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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

An Evening With Foreigner

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

There was a time when you could scarcely turn on a radio without getting bombarded with Foreigner hits.

"Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice," "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Juke Box Hero," "I Want to Know What Love Is," "Dirty White Boy," "Head Games," "Waiting For a Girl Like You," "Urgent" and many more, a string of hits across the late '70s and early '80s that few acts have matched.

It is a somewhat different band, 30 years after its early success, that will appear at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, one timeless set of rockers holding court among the country crossover acts that dominate that grandstand.

The current line up features veteran vocalist Kelly Hansen, Jason Bonham, Jeff Pilson, Jeff Jacobs, Tom Gimbel and the indefatigable guitarist and founding member Mick Jones.

These guys are having fun and passing it on to the crowds, according to the band's website.

"Let's face it; many revamped line ups are created for good old fashioned money. This group is having the time of their lives," Mick said.

In March, Sony/BMG Custom Mark released Foreigner's album of live tracks recorded at Texas Station, Las Vegas in November 2005. This release is part of Sony/BMG's "Extended Version" series and includes full length concert performances of ten of the classic hits. The new version of Foreigner is also creating new material and adding to some songs in live performances.

Back on the road again after two years off, Foreigner's new lineup started touring last summer. Drummer Jason Bonham took a break to star in VH1's "Supergroup."

Formed in 1976, Foreigner was made up of experienced British musicians Mick Jones and Ian McDonald, and four relative newcomers to the arena of major rock, British musician Dennis Elliott, and Americans Ed Gagliardi, Lou Gramm and Alan Greenwood. Months after getting together, the five released their first album "Foreigner" in 1977 and less than eight weeks later, had two top-ten hit singles. The unexpected and immediate success of their debut album astounded everyone - including them! Put on the road by Atlantic Records to promote the album, these now successful recording artists had to transform themselves immediately into a live music act. "We grew up in front of the public and made all our mistakes in front of crowds," says Dennis Elliott. They had 10 songs total - when asked for an encore, they had nothing left to play. That was remedied with "Double Vision" in 1978, with more chart-topping singles while the first album was still on the national charts! A year later their third album, "Head Games" hit more platinum. But by the early 1980s, the band was reduced to four members, still making hits with the likes of "Waiting For A Girl Like You." After the release of "Inside Information" in 1987 Jones and Gramm went separate ways.

Reunited in 1993, Lou and Mick, after some seven years with no new releases, put out a new album, "Mr. Moonlight." It scored one more top ten single - "Until The End of Time".

In 2002, the 25th Anniversary brought new Greatest Hits albums in the U.S. and in Europe.

Expect plenty of classic Foreigner sounds in the Spencer concert, with some new twists a step beyond the usual retro rock scene.