Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27: Mick Jones of Foreigner "Cold as Ice," "I Want to Know What Love Is," is 69 today.

Foreigner is a British-American rock band formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran English musicians Mick Jones, ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald, and American vocalist Lou Gramm. Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide including over 37.5 million in the U.S.

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No End in Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner


Michael Leslie "Mick" Jones was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in the U.K. He began his music career in the early 1960s as a member of the band Nero and the Gladiators, who scored two minor British hit singles in 1961.

After the band disolved, Jones worked as a songwriter and session musician for such artists as Sylvie Vartan and Johnny Hallyday, for whom he wrote many songs, including "Je suis né dans la rue" and "À tout casser" which features Jimmy Page on guitar. He then joined Gary Wright, formerly of the band Spooky Tooth, to form Wonderwheel.

In 1972, he played guitar on the albums Wind of Change for Peter Frampton, and two years later, on George Harrison's Dark Horse. In between playing on the two albums, Jones and Wright reformed Spooky Tooth, then Jones joined the Leslie West Band.

In 1976 he formed Foreigner with ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald and recruited ex-Black Sheep vocalist, Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardi. Jones came up with the name "Foreigner" since he, McDonald, and Elliott were English, while Gramm, Greenwood, and Gagliardi were Americans. Jones co-produced all of the group's albums and co-wrote most of their songs with Gramm. Jones wrote the band's biggest and most successful single, "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Foreigner's self-titled debut album was released in March 1977 and sold more than four million copies in the U.S., staying in the Top 20 for a year with such hits as "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice" and "Long Long Way From Home."

Their second album, Double Vision, released in June 1978, topped their previous, selling five million records and spawned "Hot Blooded," the title track "Double Vision" and "Blue Morning Blue Day." Their third album, Head Games, which was referred to by Gramm as their "grainiest" album, was also successful due to the thunderous "Dirty White Boy" and "Head Games."

Tensions developed within the band during the early 1980s and were attributed to a difference in musical taste between Gramm, who favored a more hard-edged rock, while Jones' preferred a more ynthesiser-oriented sound. Gramm left the band in 1989 but returned in 1991.
Also in 1989, Jones released his only solo album titled Mick Jones on the Atlantic Records label. Jones is the only person to play on every Foreigner album.
Jones co-wrote with Eric Clapton the song "Bad Love" on Clapton's Journeyman album, and in 2002 co-wrote the song "On Her Mind" with Duncan Sheik. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he played with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.

The band released a greatest hits anthology on July 15, 2008 titled No End in Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner. The anthology included all of their greatest hits plus some new live recordings and a new studio track, "Too Late", which was their first new song release since 1994's Mr. Moonlight.

For more about Mick Jones and Foreigner, visit his Website at - 


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