• Steven Pluto

Under The Radar: Foreigner, Mr. Moonlight (1995)

Updated: Mar 25


With numerous hit singles and platinum selling albums, Foreigner was arguably one of the finest AOR bands during the late-'70s and early-'80s .

Unfortunately, after a decade of monstrous success the song writing gas tank of guitarist/keyboardist Mick Jones and vocalist Lou Gramm was running low by the release of 1987s Inside Information album.

Lou Gramm left the band and formed a new group called Shadow King. Mick Jones hired a new lead vocalist and continued under the Foreigner banner. Both bands and their respective albums failed to resonate with the record buying public.

Mick Jones and Lou Gramm reunited to record a few new tracks (Soul Doctor, Prisoner of Love, With Heaven On Our Side) on 1992's 'Very Best ...and Beyond compilation.

These three new songs clearly demonstrated that that this songwriting partnership still had plenty of gas left in the tank.Shortly after Gramm rejoined the band.

Foreigner entered the studio to record their eighth studio album, their first to feature Lou Gramm on lead vocals since 1987s Inside Information.

Foreigners eighth studio album ,Mr. Moonlight was released in the US and Canada in early 95. The record was made up of eleven tracks and was produced by Gramm, Jones and Mike Stone, with additional production by Phil and Joe Nicolo.

In my opinion, I thought that the Mr. Moonlight was a well played , written and produced record. Besides the fact that Gramm and Jones still knew their way around a catchy hook, they wisely updated their sound for this release. Mr. Moonlight had an organic feel to it, incorporating a live in the studio approach, adding acoustic guitars and piano into the mix. Songs like White Lie, All I Need To Know, and Rain sound contemporary yet possess that classic Foreigner sound.

The only track on this record that you could argue replicates the earlier Foreigner sound is the hard rocking album opener Under The Gun with its masterful opening and catchy guitar riff.

Unfortunately Mr. Moonlight was released under the indie Rhythm Safari label, in the U.S., and the company's lack of resources, doomed the record to vanish as quickly as it was released.

Which is a shame because Mr.Moonlight showcased a promising second chance for the band. The record was a solid modern day melodic record that if given a chance would please old and new fans alike.

Mr Moonlight may not be the first record that comes to mind when one thinks of Foreigner, but it definitely deserves to have its due.

#StevenPluto #UndertheRadar #music #classicrock

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