October 1979: Foreigner Play "Head Games"

Photo of Lou GRAMM and FOREIGNER, Lou Gramm (centre) (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
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(Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

When Foreigner released its third LP, Head Games, in 1979, the group was among the biggest bands in rock. With two hits already to the group's credit with the self-titled debut (1977) and Double Vision (1978), fans and the radio airwaves were primed and ready when Head Games was set for arrival in '79.

The album's first single, "Dirty White Boy," was an immediate hit in AugustĀ  1979, reaching #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Second single "Head Games" arrived in October, a month after the album caused much controversy due to the risque cover art. With some stores refusing to stock the record, the double entendre of the title cut only compounded the public contention.

When Foreigner singer Lou Gramm was asked about the inspiration behind the song's tumultuous romantic relationship, he played coy, maintaining that it was about artistic license: "It was through our imagination and probably our memories, too."

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