FOREIGNER - Double Vision

15. April 2019


FOREIGNER - Double Vision

Mick Jones is still having a hard time recording new material with Foreigner. He mourns the gold and platinum years after the release of a Foreigner album, when he became considerably richer. Lou Gramm is more realistic and would record something with Jones just for fun - whether under the name Foreigner or not. But instead there are appearances with the original line-up, a live recording from 1978 and a European tour with orchestra and the current line-up without Gramm & Co.

"Yes, Mick is very special", Kelly Hansen, successor of Lou Gramm at Foreigner for 14 years, tries to explain diplomatically why there is only one single longplayer with new songs - released ten years ago - of the current line-up with "Can't Slow Down". "But I can understand him well, he's used to writing a song, recording it and selling it a million times over. But today's music business doesn't give away such sales figures - at least for rock bands like us. I would at least release one or the other new song as stream or download if Mick doesn't want to record a complete album. But even without a lot of new material we have so many songs and hits in the setlist that we can always leave out potential live hits, because otherwise we would have to play for three hours"

In the Rainbow 1978

After the concert at London's Rainbow I had the feeling: "Damn it, I did everything right," Jones remembers. In the line-up of the first two albums with Jones, Gramm, the English multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald (ex-King Crimson), the London drummer Dennis Elliott (ex-If, Ian Hunter, Ashton & Lord) and the US musicians Ed Gagliardi (bass) and Al Greenwood (keyboards), the homecoming concert of the English band faction took place a few weeks before the release of the second album "Double Vision". "The concert already meant a lot to Mick, Ian and Dennis," said the US-American Gramm about the show in April '78. "After all, it was the first time they felt that they had become a big name in their home country after Foreigner's formation in New York City. And for me as a New Yorker it was an experience to be taken seriously in the homeland of great role models like Paul Rodgers and Robert Plant."

The restored live recording has now been released as Blu-ray or DVD/CD 41 years after the event. "I remember the London audience really drove us crazy. I don't know whether we were better as a band before or after," Jones adds another superlative. And even if some songs and hits of the albums "Head Games" (1979) and "4" (1981) released afterwards are missing, the technically excellently prepared CD makes the whole thing something like the "classical" live album of the group. "The double live album, as all the other top rock bands released it, we couldn't manage back then. Of course there are some live recordings of us from this or a somewhat later phase, but nothing like 'Free Live', 'The Song Remains The Same', 'Made In Japan', 'Live And Dangerous' or even 'Captured' from our AOR rivals Journey", Louis Andrew Grammatico, as the singer is called by his full name, pushes the same horn. "So, 'Live At The Rainbow '78' is kind of a late apology to our fans."

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