Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Foreigner‘s hit-packed fourth studio album, the aptly titled 4.
Propelled by those hits and a fourth top-40 single, “Break It Up,” 4 became Foreigner’s only album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200, spending 10 non-consecutive weeks atop the chart from August 1981 to January 1982. 4 has sold over 6 million copies in the U.S.
Interestingly, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” set a Billboard record by spending 10 weeks at #2 on the Hot 100 tally without ever reaching the top. It was blocked from #1 by Olivia Newton-John‘s “Physical” and Hall & Oates‘ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).”
The title 4 also was a reference to the fact that Foreigner had become a quartet after the exit of founding multi-intrumentalist Ian McDonald and keyboardist Al Greenwood in 1980.
Founding guitarist and main songwriter Mick Jones co-produced the album with “Mutt” Lange, then famous for producing AC/DC‘s Back in Black and soon to become more famous for his work with Def Leppard.
4 was the first Foreigner album to make significant use of session musicians. Thomas Dolby, who had a big hit of his own in 1982 with “She Blinded Me with Science,” played synthesizers, while Motown sax legend Junior Walker contributed a memorable solo to “Urgent.”
Singer Lou Gramm told ABC Audio that while “Waiting for a Girl Like You” may be the tune that fans remember most from 4, he considers “Juke Box Hero” to be “the quintessential Foreigner song.”
Here’s 4‘s full track list:
“Juke Box Hero”
“Break It Up”
“Waiting for a Girl Like You”
“I’m Gonna Win”
“Woman in Black”
“Girl on the Moon”
“Don’t Let Go”
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