Foreigner’s 4 Turns 40: Remember the Hits

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Foreigner’s 4 Turns 40: Remember the Hits

Foreigner. Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images.

We're taking a look back at Foreigner's hit machine of a fourth album, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. 




By the end of the 1970s, Foreigner had established themselves among the biggest rock bands in America; by the dawn of the '80s, the band was ready to kick things up a notch. For their fourth studio album, the rockers recruited legendary producer, Robert "Mutt" Lange in an attempt to rebuild some of the momentum disrupted by the relative success of their previous LP, 1979’s Head Games.

"Head Games was a disappointment," singer Lou Gramm told Rolling Stone back in 1981. "It was the first one that got away from us. The ideas were good, but we didn't follow up on them, and that was a symptom of our problem. It seemed like everybody had his guard up." 

Making the band's fourth album wouldn’t prove much easier, with two members – keyboardist Al Greenwood and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald – leaving the fold in the process. But for the remaining members, perseverance would prove wildly fruitful! The resulting record was a resounding success. 

Having changed from the working title Silent Partners, to simply 4, when Foreigner’s fourth album was released on July 2, 1981 it rocketed straight to the top of the Billboard charts. After two weeks in the top spot, 4 fell to a most worth opponent – Stevie Nicks' solo debut, Bella Donna

Blasting out of the gate was first single, "Urgent," before revealing a softer side with second single, "Waiting for a Girl Like You." Third single "Juke Box Hero" was a massive hit a rock radio.

Foreigner | “Urgent”

Foreigner | “Waiting for a Girl Like You”

Foreigner | Juke Box Hero

Foreigner followed these chart-toppers up with two more singles from 4; "Break It Up," and fan favourite "Luanne.”

Foreigner | “Break it up” 

As 1981 unfolded, a number of serious contenders #1 after – including the Rolling Stones' Tattoo You and Journey's Escape  – but Foreigner's 4 managed to reclaim the title in November of 1981, sitting at #1 until Christmas Day, when it was replaced by AC/DC's For Those About to Rock We Salute You. But, proving you couldn't keep it down, 4 returned the #1 spot for three more weeks over January 1982. What a run!


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