Foreigner’s Walmart Deal

Foreigner releases a 3-CD box set in September consisting of new tracks, band classics and even a few remixes. But you won’t find it at Best Buy, Target or your local record store.

That’s because the collection – Can’t Slow Down – will be released exclusively through Walmart.

Saying he has watched the Eagles, AC/DC and Journey reach new fans through Walmart exclusives, Foreigner cofounder and guitarist Mick Jones says its time for his band to shine in the retail chain’s entertainment section.

Photo: Janae Wilkinson /
Taste Addison Festival, Addison, Texas

“To me, the most important thing is that the band regains recognition again and proves in a way that it is a force. It’s been around for 30 years, and there are few other bands that have been around for that long,” Jones told Associated Press. “I’d like to regain our position in that club.”

Jones co-founded Foreigner with Ian McDonald in 1976. Since then, the band has gone through many changes. Original vocalist Lou Gramm left the band in 1990, rejoined in 1992 and left again in 2003. Occasional Led Zeppelin drummer Jason Bonham, son of Zep’s original drummer John Bonham, also put in some time pounding the skins for Foreigner.

Today Foreigner consists of Jones, who is the group’s only original member, plus bassist Jeff Pilson, guitarist Tom Gimbel, keyboardist Michael Bluestein, drummer Bryan Head, and vocalist Kelly Hansen, who joined in 2005.

Jones said he sees chain stores like Walmart giving veteran acts the media exposure and advertising the labels used to provide.

“The whole system has changed,” Jones said. “We felt that this was a really good opportunity to get the maximum exposure for our album. … For us at this stage, I think it’s really good.”

Foreigner is currently on the road and plays the Community Theatre in Morristown, N.J. tonight; Atlantic City’s Tropicana tomorrow night; and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., Saturday and Sunday.

Other stops on the Foreigner tour include the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis Aug. 6; Sterling Heights, Mich., at the Freedom Hill Amphitheater Aug. 12; Eugene, Ore., at the Lane County Fair Aug. 19 and the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo Sept. 3.

Of the new songs included in Can’t Slow Down, Jones said the sound is contemporary but still has Foreigner’s unmistakable sound. The band worked with Aerosmith producer Marti Fredericksen as well as Jones’ stepson who is somewhat famous in his own right – producer Mark Ronson.

When asked about working with Ronson, Jones replied:

“We had never worked officially before – obviously when he was growing up we would jam and we would do all kinds of stuff; I knew from an early age that he had a special talent and he had the passion for music.

“This time, it was kind of funny. I kind of sat there and let him do all the work. It was a lot of fun and he introduced a completely different flavor on this one track to the rest of the album … It’s all come together really well. I think it will be quite a surprise when people hear it.”

Photo: Janae Wilkinson /
Taste Addison Festival, Addison, TX

Can’t Slow Down lands on Walmart shelves Sept. 29.

Click here for the entire Associated Press article.

Click here for the official Foreigner Web site.