In 1976 Mick Jones (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals), Ian McDonald (guitar, saxophone, flute, backing vocals) and Lou Graham (lead vocals, percussion) formed the nucleus of the band to be later named Foreigner. Al Greenwood (keyboards and synthesizers) was added along with Dennis Elliot (drums) and Ed Gagliardi (bass) to form the original lineup of the band appearing on the first, self-titled album. Jones came up with the band’s name Foriegner after the group realized that former name Trigger was already in use. His logic was that since the group consisted of three Brits and three Americans, no matter where the band was at least three of them would be foreigners.
The first album was released in March 1977 and immediately connected with an audience featuring three hits, “Feels Like The First Time”, “Cold As Ice” and “Long, Long Way Home”. The album stayed in the top 20 for a year selling 4 million copies. By May the band was already headlining larger venues, well on their way to becoming one of the best selling groups of all times.
Although the band would undergo several personnel changes over the ensuing years they became a band synonymous with the late 70’s and 80’s in popular music, producing a series of hits including (From Double Vision) “Hot Blooded”, “Double Vision”, Blue Monday, Blue Day”, (From Head Games) “Head Games”, “Dirty White Boy”, (From 4) “Urgent”, “Waiting For A Girl Like You”, “Juke Box Hero”, “Break It Up”, (From Agent Provocateur) “That Was Yesterday” and “I Want To Know What Love Is” – the band’s biggest hit, reaching number 1 in the UK, US and many other countries.
Mick Jones and Lou Graham were indicted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.
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