Foreigner: “Cold As Ice” (1977)

Three minutes of rock & roll perfection, here with added strings.

Kronomyth 1.2: Gunpowder gelato.

I didn’t appreciate Foreigner when it first came out, but I did love Cold As Ice. Still do, in fact. It’s a nearly perfect song, like “Killer Queen” or “The Things We Do for Love.” What I didn’t realize at the time was there were actually two versions of “Cold As Ice” — the album version and a single version that included strings. I can thank Tim Neely and his indispensable 45 RPM Record Guide for that particular revelation. Personally, I prefer the album version, since that song needs strings like a fish needs wings.

The B side is the album version of I Need You. Not one of my favorite Foreigner songs, but the whole idea of choosing a B side was not to pick a hit. It’s kind of a weird practice when you think about it, pairing a popular song with an unpopular one as though the cosmic balance of good and bad depended upon a seven-inch piece of plastic. There are a lot of strange practices in the music business, from backloading singles with junk to charging the same price for digital downloads of songs. For a creative industry, it seems to resist innovation.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Cold As Ice (Mick Jones/Lou Gramm) (3:18)
B1. I Need You (Lou Gramm/Mick Jones) (5:14)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single reissue
A1. Feels Like the First Time
B1. Cold As Ice

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in July 1977 in the US (Atlantic, 3410), Australia (Atlantic, 45-3410), Canada (Atlantic, AT3410) and in June 1978 in the UK (Atlantic, K 10986) and Germany (Atlantic, ATL 10986). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1977 in the US (Atlantic, 3410) feat. A mono on flip side. Reached #6 on the US charts (charted on July 23, 1977 for 21 weeks) and #24 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-packaged with “Feels Like the First Time” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Atlantic Oldies Series, OS-13208).

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