Waiting for a Girl Like You
|"Waiting for a Girl like You"|
|Single by Foreigner|
|from the album 4|
|B-side||"I'm Gonna Win"|
|Released||September, 1981 (Debuted on the Hot 100 dated October 10, 1981)|
|Genre||Soft rock, Classic rock, Pop rock, Synthrock|
5:56 (12" extended version)
|Writer(s)||Mick Jones, Lou Gramm|
|Producer||Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Mick Jones|
|Foreigner singles chronology|
It was the second single released from the album 4 (1981) and was co-written by Lou Gramm and Mick Jones. It has become one of the band's most famous songs worldwide, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for ten weeks and hitting #1 on Billboard's Rock Tracks chart. On the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, the song reached the Top Five. In the UK, the song peaked at No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
"Waiting for a Girl Like You" achieved an odd chart distinction by spending a record-setting 10 weeks in the No. 2 position of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, without ever reaching the top. First appearing on the Hot 100 in October 1981, it reached No. 2 the week of November 28 where it was held off the No. 1 spot by Olivia Newton-John's single "Physical" for nine consecutive weeks then by Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" for a 10th week on January 30, 1982. (In 2002, Missy Elliott matched Foreigner's runner-up accomplishment with her single "Work It".) A seemingly prescient designer placed the number "2" on the cover for the single. Despite all of that, it made it to No. 19 amongst the Top 100 singles of 1982.
Prior to the release of this song as a single, Foreigner was considered a hard rock band getting airplay mostly on rock stations and some Top 40 ones. This song gave the group more exposure on top 40 radio stations. Also because the song was soft, most adult contemporary radio stations played it as well, giving the group exposure to an audience they were not really aiming at in general. This song was pivotal in exposing harder rock acts to a broader audience.
In popular culture/cover versions
- This song is featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (as part of the power ballads radio station Emotion 98.3), RoadKill, Karaoke Revolution Party and as downloadable content for the Rock Band franchise.
- The song was covered by Mark Salling (who plays Noah 'Puck' Puckerman) in the fourth episode of the third season of the smash TV-show Glee, Pot o' Gold.
- The song was also covered by Glee's sister show The Glee Project in its second season. The contenders Nellie and Blake performed the song as a theatrical duet, with Nellie's lyrics being changed to "Waiting for a Boy Like You" to make the song more appropriate. The performance was praised by series creator Ryan Murphy for being reminiscent to an 'opera' and not to a Last Chance Performance.
- The song was used in Nickelodeon movie Snow Day and was featured on the soundtrack.
- British reggae singer Smujji covered the song in 2005 from his album True Colours.
- Rick Springfield also recorded a cover version of this song on his 2005 covers album, The Day After Yesterday.
- Cliff Richard covered the song on his 2007 album, Love... The Album, which reached No. 13 on the UK Album Chart.
- Also in 2007, Paul Anka released a cover version on his album Classic Songs, My Way.
- The song is included in the rock/jukebox musical Rock of Ages, and included on the 2009 original Broadway cast recording.
- The song lists at No. 80 on the list of "Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time".
The single sold one million units - then RIAA gold, now platinum by today's certification standards. Singer Lou Gramm recalls his muse; an unknown pretty woman came into the studio while he was singing the first vocal take; guitarist Mick Jones exclaims he had never heard Lou sing in that way. The woman mysteriously vanished and the vocal take was kept and used for the song.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 234.
- Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 333.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 601.
- Billboard Greatest Songs of the Hot 100