Archive for Double Vision

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Foreigner- Agent Provocateur

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

While in 1985, most of the world was excited about Foreigner releasing their first studio in nearly four years, I was a little skeptical. My skepticism was based on the logic that my final memories from Foreigner “4” was their famous ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and when my introduction to the new “Agent Provocateur” album was another ballad, I concluded that Foreigner had gone the way of REO Speedwagon and was simply content to achieve commercial success through ballads. No matter how good everyone thought “I Want to Know What Love Is” and it is a good song, I had prematurely drawn the conclusion that the new album would be mainly ballads and that Foreigner had foregone their hard rock roots which had brought them so much success in the past.

Fortunately, my sister did buy the album and gave me a listen to it and my skepticism was removed. Let me be frank, in my mind, “Agent Provocateur” comes nowhere close to classics like my personal favourite, “Double Vision,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. True, there are more ballads on here than I would have liked, the previously mentioned single and “That Was Yesterday,” another song which brought Foreigner top 40 success. Plus, “Growing Up the Hard Way,” while not a ballad is over done with the synthesizer and I can’t help thinking how much better that song would have been if there was a stronger power chord from a guitar on it. However, there is evidence a plenty on “Agent Provocateur” to show that the band hadn’t totally forgotten where they came from.

Opening track, “Tooth and Nail” dispels any ideas that “Agent Provocateur” is going to be an album of ballads. It does its job of hooking the listener and is a good steady rock track. Even though the next three tracks after are the ballads and synth pop singles, one doesn’t lose interest as that opening tracks gives hope that there is more like that on the album. “Reaction to Action” does exactly that and it has the best guitar solo on the album. Therefore, it’s awarded the hidden gem for the album. I have a theory about the track “Stranger in My Own House.” I theorize that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones worried that people like me would think this album would be chuck full of ballads, so they recorded this song with that in mind. “Stranger in My Own House” is a good hard rocking track, probably the hardest on the album with another cool guitar solo. But I think they try too hard to be hard rock with Gramm doing more screaming than singing. While it’s a cool track, I want to say to Lou, “Relax man, you don’t have to prove you can still rock.”

“A Love in Vain” may return to the ballads but there is some good keyboards work on the track and a little guitar making a good 70s style progressive rock sounding song. Maybe that one should have been released as a single as it’s better than it successor, “Down on Love” which was. This one, while not bad, has too much of an 80s synth pop sound for me. “Two Different Worlds” is a definite ballad and it sort of combines the previous two tracks without the synth pop which is replaced with a decent guitar solo. That leaves the closer, “She’s Too Tough,” and though it brings the album full circle, the song reminds me too much of the Kenny Loggins single, “Danger Zone.”

Track Listing:

  1. Tooth and Nail
  2. That Was Yesterday
  3. I Want to Know What Love Is
  4. Growing Up the Hard Way
  5. Reaction to Action
  6. Stranger in My Own House
  7. A Love in Vain
  8. Down on Love
  9. Two Different Worlds
  10. She’s Too Tough

Foreigner

Lou Gramm- lead vocals, percussion

Mick Jones- guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals

Rick Wills- bass, backing vocals

Dennis Elliot- drums

Like with Heart, the question here is, “Was Agent Provocateur” a sell out album for Foreigner?” Okay, they did have a number one single on it and while I might not think so, many other people out there did and it’s probably why it didn’t sell as big as some of their previous. My belief on the lack of sales was that Foreigner were trying to be all thing to all people and in a 1980s society which like to put things into nice neat categories, that didn’t sit well.

Next post: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: Foreigner- Head Games

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2013 by 80smetalman

Foreigner-head-games80

Call it karma, coincidence or whatever but it turns out the my 200th post here on 80smetalman’s blog is the first album I visit in the golden decade. I chose “Head Games” by Foreigner because it was the first new album I listened to in that year. An old marine buddy had it on 8-track and it was one of our many cruising albums. I also remember every time I went into the Enlisted Men’s Club in the January, “Dirty White Boy” or some other song from this album would be playing.    I thought now as I did then, it was a great way to begin the year or the decade for that matter.

Following one good album is tough enough for a band, but following two is a colossal challenge. Foreigner had to follow up their debut album and their fantastic second album “Double Vision,” both great albums. “Head Games for me, does a great job in doing so. I love the hard rock, early metal sound of “Dirty White Boy” and “Women is also a classic rocker for me as well and of course the title cut. In the months that followed, the title cut became sort of my anthem song for the time as I concluded that the Marine Corps was good a playing those types of games.

Unlike some of their future albums, there is nothing really to what I would call a ballad. The closest is the track “Blinded by Science,” but even that isn’t really what I would call a proper ballad. Instead, you get the hard rocking sound that defined Foreigner in those early days. Not only with the classic songs but the rest of the album provides a feel good factor when you’re rocking away to it.

Track Listing:

1. Dirty White Boy

2. Love On the Telephone

3. Women

4. I’ll Get Even With You

5. Seventeen

6. Head Games

7. The Modern Day

8. Blinded by Science

9. Do What You Like

10. Rev on the Red Line

Foreigner

Foreigner

Dennis Elliot- drums, vocals

Lou Gramm- vocals, percussion

Al Greenwood- synthesizer, keyboards

Mick Jones- guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals

Ian McDonald- guitar, keyboards, drums, vocals

Rick Willis- bass, vocals

Foreigner have been described as an Anglo-American rock band because members come from both countries. History shows us what Anglo-American cooperation can do in wartime but in music, they can produce things even greater. Foreigner and the album “Head Games” is proof of that.

Next post: Styx- Cornerstone

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Foreigner- Double Vision

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by 80smetalman

I have finally figured out why my AM clock radio finally gave up the ghost in early 1979. It couldn’t handle the hard rock coming out of it in the summer of 1978. First, there was the song “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh and on the same night, it belted out “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner. It is obvious now that two such hard rocking tunes were too much for a device that was used to blasting out disco tunes; it probably blew a tube from it all. For me, the summer of 1978, was a good rocking summer and this album was one of the reasons why.

The album “Double Vision,” the second album by Foreigner, has been considered by many, me included, as one of their best albums all around. It has a good rocking edge that has you rocking away from the very first song. (It does help that “Hot Blooded” is the first song.) However, the others all follow suit, especially the title track, and make this album the classic that it is.

Track Listing:

1. Hot Blooded

2. Blue Morning

3. You’re All I Am

4. Back Where You Belong

5. Love Has Taken Its Toll

6. Double Vision

7. Tramontane

8. I Have Waited All So Long

9. Lonely Children

10. Spellbinder

Foreigner

Dennis Elliot- drums, vocals

Ed Gagliarti- bass, vocals

Lou Gramm- Lead Vocals, percussion

Mick Jones- guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals

Ian McDonald- guitars, keyboards, vocals, reeds

I stand by my assertion that “Double Vision” is the best album by Foreigner. It is a good rocking album that after more than thirty years, has been a solid rock for many great rockers like me.

Next post: Heart- Magazine

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Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle