Urgent (song)

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Foreigner Urgent album.jpg
Single by Foreigner
from the album 4
B-side"Girl on the Moon"
ReleasedJune 22, 1981 (1981-06-22)
RecordedEarly 1981
GenreHard rockPop rock
Length3:57 (single)
4:29 (album)
Songwriter(s)Mick Jones
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Foreigner singles chronology
"I'll Get Even With You"
"Juke Box Hero"

"Urgent" is a song by the British-American rock band Foreigner, and the first single from their hit album 4 in 1981.


Foreigner went into the studio with producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, best known at the time as producer for hard rock band AC/DC. Foreigner's sound wasn't quite as heavy, and the band worked with then-unknown Thomas Dolby to program and play synthesizer. Dolby's work can be heard on "Urgent", along with a saxophone solo by Motown great Junior Walker.

Chart performance[edit]

The song entered the U.S. pop charts the week ending July 4, 1981, and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, holding that spot for the entire month of September.[1] "Urgent" hit #1 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart, a position it held for four weeks.[2]

"Urgent" was the most successful single from the 4 album on album-oriented rock radio, though it was outsold by the album's later single, "Waiting for a Girl Like You", which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981 and remained at that spot through the end of the following January, for a total of ten weeks, being certified Gold. 4 went Gold and Platinum during the chart run of the "Urgent" single. The album has since been certified multi-platinum by the RIAA, for selling over six million copies in the U.S. alone.[3]

The song was Foreigner's second-best-selling single (after "I Want to Know What Love Is") in both Canada and Sweden, reaching #1 in Canada in September 1981 and #20 in Sweden in March 1982.[4] In Australia, "Urgent" peaked at #24 in August 1981. In the UK, the song reached only #54 upon its first release in 1981. In 1982, after "Waiting for a Girl Like You" went Top Ten there, "Urgent" was re-released, this time reaching only slightly higher, peaking at #45.[5]

Chart history[edit]

Track listings[edit]

  • 1981: "Urgent" b/w "Girl on the Moon" (Atlantic 3831) US 7" single
  • 1981: "Urgent" b/w "Girl on the Moon" (Atlantic 11665) UK 7" single
  • 1982: "Urgent" b/w "Head Games" (live) (Atlantic 11728) UK 7" single
  • 1982: "Urgent" b/w "Head Games" (live)/"Hot Blooded" (live) (Atlantic 11728) UK 12" single

Other versions[edit]

Foreigner performs a live version of the song on the 1993 album Classic Hits Live.

A live concert version by the 2005 incarnation of the band, featuring Kelly Hansen on vocals, can be heard on the release Extended Versions.

Cover versions[edit]

Junior Walker, who played saxophone on the Foreigner recording, recorded his own version for the 1983 All-Stars album Blow the House Down.[15] Walker's version was also featured in the 1985 Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan.

Electropop/R&B singer Shannon recorded a version of the Foreigner hit for her 1985 album Do You Wanna Get Away. Foreigner's label, Atlantic Records, distributed Mirage, the label for the Shannon release.[16] The song was the album's fourth single, peaking at #68 for two weeks on Billboard's R&B Singles chart in November and December 1985.[17] A 12" remix of the mid-tempo track was not the major dance hit of her previous releases.

French singer Cherie samples the intro guitar riff from the Foreigner recording for her debut single "I'm Ready" in 2004.

Austrian Band Radio DCS released a cover-version of the song on their debut album"I Try My Best To Mainstream" and enter the European alternative charts (WEEK 49 . December 3, 2012) on position #8.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 234.
  3. ^ RIAA - Gold & Platinum - August 12, 2008
  4. ^ swedishcharts.com - Foreigner - Urgent
  5. ^ polyhex.com UK Singles Chart runs
  6. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 234.
  9. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 19, 1981
  10. ^ polyhex.com UK Singles Chart runs
  11. ^ The 1981 Top 100 Singles chart is identified by the RPM Year-End article "Top 100 Singles (1981)". RPM. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  12. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  13. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  14. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1981
  15. ^ Hamilton, Andrew. "Junior Walker & the All-Stars: Blow the House Down". Allmusic. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  16. ^ Atlantic Records Story
  17. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales

External links[edit]