How I wrote Cold As Ice, by Mick Jones of Foreigner

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“It was a very exhilarating time. I had played in bands before, including Spooky Tooth, but this was the first time that I was the lead writer and had the responsibility of leading the band. We were in the studio but still didn’t know exactly where we were going. But I knew I wanted to be part of a successful band.

“I had bought a mini-piano, a Melody Grand, and started fiddling with it, and found some interesting chords that I had never played before. Lou (Gramm, former Foreigner singer) is came to house and I just threw it in there and we started to flesh it out. I had never written a full song on the piano before and was rather surprised how quickly I got it. The piano I played in the studio was actually the one Atlantic bought specifically for Aretha Franklin.

“Lyrically, the story was based on the idea of ​​the stereotypical cold-hearted bad girl – the kind of woman Joan Crawford would play in a movie – but it wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular. there was a girl in school that dumped me so maybe this trauma stuck with me over the years and subconsciously leaked out! The other contributing factor was it was around minus 20 degrees in New York as we write it, which may have fueled the atmosphere. “

“It’s a weird, quirky little song, basically a pop song written backwards. The structure is unusual: it starts with the title, and it’s only later that you realize that the meadow – chorus is actually the chorus. I knew this was the most pop song we ever did, which worried me a bit, but everyone seemed to be enjoying it. But one thing I wanted to do with it Foreigner was to show that the band had some versatility, and it was definitely different and a little bit commercial, not just another hard rock song.

“I have to admit though, I was surprised when he got into the Top 10 in America. But then we were a new band, and it was all exciting and surprising back then. Feels like the first time, our first single, had been released a few months earlier, in March 1977, so I guess the radio was ready to see what we had next.

“I don’t think we’ve ever played a foreign show without playing Cold as ice. It’s a big track for the fans, probably in our top three songs in terms of recognition. It’s a good song at concerts, everyone loves to sing it. It’s a little weird, but it’s done very well for us. I guess that’s part of our identity now. “

Greatest Hits of Foreigner tour starts July 27. Mick Jones was talking with Paul Brannigan.

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