Album: 4 (1981)
Charted: 54 4
Play Video


  • The group wanted a "Junior Walker-style" sax solo for this record. When they took a break from recording, one of the members read in New York newspaper The Village Voice that Walker was performing that night mere blocks from the recording studio. Walker accepted their offer to play, and the recording of the sax solo was swift and without a hitch.
  • Written by the Foreigner songwriting team of Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, this was the first single from 4, one of the best-selling albums of the '80s.

    With an R&B sound, the song was a musical departure for the band; many listeners didn't recognize it as Foreigner when they first heard it. "A few people were trapped into liking it before they found out who it was," Jones told Sounds.
  • Before recording this album, two members of the group left, trimming the band from six members to four. This, along with the fact that it was their fourth album, explains the title, 4. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jared - Meadville, PA
  • Foreigner's guitarist Mick Jones produced the 4 album with Mutt Lange, who is known as a very meticulous producer with a tremendous work ethic. Jones told us: "We locked horns at the beginning, both pretty strong-minded about what we wanted to achieve, and we gradually discovered that it was the same thing. He drew a lot out of me. He was the first person that insisted on listening to every single idea I had on every single cassette tape, or any ideas I had anywhere, down on paper or lyrically, phonetically, instrumentally. He pulled songs like 'Urgent' out of that, and contributed a lot to 'Juke Box Hero.' It ended up being a great relationship." (Check out our interview with Mick Jones.)

Comments: 16

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenFirst he was hot blooded, but now it's urgent!
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaBest use of sax in a song abou the joy of booty calls ever!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 28th 1981, "Urgent" by Foreigner entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #51; and August 30th, 1981 it peaked at #4 (for 4 weeks) and spent 23 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 7 of those 23 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on September 12th, 1981 it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    Between 1977 and 1995 the group had twenty-two Top 100 records; nine made the Top 10 with "I Want to Know What Love Is" being their biggest hit, it peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) on January 27th, 1985...
    They just missed having three #1s when both "Double Vision" in 1978 and "Waiting For A Girl Like You" in 1981 peaked at #2...
    And "Waiting For A Girl Like You" spent 10 weeks at #2!
  • Rocky from Fort Smith, ArBack in '81, I was a kid & loved Foreigner hits, especially "Urgent." The sax solo by Jr. Walker is a hot and brilliant work. Now, in 2014, I am still a Foreigner fan & overjoyed with the recent release of their new package combining their first four LPs remastered. The sound is awesome. Check out Foreigner on Facebook & their website. Their significance to rock & pop music is important.
  • Jg from Joppa, MdYet another great song from Foreigner.
  • Dan from Chiago, IlWalker's career received an unexpected boost in 1981 when the rock group Foreigner was recording a jumpy tune called "Urgent" and wanted to have a saxophone solo in the refrain. Being Motown fans, they contacted Walker to fly to the studio to cut the piece. As he told me in a 1982 interview, he had never heard of Foreigner, but the group had promised a pretty good payday for one song, so he agreed to fly to the studio and cut the record. They played the raw track for him and asked him to improvise a solo. After a single listening, he amazed the group by cutting one of the most memorable sax solos in rock history in one take. Genius
  • Blake from Tahlequah, OkBest Foreigner song ever!!!!!!
  • Joe from Chicago, IlI've said it once, and I will say it 1,000 times - Foreigner's best songs are (without question) Hot Blooded and Cold As Ice!
  • Julia from Knoxville, TnI like this song, too, so much so that I would get awfully mean and fiesty if I were to sing this at karaoke.
  • Jimmy from Twinsburg, OhIf you look under Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland", I mentioned that I am a sax player, which I am, and just love the sax solo, because there aren't many solos that are better. FOREIGNER RULEZ!!!!
  • Amay from Edison, NjGo to www.youtube.com and watch the video of urgent. It is awesome. Oh, by the way, this is the coolest song they ever wrote.
  • Elson from Los Angeles, CaWhen I was a kid, I had no idea what this song meant. As an adult, listening to the lyrics, it's about getting it on with someone, and getting it NOW.
  • Elson from Los Angeles, CaThe synthesizers on this song, and on the other songs on the "4" album, were played by a session musician named Thomas Dolby. Not long after the relase of the Foreigner album, he was Blinded By Science, so to speak, and made his own name for himself in the pop world.
  • Nessie from Sapporo, JapanIt's about sex. Love that sax solo. It's a rock take on slow-funk guitar and keyboards. A great song, with great use of synths.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrWhen I first heard the commercial for this song, I could've sworn it was a commercial for a hospital! Urgent, Emergency!
  • Janet from Perth, AustraliaA brilliant song by Foreigner, probably their best..
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Phone Booth Songs

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Carl Sturken

Carl SturkenSongwriter Interviews

Hitmaker Carl Sturken on writing and producing for Rihanna, 'N Sync, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Donny Osmond, Shakira and Karyn White.