Head Games (1979)

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’s third album in only three years has the band firing on all cylinders. Their first two records sold really well, and, by industry standards were labeled “a huge success”, but this was due to the fact that each of those records had two or three really strong songs. Once you got past the radio friendly top 40 hits, those records included a lot of filler. Part of this was due to the fact that the band was probably still looking for a solid and consistent direction for their music. That’s definitely understandable for any band after only a couple of albums. These things take time.

So for this record, the guys now knew what worked, and what did not. Gone are the thick heavy synthesized songs disguising themselves as “art rock” wannabes. Instead, this album rocks from start to finish. Oh sure, they do slow things down a bit on a song or two, but this album has a much more consistent feel. And yes, there are still keyboards and synthesizers a plenty, but the band uses them to enhance the tracks as opposed to letting this particular instrument dominate.

Like their first two records, there are two or three top 40 radio staples that everyone knows. In this case we have Dirty White Boy and Head Games, and, to a smaller extent, the punk rockfish Women. Unlike the first two records, everything else here is near great. Side 1 is almost flawless. A lot of the credit can probably be given to producer Roy Thomas Baker – a very highly successful, high in demand producer from the 70s and 80s. Side 2 isn’t quite as brilliant, but still shines most of the way through. Even the obligatory Mick Jones sang tune The Modern Day is miles better than anything else he had done in the lead vocal department. He isn’t trying to add his own element, he’s now simply replicating singer Lou Gramm (To be fair though, the song would have been much better had Lou Gramm sang the song).

The last few songs tend to drag a bit. Rev on the Red Line always seemed a bit cheesy to me and Blinded by Science is also a bit unnecessary. It’s a nice, slowed down tune, but I can do without a song that rhymes “science” with “appliance”.

With this record, the guys proved that they weren’t a flash in the pan. They were still loved by the arena crowd audience, and bigger and better things were still on the horizon.

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