Foreigner - Waiting For A Girl Like You (M. Jones, L. Gramm) ~ Erwin Lazaro 171
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I’m going back to my roots for this cover. “Waiting For A Girl Like You” is a song I’ve been singing for 33 years when it first debuted on the radio in September 1981. I was 13-years-old and I realized I could actually sing. After the radio success of “Urgent”, beginning in July 1981, I looked forward to Foreigner’s next radio release. “Waiting For A Girl Like You” debuted next. I always love the ballads and this power ballad floored me. I hopped on my bicycle motocross (BMX), rode to Aurora Village, the local mall, ran into the record store, and bought my first 33-1/3 RPM LP vinyl record. I remember being incredibly happy as I carefully carried my prize back home so I could play it on my turntable. Foreigner’s album 4 became my first treasure.
After 33 years I still have it tucked safely in a box with my other LP vinyl records and 45s. I played my first album over and over and over again, singing the songs from beginning to end. “Juke Box Hero” and “Urgent” are also on Foreigner 4. The entire album is incredible, but the impressionistic 13-year-old I was latched onto the three biggest radio hits from this album. Lou Gramm has a remarkable voice and I gravitated to it all those years ago, trying to emulate his sound, belting out the tunes like nobody’s business.
After almost every play, when I was done with the record, I’d take a lint-free cloth or clean cotton t-shirt, whatever was convenient at the time, and meticulously cleaned both sides of my record before carefully placing the vinyl back into its sleeve and into the hard cover. Those records are precious. Those vinyl records also carry the memories of my youth, ingrained with my love and boundless appreciation for music.
For those who know me personally, they’d probably have guessed that my first record was from Barry Manilow or Billy Joel or Kool & the Gang. As it turned out, Foreigner, the rock band with soft edges lured me first. Of course, I did buy Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Kool & the Gang, and other great musicians from the 70s and 80s on vinyl. I don’t have a big collection, but when I did have enough money, I bought records, not knowing that they would become treasures from my teenage years when I started developing my voice.
"Waiting for a Girl like You" is a 1981 power ballad by the British-American rock band Foreigner. The distinctive synthesizer theme was performed by the then little-known Thomas Dolby.
It was the second single released from the album 4 (1981) and was co-written by Lou Gramm and Mick Jones. It has become one of the band's most famous songs worldwide, peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard's Rock Tracks chart. On the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, the song reached the Top Five. In the UK, the song peaked at No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
"Waiting for a Girl Like You" achieved an odd chart distinction by spending its record-setting 10 weeks in the No. 2 position of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, without ever reaching the top. First appearing on the Hot 100 in October 1981, it reached No. 2 the week of November 28 where it was held off the No. 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. Nevertheless it made it to No. 19 amongst the Top 100 singles of 1982.
Prior to the release of this song as a single, Foreigner was considered a hard rock band getting airplay mostly on rock stations and some Top 40 ones. This song gave the group more exposure on top 40 radio stations. Also, because the song was soft, most adult contemporary radio stations played it as well, giving the group exposure to an audience they were not really aiming at in general. This song was pivotal in exposing harder rock acts to a broader audience.
The song lists at No. 80 on the list of "Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time".
After almost every play, when I was done with the record, I’d take a lint-free cloth or clean cotton t-shirt, whatever was convenient at the time, and meticulously cleaned both sides of my record before carefully placing the vinyl back into its sleeve and into the hard cover.