Upon forming in 1976, Foreigner were a low-key supergroup featuring ex–Spooky Tooth guitarist Mick Jones and Ian McDonald—the guy who did much of the weird stuff on In the Court of the Crimson King. Like their peers Kansas and Styx, Foreigner was a well-oiled pop machine masquerading as a “serious” rock band. Their self-titled debut remains one of the more listenable relics of the AOR era precisely because of how poppy it is. The one-two opening punch of “Feels Like the First Time” and the McCartney-worshipping “Cold as Ice” is masterful sequencing, but even non-hits like the woozy “Starrider” and “The Damage Is Done” are significantly meatier than your average 1970s diet-rock filler. The real star, however, is Foreigner’s erstwhile lead vocalist Lou Gramm, who, along with Steve Marriott, could be classic rock’s most underrated singer. (Circus magazine famously remarked that Gramm possessed a voice “Robert Plant might envy,” and he probably did.) MORGAN TROPER
Tickets go on sale 1/17 at 10 a.m.