work, I’m not sure they’d be able to have much, if any, success in today’s music landscape.