This is "The Big 10 - The Essential Tracks", in which we take a closer look at particular artist's or band's back catalogue, and choose the 10 finest moments. These are our subjective choices, so if you want to ask how on earth we could leave off such and such song from the list, you can... and the answer is... because we could.

  Formed in 1976 but the history of the main characters goes further back in time as U.K. guitarist Mick Jones performed with Johnny Hallyday in the early/mid 60's (supporting The Beatles on tour) and worked with iconic artists such as Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page (prior to Led Zeppelin). U.S. vocalist Lou Gramm a.k.a Louis Grammatico had the experience of Black Sheep (two albums at Capitol records) when the two decided to join forces and Foreigner would eventually end up as one of the best-selling bands of all time. We're talking about worldwide sales of nearly 80 million albums.

To be perfectly honest. I don't recall hearing any song by the band other than "I Want To Know What Love Is" as a kid. Listening to the albums as the adult in the 2000's I never understood the greatness about tracks such as "Dirty White Boy" or "Jukebox Hero" (the chorus is decent enough though). They are quite frankly boring (IMO) and Homer Simpson singing "Hot Blooded" ruined the song period. Had it been Moe on the other hand. Foreigner has plenty of great songs and moments though and picking the 10 turned out to be quite the challenge. Did I get it right? Well? You probably need to type down your very own list to be truly satisfied.

10. Running The Risk
9. Cold As Ice
8. Heart Turns To Stone
7. That Was Yesterday
6. I Want To Know What Love Is

5. Girl On The Moon
Out of place and out of touch? It's "Time for my mind to go wandering off on a journey through space and time in search of a face I can never find". Indeed. We're speaking about mission impossible. The longing of someone that will never be yours and the dream untouched. "She drifted away like the desert sand". Classy slide-guitar work by Hugh McCracken add an eerie, spacey, feeling of la luna and desperately trying to grab something that's out of reach. Lovely keyboard textures and the simple yet effective repeat of the guitar chord(s) - clearly different from their usual songwriting

4. Break It Up
The proper belter from album '4' and sadly forgotten amongst all of their other hits (peaked at #26) as 'Waiting For a Girl Like You' (#2) and 'Urgent' (#4) did a lot better in the U.S. chart. This is however the 'rock' song with the special nod to both 'Cold As Ice' as well as the pomp of Supertramp. 'Made myself a prisoner. I Locked myself away. Can't remember the last time I saw the light of day'. By the way. Listen closely to the keyboard intro and its distinctive sound and you'll notice where Europe got their inspiration for 'Carrie.

3. Say You Will
Pop? Rock? AOR? It's one of those songs that could be neither and all. Hall & Oates on steroids or if you prefer Foreigner on dope :) Jones and Gramm were officially inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013. However, this could just as easily have been the follow-up hit to 'Out Of Touch' by the duo of Hall & Oates. Very catchy and one of Gramm's best vocal performances. Lyrically, the typical story for the band and perhaps not their best work.

2. Waiting For a Girl Like You
We are talking about the very definition of 'close but no cigar'. Melancholy keyboards (the work of Thomas 'Blinded me with Science' Dolby actually) and the ballad from 1981 spent 10 consecutive weeks in the # 2 position of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Waiting for a girl quickly became the sheer agony of waiting for a number one song. Hardly the typical power ballad since it's the first of its kind and the line that gets you in the heart everytime: "There's nowhere on earth that I'd rather be, than holding you tenderly". What really makes or breaks the song, however, Gramm's high-pitch note on the word 'Waiting'... and no other singer of Foreigner has nailed it since.

1. Out Of The Blue
The lost and hidden gem from 'Inside Information' may raise the eyebrown or three. Barely recognized by the band nor their audience? it's the mega cool hi-tech soft-rock tune with layers of lush keyboards and dito guitar work (what ever happened to the guitar solo?). Co-written by all band members at the time (Jones, Gramm, Wills, Elliott) it's the trademark as well as hallmark of great craftsmanship. Literally the blueprint for all the vocal work of Mark/Marcie Free post-1987 and especially the Signal album in 1989. I never get tired of listening to this while headbanging violently in the corner... :)

This list by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,

The list as a YouTube playlist

Individual lists:

Kimmo Toivonen:

10. Blue Morning, Blue Day
9. Cold As Ice
8. Running The Risk
7. Hand On My Heart
6. Heart Turns To Stone
5. Break It Up
4. Angel Tonight
3. That Was Yesterday
2. Prisoner Of Love
1. Until The End Of Time

Martien Koolen:

10. Juke Box Hero
9. Double Vision
8. Head Games
7. Urgent
6. Feels Like The First Time
5. Cold As Ice
4. Waiting For A Girl Like You
3. Hot Blooded
2. Dirty White Boy
1. I Want To Know What Love Is

Alan Holloway:

10. Tooth and Nail
9. Growing Up The Hard Way
8. Say You Will
7. Rev on The Red Line
6. Cold As Ice
5. Can't Slow Down
4. The Flame Still Burns
3. Stranger In My Own House
2. A Night To Remember
1. Juke Box Hero
Rich Dillon:

10. Juke Box Hero
9. Hot Blooded
8. Dirty White Boy
7. Double Vision
6. Head Games
5. Say You Will
4. Urgent
3. Feels like the First Time
2. That Was Yesterday
1. Cold As Ice
Dan Mann:
10. Prisoner Of Love
9. Say You Will
8. Living In A Dream
7. Urgent
6. Starrider
5. Head Games
4. Cold As Ice
3. That Was Yesterday
2. Hot Blooded
1. I'll Fight For You

(c) 2014 RockUnited.Com


10.Feel Like The First Time
9. Break It Up
8. Head Games
7. I Want To Know What Love Is
6. Urgent
5. Waiting For a Girl Like You
4. Hot Blooded
3. Say You Will
2. That Was Yesterday
1. Cold As Ice