Great Rock Albums of 1987: Foreigner- Inside Information

If there was any band which polarized metalheads in the 1980s, it was Foreigner. Some accused the band of selling out because of the increased use of synthesizers and ballads which got them singles success. Others pointed out that they were simply moving along with the times and they were still able to rock. They pointed out some of the harder rock tunes which appear on their 1987 “Inside Information” album as evidence. Using the wisdom of my advanced years, (pause for laughter), I have come to the conclusion that Foreigner simply walked the tightrope between sounding commercial and incorporating their hard rock roots and I think they did that successfully. One thing however, probably their biggest single from their previous album, “Agent Provacteur,” did provide the source for a hilarious joke.

Back to the “Inside Information” album. If I point to any song which best demonstrates the band’s ability to walk that dreaded tightrope, it has to be the opener, “Heart Turns to Stone.” True, it’s synthed out for commercialability, but if you listen closely, you can hear the fuzz of Mick Jones’s guitar. It is catchy. They also stack the the three singles in the first four songs of the album. The most successful single from the album, “Say You Will,” which isn’t bad, but it’s not one for the power chords. Right after is the ballad “I Don’t Live Without You.” It was no surprise by this time that Foreigner were unashamedly writing ballads. After all, it got them lots of success and this one is all right. Not up their with “Waiting for a Girl Like You” or “I Want to Know What Love Is” but not bad. However, I think there is a better ballad on the album. The number two song, “Can’t Wait,” is a brilliant power ballad and I can’t think as to why it failed to crack the top 100 in the Billboard charts. That’s probably why I don’t trust Billboard.

After the singles, Foreigner waste no time in showing that they can still rock with “Counting Every Minute.” This song is guitar driven from beginning to end and Jones cranks out his first cool guitar solo. It’s definitely my choice for hidden gem. However, right after, the title track sounds like they are going a little 80s synth pop but Foreigner can even make a track like this sound pretty good. “The Beat of My Heart” and “Face to Face” are both solid rockers, although the latter song uses much more keyboards. Penultimate track, “Out of the Blue,” begins like a true progressive metal tune and though it tones it down after, it’s still a powerful song. The rocker that is the closer pounds the point that Foreigner hadn’t completely abandoned their hard rocking ways.

Track Listing:

  1. Heart Turns to Stone
  2. Can’t Wait
  3. Say You Will
  4. I Don’t Want to Live Without You
  5. Counting Every Minute
  6. Inside Information
  7. The Beat of My Heart
  8. Face to Face
  9. Out of the Blue
  10. A Night to Remember

Lou Gramm- vocals

Mick Jones- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Rick Willis- bass, backing vocals

Dennis Elliot- drums

Additional Musicians:

Tom Bailey- additional keyboards

Kevin Jones- Sinclavier

Ian Lloyd- backing vocals

Hugh McCracken- Spanish guitar

Sammy Merendino- electronic percussion

Mark Rivera- saxophone, backing vocals

Peter-John Vettesse- keyboards

Like I said earlier, Foreigner successfully walked the tightrope between commercial stardom and musical integrity. While they had the synth ballad like hits, they also showed they were still capable of a good rock tune or three.

Next post: Pink Floyd- A Momentary Lapse in Reason

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27 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1987: Foreigner- Inside Information”

  1. The band’s debut album was much better

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seen this album but never gave it a chance as I was finding them to fluffy at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I made it past 4 with these guys. No real interest in expanding the collection at this time either. But they would have some good radio songs at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the great equalizers of age is to be able to go back and explore genres and albums and singles that we dismissed so easily in our youth as groups that sold out for a buck or music “we didn’t get,” and ask ourselves to re-examine or re-listen to that group or singer and try and figure if it means anything different to us now than it did back in the 80’s. Thanks for mentioning these deeper cuts also to check out. In some regards, it’s like discovering new 80’s music in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha. I haven’t seen that pic of Nigel in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not gonna lie, I associate them with the ballads. But I haven’t followed too closely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The song I like best is Say You Will that in my view has a Don Henley meets Heart meets Pat Benatar meets Robin Beck meets Quarterflash meets Magnum vibe to it!


  8. “Say You Will” is one of my favorites! Wow! You are posting all the great songs!

    Liked by 1 person

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