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Articles Home » 1991 Articles » Foreigner - 1991 Unusual Heat
Foreigner - 1991 Unusual Heat

ARTIST: Foreigner
ALBUM: Unusual Heat
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 82299-2
YEAR: 1991


LINEUP: Johnny Edwards - vocals * Mick Jones - guitars, keyboards * Rick Wills - bass * Dennis Elliott - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Only Heaven Knows * 02 Low Down And Dirty * 03 I'll Fight For You * 04 Moment Of Truth * 05 Mountain Of Love * 06 Ready For The Rain * 07 When The Night Comes Down * 08 Safe In My Heart * 09 No Hiding Place * 10 Flesh Wound * 11 Unusual Heat


The release of 'Unusual Heat' heralded a new and uncertain phase in the Foreigner timeline. It was the band's first studio album since 1987's disappointing 'Inside Information', and was also the first to exclude figurehead vocalist Lou Gramm. The mighty singer had departed for a solo career in 1986, releasing two excellent albums. The year 'Unusual Heat' appeared was the same as Gramm's new outfit Shadowking appeared, and on the same label too coincidentally enough. Foreigner's new singer was Johnny Edwards. A great California based talent (though originally from Louisville Kentucky) previously heard on Ronnie Montrose's 'Mean' album plus of course the King Kobra album 'III'. Neither of those efforts were to give away any clues as to the man's prowess on 'Unusual Heat', a small triumph in itself.

The Songs
Now, talking of coincidences, with Terry Thomas handling production duties, it was no surprise that Foreigner were aiming square-on for the same market held by Bad Company, hugely successful the year before with their 'Holy Water' platter. The other aspect was Edward's resemblance to BC's Brian Howe. However where Foreigner differ slightly and excel at, is in the softer array of mid tempo tunes and ballads. For instance, 'I'll Fight For You' and 'Safe In My Heart' are two of the best softer moments the band have done. The keyboards on the latter are super-smooth. 'Moment Of Truth' is controlled aggression, as is 'Low Down And Dirty', both swinging in the direction of the aforementioned Bad Company, while 'Only Heaven Knows is a curious opener, perhaps tripped up by some lyrics and vocal phrasing which don't quite fit the music. Overall though, the album is as appealing as some of their earlier works, though without the Al Greenwood synth touches. The guitar oriented aggression witnessed on 'Double Vision' and 'Head Games' rears it's head in places throughout 'Unusual Heat', rather than the layered keyboard pap heard on 'Agent Provocateur' and 'Inside Information'.

In Summary
The album was mildly successful in the UK (#56) thanks to good promotion over there, not so for the USA. Oh well. The band ventured on into the 90's, Gramm returning for 1994's 'Mr Moonlight', bringing along Shadowking buddy Bruce Turgon as the bass player.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
When I first heard 'Lowdown And Dirty' on the radio in 1991, I thought it was a new Bad Company song. L&D and 'Safe In My Heart' are absolutely killer tracks, and the rest ain't bad either. Over the years, I've enjoyed this CD as much as all the other Foreigner albums except '4', which is in a league of its own (quite probably my favorite of all time). I also think 'Inside Information' is underappreciated.
#2 | jeffduran on December 31 2007 08:25:44
I feel 'Inside Information' gets overlooked as it was a killer AOR release. For some reason I listen to that more than this or 'Mr. Moonlight'-which never grabbed me for some reason.
#3 | dangerzone on January 02 2008 06:38:58
This sounds too much like a Bad Company record. Terry Thomas succeeded in that regard, but this is dull fare,
#4 | reyno-roxx on July 16 2008 15:28:46
I think this album gets overlooked too, but 'Inside Information' is the better of the post '4' releases.
I interviewed Mick Jones and Lou Gramm for 'Kerrang!' around the release of 'Mr Moonlight' but, just like the Boston and Steve Perry features written before it, the mag never published it.
#5 | dangerzone on July 17 2008 05:53:47
Kerrang! really turned on metal in the worst way in the 1994 period. Between them and Metal Hammer I don't know what was worse. I remember when K! reveiwed Maiden's 'X-Factor' in 95 and some punter called Elliot reviewed it. He wrote a whole page review and spent all but one paragraph running down metal and how grunge had killed it. He didn't even review the album. Truly obscene.
#6 | reyno-roxx on July 17 2008 07:33:12
Dangerzone, it wasn't much fun being on the writing staff of the magazine at the time and not being able to do anything about the direction the magazine was heading in. The same happened with 'Classic Rock', to the point where I was just banging my head against a brick wall and jacked it in.
#7 | jeffduran on July 17 2008 09:10:35
'Inside Information' is such a great aor release and gets no respect.
#8 | gdazegod on July 17 2008 10:07:46
'Inside Information' will get reviewed this weekend. I agree, good record, sort of overlooked in 1987, notwithstanding the silly video of 'I Don't Want To Love Without You' which could've been an Ad for Animal Planet.
#9 | dangerzone on July 17 2008 12:08:06
What happened with Classic Rock? I must have missed that one. When I started seeing fuckers like No Doubt on the cover of K! back in 1996 I knew it was over.
#10 | gdazegod on July 17 2008 15:04:56
Now that is funny Alun! Actually, it is tragic.. ND on the cover of Kerrang.. wonders will never cease! frustration
#11 | DEMONAOR on July 21 2008 10:16:55
Ok Album
#12 | reyno-roxx on February 07 2009 16:57:52
The Royal Jelly album Johnny Edwards later recorded under the name of John Douglas Edwards, alongside ex Cobra drummer Jeff Klaven, is pretty good in a grunge meets melodic psychaedelia kinda way. Produced by Matt Wallace.
#13 | Danielovich on December 11 2009 21:19:55
"Ready for the rain" was one of my favorites for a while. Just an OK album
#14 | gdazegod on April 22 2011 00:04:33
Why this album got slagged in the recent Classic Rock AOR #1 edition I'll never know. There's nothing wrong with it. Calling it a 'desperate' attempt is far from the truth. To think that we got both this and Shadowking in the same year was a blessing..
#15 | super80boy on April 09 2017 19:35:44
A noble effort of sturdy arena rockers with big choruses. Standouts: 'Moment Of Truth', album single 'Lowdown and Dirty', the big arena rocker 'When The Night Comes Down' and the title song.
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