The Farr Side: It's not a 'foreign' concept to put great band in Hall of Fame

It seems to be a popular thing for me to write about bands and artists who I feel deserve recognition by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whether people agree with me or have a few suggestions of their own, it’s a worthy topic. I love to read my emails from fellow devoted music lovers.

My recent expose on why Phil Collins should be inducted into the Rock Hall was well received and elicited well over 250 email responses. I loved it. And, it appears that the majority of my readers agreed with my notion that the superstar belongs among the greats. Just to reiterate — Phil is already in as a member of Genesis. I just happen to believe his solo work warrants induction, as well.

David T. Farr
David T. Farr

There are many other worthy artists who also should be recognized for their contributions to the world of music entertainment. Some of the names I will be arbitrating for over the next few months include such diverse artists as Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Tears For Fears, Kool & The Gang, Cher, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Huey Lewis & The News, Billy Idol and Sammy Hagar.

For right now, though, I’m heavily rooting for the band Foreigner to be inducted soon. It puzzles me to know that they’ve not even been nominated. Why???

I’ve loved this band for as long as I can remember. Foreigner was a mainstay in our house. So many memories surface when I hear their songs. It seems like yesterday when my brother would be coming home from school with “Hot Blooded” blaring out of his car windows. My mom didn’t mind either because she secretly loved those songs, too.

The British-American rock band formed in 1976 in New York when British guitarist Mick Jones and Ian McDonald met up with American singer Lou Gramm. It was Jones’ who came up with the band’s name and included fellow members Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

The first album, “Foreigner, was a smash and was the first of four straight albums to be certified 5x platinum. The album featured big rock tracks including the hits “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice.”

Their sophomore release, “Double Vision,” made an even bigger splash and contained the tracks “Hot Blooded” and the title track.

“Head Games” continued their winning streak, but it was the band’s fourth studio album release, “4,” that moved the guys to a whole new level. The album stayed at No. 1 for 10 weeks while the producing massive singles including “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” “Waiting For A Girl Like You” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 where it stayed for an amazing 10 weeks. You guessed it – it rewrote the record books.

The guys were definitely anthem hit-makers with a track record to prove it. But, “Waiting For A Girl Like You” was their first power ballad. Now Journey and REO Speedwagon had another band stealing a little of their thunder.

I loved all those songs. Foreigner was an amazing and if they never did anything else again, they could still be proud of their legacy. However, their best was to come next. Of course, it’s my opinion to say this, but, I believe their single, “I Want To Know What Love is,” is one of the finest songs ever written and performed, period!

“I Want To Know What Love Is” from the album, “Agent Provocateur,” was written by Jones and sang by Gramm. The song features impeccable backing vocals from the New Jersey Mass Choir with Jennifer Holliday. The entire ensemble , including Tom Bailey from Thompson Twins, is pure perfection. It topped the Hot 100 for three weeks and is classified as one of the most played and popular songs of the modern rock era. I know I’ve played the heck out of it.

More hit songs followed, 47 in all from the band’s nine studio albums, seven live albums, and over 20 various compilation albums. But, with fame also came several lineup changes. Kelly Hanson currently serves as lead singer, but Gramm will always be Foreigner to me.

Foreigner has sold more than 50 million albums and still remains a successful touring act regardless of who is at the helm as lead singer.

When we think of great bands, especially those enshrined in the Rock Hall, it only seems fitting that Foreigner be there among the greatest.

— David T. Farr is a Journal Correspondent. Email him at

This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: The Farr Side: It's not a 'foreign' concept to put great band in Hall of Fame