Thursday, June 21, 2012

Waiting For A Wimpy #2 Foreigner Ballad Like You

Foreigner rocked. They rocked hard. First they were Hot Blooded, then they were Cold As Ice. When you heard a Foreigner track in the late '70s, it Felt Like The First Time you heard a Bad Company or Aerosmith song, only crappier. But the point is, they rocked. No wimpy little ballad crap for this band, all right?

But what Foreigner didn't know was that we were waiting, desperately waiting, for a wimpy ballad from Foreigner. The Iron Curtain couldn't fall unless we had a wimpy ballad from Foreigner. Stanley Kubrick couldn't release another movie until we had a wimpy ballad from Foreigner. But how? To make a wimpy ballad, Foreigner needed a wimpy synthesizer player. Where were they going to find a wimpy synthesizer player at this time of night?

Enter Thomas Dolby.

Yes, that Thomas Dolby. In fact, with the money Dolby made playing synthesizer on "Waiting For A Girl Like You," he was able to fund the recording of his first album, The Golden Age Of Wireless. Just think - without Foreigner, she never would have blinded us with science! My God.

Turns out Foreigner weren't just waiting for a girl like you; they were waiting to have a #1 hit. And they weren't just waiting a little while. They were waiting for 10 freaking weeks. What could have possibly stood in their way? Well, let's just say it was some teeny little song by Olivia Newton-John. From Wikipedia:
"Waiting for a Girl Like You" achieved an odd chart distinction by spending a record-setting 10 weeks in the #2 position of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, without ever reaching the top. First appearing on the Hot 100 in October 1981, it reached #2 the week of November 28 where it was held off the #1 spot by Olivia Newton-John's single "Physical" for nine consecutive weeks then by Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" for a 10th week on January 30 1982.
Ha! Hall & Oates totally cock-blocked you Foreigner. I mean, here you are, "Physical" finally slips out of the top spot, and you totally have your chance, your moment of glory is at hand, and then BAM! Hall & Oates slide in from out of nowhere and completely steal your thunder. I can just see Lou Gramm now: "But ... but ... we've been waiting here for nine weeks! Isn't there a line or something? You guys just got here!"

The Lord works in mysterious ways, and Foreigner would eventually have their #1 hit. But they were just going to have to wait a little bit longer.

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