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While they peaked with their first two albums in the late '70s, Foreigner have proved to be among the most long-lived of the arena rockers, and remain a popular touring attraction to this day. The group formed in 1976 when King Crimson veteran sax player Ian MacDonald and British stalwart session guitarist Mick Jones joined forces. They soon acquired a cast of supporting players from both sides of the Atlantic, most notably vocalist Lou Gramm, with whom Jones developed remarkable songwriting chemistry -- one of their first collaborations was the hit "Cold As Ice." The group's self-titled first album, released in 1977, was an instant smash, and its follow-up, Double Vision, did even better. Personnel changes ensued, but the group maintained its momentum through the '80s, adapting well to the MTV era with such crowd-pleasing bombast-fests as the ballad "I Want to Know What Love Is." The group's recording pace slowed in the '90s, but they continued to tour; the group's future looked doubtful in 1997 when Gramm was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but the growth was found to be non-cancerous and the singer recovered well enough that the group joined Journey on the road in 1999.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
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