Waiting For A Girl Like You

Album: 4 (1981)
Charted: 8 2
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  • Foreigner has always stayed away from any "message songs," so you won't get political or social commentary from them, but you will get songs dealing with relationships and emotions. Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones, who wrote the song with lead singer Lou Gramm, told us, "There's a song called 'Waiting For A Girl Like You,' which I literally had no control over, it just came out. I had no idea what it meant, but it got to the point where I couldn't even be in the studio when we were recording it sometimes, it left such a deep impression on me. But it ended up being a song that brought a lot of people together. I hear these days that it's a song that a lot of people play at their weddings. It's the kind of song that the pen does the writing, and you don't even know where it came from. But I feel that it's stuff that's floating around at times and you have to grasp it - it's kind of flying around in the air, and you just have to be open enough to let that flow through you. Sometimes it's sort of mystical where these ideas come from. Sometimes you have an idea about a song, or you have a title that you base the rest of the song on, but sometimes it comes just literally from an unknown area. You'll be thinking about something completely different, and suddenly you get that inspiration. I usually know when it's happening, and I just let it flow and try not to interfere with it - just try and deliver what that thought, those feelings, mean." (Check out our interview with Mick Jones.)
  • Thomas Dolby of "She Blinded Me With Science" fame played the synthesizer intro, which was very un-Foreigner, but helped make the song a huge hit. The 4 album was produced by Mutt Lange, who called in the 19-year-old Dolby after hearing his demo tape. In our interview with Thomas Dolby, he said: "It was great to work with a top band and a top producer - I was very inexperienced in the studio. And I associated Foreigner with solid hard rock and AOR radio and things like that, but they said that they had a couple of really great ballads and that they wanted to take a different approach to them. I think to be listening to commercial radio in 1981 and to hear 15 seconds of ambient music coming out on the front of the song was very unusual. A journalist said, 'This is a radical approach for Foreigner, who's responsible for it?' They would see my name on the credits, and go, 'Well, who is this guy?' So I think that it actually contributed in large part to there being a receptive atmosphere for when I came out with my solo stuff."

    Dolby would later work with Lange on Def Leppard's Pyromania album, and Lange sang backup for Dolby on "She Blinded Me With Science."
  • This may be the biggest hit single in US chart history that never made it to #1. It spent an astounding 10 weeks at #2, but had the misfortune of peaking at the same time as Olivia Newton-John's even more massive hit "Physical," which spent 10 weeks at the top spot. But even when "Physical" finally fell out of #1, "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" by Daryl Hall and John Oates leapfrogged ahead of this song into the #1 spot. The week after that, "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band knocked the Hall and Oates song to #2 and this song to #3. In 2002, "Work It" by Missy Elliott matched this song's dubious chart feat, also staying at #2 for 10 weeks without hitting #1. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Paisano - Atlanta, GA
  • In 1985, 4 years after this near-miss for the ages, Foreigner would finally get their first and only #1 hit with "I Want to Know What Love Is." Ironically, these 2 songs are love ballads, not typical of Foreigner's usual hard-rocking style. The group Heart also fell into this category, scoring their first #1 with a the atypical ballad "These Dreams" also in 1985. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Joshua - La Crosse, WI
  • Whilst this song never made it to #1, the 4 album did, topping the Billboard 200 for ten weeks. In doing so it became the first solely-numerical title to reign since the Billboard 200 launched as a weekly survey the week of March 24, 1956.
  • In his autobiography, Lou Gramm tells of a beautiful, mysterious woman who appeared in the control room when he was recording his vocal and gave him the inspiration to deliver the stirring take that was better than he has ever sung the song. He writes that this ephemeral beauty vanished, and he has never discerned her identity.

    When we spoke with Gramm in 2013, he admitted that this purple prose was embellished a bit, and that he had already found the girl he was waiting for - his first wife, Roseanne.
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Comments: 17

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 22, 1981, "Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner peaked at #2 for 10 weeks on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    As noted above, for the first nine weeks it was at #2, "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John was at #1 and for it's 10th week, "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do) by Daryl Hall & John Oates was in the top spot...
    Between 1977 and 1995 the group had twenty-two Top 100 records; nine made the Top 10 with one* reaching #1, "I Want to Know What Love Is" for two weeks in 1985...
    * They just missed having three #1 records when both the above "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and "Double Vision" {for two weeks} peaked at #2...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, during the year of 1981 there were three other 'Waiting' records on the Top 100, "Waiting On A Friend" by the Stones {#13}, "The Waiting" by Tom Petty {#19}, and "I've Been Waiting for You All of My Life" by Paul Anka {#48}.
  • Dean Dukes from Valdosta, GaMaybe one of my all time favorite ballads of the '80s... this was a great time for good music since there was so many great bands releasing material during this time and a few years before or after and I can think of some great ones such as Foreigner, Journey, REO etc, etc... just some great material coming along at this time of the '80s! This song actually reminds me of the times I spent with the love of my life back then - both of us young but she loved this song and it was played a lot on the radio back then and we used to create some of the best moments of my life while listening to this song... a huge fan.
  • Glen from Cronulla, AustraliaOnly if dreams could be this way. Oh Jodi, where r u now? Midnight Breeze and memories ...
  • Mike from Norwalk, Ct"4" is one of just a few albums where I love EVERY song!
  • Dodge from Casper, WyAccording to a Mick Jones interview, Lou Gramm was struggling with pitch and control to get this vocal right, and it looked like the band was going to waste valuable studio time. Suddenly, a beautiful young woman no one really knew came in to talk with one of the studio wizards, and Lou was stunned. He collected himself quickly and told the band, "Now. From the top." That is the album version vocal you hear of this hauntingly beautiful song.

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the keyboard-playing guest of this lavishly textured melody, whom is the man whom two years later would bring us the hit "She Blinded Me With Science" - a young Thomas Dolby.
  • Sara from Union City, TnThis is baby making music if you ask me!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis song was on when I was a Brownie,In the car going to rollhaven,In the roller rink, in the car coming back from rollhaven,WOW!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis song was on when I was a Brownie,In the car going to rollhaven,In the roller rink, in the car coming back from rollhaven,WOW!
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlI will never forget the week this song hit the charts. Until then, Foreinger was one of my favorite bands. This song made me want to puke. Just like when Boston had the nerve to release Amanda. Wimpy Wimpy Wimpy.
  • Lucy from Rhinebeck, NyMy favorite song of Foreinger. Actually, the only song I like from this band. The others really suck...
  • Tye from Guthrie, OkThey just don't make songs like this anymore...
  • Mike from Boulder, CoSo which song(s) was/were #1 in 2002?
  • Jd from East Bay, RiI get goosebumps all over when I hear "Waiting For A Girl Like You"....I was only 9, but remember very well when this was top on the charts in February 1982! I was fantasizing about girls I had crushes on while listening to this song...lol. Here I am today, with one of those girls, who is now my girlfriend, listening to "Waiting For A Girl Like You".....definitely a dream come true!
  • Susan from Westchestertonfieldville, Vayeah......Cold as Ice and Hot Blooded annoy me big time...JukeBox Hero, now that is SONG!!!!!

    a fist pumpin shoulder junting hit! love it!!
  • Joe from Chicago, Ilnaa.... Hot Blooded is much better.... and Cold As Ice is tremendous
  • Paisano from Atlanta, GaI was the one who submitted the songfact about "waiting for a girl like you" spending 10 weeks at number two! Don't understand how they gave credit to someone else?!!!
    Not that anyone cares...just bothers me because those were my words and I did the research and one of my favorite songs ever!

    This may be the biggest hit single in US chart history that never made it to #1. It spent an astounding 10 weeks at #2, but had the misfortune of peaking at the same time as Olivia Newton-John's even more massive hit "Physical," which spent 10 weeks at the top spot. But even when "Physical" finally fell out of #1, "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" by Daryl Hall and John Oates leapfrogged ahead of this song into the #1 spot. The week after that, "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band knocked the Hall and Oates song to #2 and this song to #3. In 2002, "Work It" by Missy Elliott matched this song's dubious chart feat, also staying at #2 for 10 weeks without hitting #1.
  • Paty from Mexico,city, Mexicothe foreinger's is the best song, it remainds me the 80's.
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