Making what is often referred to as that “difficult third album” can often derail a band’s progress, but you could argue this issue never affected Foreigner – not least because they were far too busy to be ruffled. Formed in 1976 by UK-born guitarist, songwriter and former Spooky Tooth mainstay Mick Jones, the New York City-based act hit the ground running with two multi-platinum-selling albums, yet they weren’t fazed when it came to preparing a third, 1979’s Head Games.
Listen to ‘Head Games’ here.
“As amazing as it sounds, I never felt much pressure”
“When I look back at it, the first album came out in 1977, Double Vision came out in ’78 and Head Games came out in ’79. So I’m dazzled by that,” Mick Jones confessed to Classic Rock in 2015.
“It’s not a not a bad thing to have deadlines and set that kind of system up for yourself,” he added. “I think it keeps you aware. I certainly wasn’t going to let anything go through that we weren’t 100 per cent about… As amazing as it now sounds – three albums in three years – I never felt as much pressure as that schedule might suggest dictate.”
A couple of important changes within the Foreigner camp also helped the group realize Head Games without undue stress. Firstly, welcoming a new bassist into the fold altered the band dynamic for the better.