Happy Birthday: Mick Jones
Mick Jones may be known as a mainstay of the Foreigner lineup, but he’s made his way out of the band on occasion to do some side projects, and he was keeping plenty busy before he and Lou Gramm got together and started one of the most popular rock bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Since today is Mick’s birthday, we’ve got the official Foreigner playlist cued up and ready for your listening enjoyment, but we thought we’d also spotlight a six-pack of tracks by other artists which feature Jones either on vocals or guitar.
1. Johnny Hallyday, “Voyage Au Pays Des Vivants” (1969): They called him the French Elvis Presley, and he had the record sales to back it up, but Hallyday – who died earlier this month – was scarcely known outside of his native France. Jones contributed quite a lot to his work in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, however, including this single.
2. Spooky Tooth, “All Sewn Up” (1973): After disbanding in 1970 and taking a few years off, the band Spooky Tooth reformed with a new lineup, once which no longer included guitarist Luther Grosvenor, as he’d changed his name to Ariel Bender and joined Mott the Hoople. Confused yet? Well, here’s why we bring all this up: Grosvenor’s replacement in Spooky Tooth was Mick Jones, who co-wrote this track with Gary Wright.
3. George Harrison, “Ding Dong, Ding Dong” (1974): Jones contributes guitar to this song, which – if we’re to be perfectly honest – is not the deepest lyrical effort that Harrison ever penned. It is, however, a video that any self-respecting Beatles fan should see, since it finds him slipping on his old suit, wearing his Sgt. Pepper uniform, and playing guitar while seemingly wearing little more than furry bear feet. Having said all that, we defy you to restrain yourself from clicking “play.”
4. Ian Lloyd, “Silver Chains” (1976): A few years earlier, Lloyd had been all the rage, having fronted the band Stories and taken their single “Brother Louie” to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. By ’76, however, Stories had disbanded and Lloyd had gone solo. Jones played on several tracks on Lloyd’s self-titled debut album, but – believe it or not – absolutely none of those tracks are in print or even on YouTube. Still, just so you know, Jones played guitar on this song, which was one of the album’s singles.
5. Billy Joel, “State of Grace” (1989): The aforementioned Lloyd / Jones connection continued well beyond Lloyd’s self-titled solo album, with the two teaming up on this STORM FRONT album track. Jones delivers the song’s guitar solo, and Lloyd contributes backing vocals alongside Joe Lynn Turner.
6. Tina Arena, “If I Didn’t Love You” (1997): Although she’s not tremendously well known in the US, Tina Arena was voted Australia’s all-time greatest female singer in 2013, which is both impressive and fortunate, because it’d be a shame if someone named Tina Arena had to go back to playing the club circuit. But we digress when we should be mentioning that Jones plays guitar and contributes percussion and vocals to this track. Funnily enough, Lou Gramm is also on the album, providing guest vocals on Arena’s cover of “I Want To Know What Love Is.”
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