Juke Box Hero

Album: 4 (1981)
Charted: 48 26

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones and lead singer Lou Gramm. In our interview with Mick Jones, he said: "That stemmed from an experience that we had, I think it was in Cincinnati. We'd gone to the arena for a sound check, and it was pouring down rain, and there were a bunch of fans waiting at the door when we went in. When we came back for the show later on, all that was left was one lonely fan, a young guy waiting out there in the rain, soaked to the skin. I thought, well, he's waiting like five hours here, maybe we'll take him in and give him a glimpse of what happens backstage at a show. And this kid was just mesmerized with everything. I saw this look in his eyes, and I thought, he's seeing this for the first time, he's having this experience. And I just imagined what was going through his mind. And I'd been toying with this title, 'Juke Box Hero,' I thought it was almost a satire on what we did and how it was perceived from an audience level, and public. That's how it originated."
  • Mutt Lange produced the 4 album with Mick Jones. Lange is one of the most successful producers in Rock, with AC/DC's Back In Black and Def Leppard's Pyromania to his credit. Jones has some impressive credentials as well, co-producing Van Halen's 5150 and Billy Joel's Storm Front. Regarding his work with Lange on 4, Jones said: "We spent a lot of time in the studio making that album. Probably more than we needed, to be truthful. But those were the days of excessive studio experiences (laughing). These days, I draw on that experience every time I try to produce or co-produce, because I always felt that I could benefit from somebody else's ears."
  • Lou Gramm has a strong connection with this song - he named his 2013 autobiography Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock n' Roll. In 2015, he told us that it is one of his favorite songs to perform, but also the hardest to sing live.
  • Before he was a singer, Lou Gramm was a drummer. The menacing beat at the beginning of the song that builds to combustion is his influence: he says that when he writes songs, he starts with the beat and looks for interesting rhythms.
  • When Foreigner was filling arenas, this was a showstopper - an anthem that drove the crowd wild. They had a visual to go with it: midway through the song, a 20-foot juke box would inflate near the side of the stage. Keeping the monster Wurlitzer out of the lighting could pose a problem, but it was not nearly as cumbersome as the Black Sabbath Stonehenge.

    At the closing guitar sting, the juke box would "explode" (it would actually deflate so they could use it again on the next stop, but pyrotechnics gave the illusion of combustion).
  • In 2018, Foreigner launched Jukebox Hero, the musical, at some theaters in Canada with hopes of bringing the show to Broadway. Sixteen Foreigner songs are used in the production, which is set in a Pennsylvania factory town where one of their own becomes a rock star.

Comments: 6

  • Emma from EnteroHere is the story behind Foreigner’s Jukebox Hero! Amazing
    https://www.facebook.com/boom973Toronto/videos/346514049444729/
  • Zach from Columbus, OhioDrew from Alabama, what the he'll are you talking about, your post was on point and then you gotta dump some Christian propaganda down and that's fine you're Christian, but it has nothing to do with the song. I've never met a non Christian who went to a Christian concert and was 'blown away' with inspirarion. I'm sure it happens but its irrelevant. This song isnt about Christianity, it's just about some regular dude down on his luck but through a guitar he can start to see a better future.
  • Jg from Joppa, MdAnother great Foreigner song.
  • Kimberly from Landing, Njyes , yes, inspiration! shadows showered his mind, talented yes, it just seem to be cloudy inspiration planted at the wrong time.
  • Drew from B\'ham, AlI love the message in this song! Someone down in the dumps, beneath grey downpour clouds that perfectly illustrate the mood of the moment, is soon inspired to take an underdog's way to the top. It's like the inspiration from Jesus Christ: a new spring in each step, stemming from the inspiration from the stage. The dude on the stage blew him away with inspiration! Christian concerts, I've heard, have won folks over & inspired them that same way! Amen, folks!
  • Elizabeth from Longmont, CoI love this song. Great info!
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