Number Ones: #46


  • FOREIGNER Cold As Ice [Remix] (Atlantic)
  • Week Ending 6th July 1985
  • 2 Weeks At #1


Back in early 1982, Foreigner were high in the charts with their anthemic-but-moody ballad, the classic AOR of Waiting For A Girl Like You. However, nothing that Atlantic Records did next could get the band another hit of any magnitude from the 4 album; not Urgent (twice!), not Juke Box Hero. Two massive, and recognisable slabs of 80s rock that were Top 10 hits in the US. The British public just weren’t interested. Sorry, no.

Fast-forward exactly three years, and in early 1985 Foreigner were high in the charts with their anthemic-but-moody ballad, the classic AOR of I Want To Know What Love Is. It was an even bigger hit than Waiting For A Girl Like You, going all the way to #1 and sending its parent album Agent Provocateur to the top at the same time. Finding something else on the album to be a follow-up hit was surely going to be easy. Right?


Atlantic Records, in their defence, did take the sensible option of releasing That Was Yesterday as the second single; it wasn’t an outright rocker, but it wasn’t another power-ballad either. In fact, it was my favourite track on Agent Provocateur and the reason I bought it at the end of January 1985, rather than any great love for the big #1 smash. That Was Yesterday didn’t appear until Easter, though, which didn’t help its chances as much of the commercial momentum would have been lost by then; a #28 peak was an improvement on the 1982 situation, but it was still a very modest performance given it was from a chart-topping album and came on the heels of a chart-topping single.

By June, Foreigner were on tour in the UK and a new single was needed. Reaction To Reaction was the third choice in America, but had proved even too heavy for them and it failed to reach the Billboard Top 50. This doubtless spooked the UK label, who instead opted for the “let’s put out an old song people already know and like from the artist’s back catalogue” tactic, just as they’d recently done with Don Henley. Unsuccessfully, it should be said.

So, we Brits ended up with Cold As Ice, a fairly minor #24 hit on original release in 1978 but one of those late-70s tracks which are better-known than their chart profile suggests (see also: What A Fool Believes, Dreams, Just The Way You Are) – perhaps because all of them made the Top 10 in America. The sleeve states it’s a Remix, but you can hardly tell and the 12″ format (which I ended up buying as I’d become gripped by Foreigner mania, also getting their 1982 Greatest Hits collection Records the day after the London concert) didn’t have an extended version of the A-side, just one for Reaction To Reaction and a live recording of another oldie, Head Games.

A combination of the single, the concert, and Records’ impact meant that Cold As Ice nevertheless managed to do what I actually expected That Was Yesterday to achieve earlier in the year (I’d moved on from it myself by the time of its belated UK release), and make #1.

On the actual charts, it limped to #64 and for Atlantic Records that was enough to preclude any further mining of Agent Provocateur on this side of the pond (the US got one final single, Down On Love, which again failed to break into the Top 50).

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