Foreigner - Juke Box Hero

Foreigner - Juke Box Hero

‘Juke Box Hero’ is a song by British-American rock band Foreigner written by Lou Gramm and Mick Jones from their 1981 album 4. It first entered the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in July 1981 and eventually reached #3 on that chart. Released as the album's third single in early 1982, it subsequently went to #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song focuses on a boy unable to purchase a ticket to a sold-out rock concert. Listening from outside, he hears "one guitar" and has an epiphany, leading him to buy a guitar and learn to play it. He realizes that with the guitar he has a chance to achieve musical stardom. The song then goes on to describe the struggle he has to stay on top of the music charts, which makes him a "Juke Box Hero". He eventually encounters another fan outside the stage door at one of his concerts, who reminds him of himself and how it all began.

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Mick Jones said that the song was inspired by an actual fan who stood waiting outside an arena for about five hours in the rain. Impressed by his dedication, Jones decided to take him in and give him a glimpse of what happens backstage at a concert. On July 19, 2016, Lou Gramm said on the Brother Wease radio show in Rochester, that the song was about him waiting outside the Rochester War Memorial to see Jimi Hendrix but the show was sold out. Jones has rated it as one his 11 favorite Foreigner songs. According to Gramm, this is his favorite Foreigner song.

The song was developed out of two separate song ideas that were combined with the help of producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. One of the ideas was the ‘Juke Box Hero’ portion that Jones had developed and the other was developed by Gramm and had been called ‘Take One Guitar’. Lou Gramm has a strong connection with this song - he named his 2013 autobiography Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock n' Roll. In 2015, he told us that it is one of his favorite songs to perform, but also the hardest to sing live.

Ultimate Classic Rock critic Matt Wardlaw ranked ‘Juke Box Hero’ as Foreigner's all-time greatest song, stating that "for anyone who has ever been on the wrong side of a sold-out concert, "Juke Box Hero" will touch a chord." Billboard called it "a snarling rocker featuring tough guitar breaks and hot vocals." Billboard reviewer Gary Graff rated ‘Juke Box Hero’ to be Foreigner's 5th greatest song.

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Label – Atlantic
Songwriters – Lou Gramm, Mick Jones
Producer – Robert John "Mutt" Lange


[Verse 1]
Standing in the rain, with his head hung low
Couldn't get a ticket, it was a sold out show
Heard the roar of the crowd, he could picture the scene
Put his ear to the wall, then like a distant scream
He heard one guitar, just blew him away
He saw stars in his eyes, and the very next day
Bought a beat up six string in a secondhand store
Didn't know how to play it, but he knew for sure
That one guitar felt good in his hands
Didn't take long to understand
Just one guitar, slung way down low
Was a one way ticket, only one way to go
So he started rocking
He is never going to stop
Got to keep on rocking
Someday he's going to make it to the top
And be a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
He's a juke box hero
He took one guitar, (juke box hero, stars in his eyes)
Juke box hero, (juke box hero), he'll come alive tonight, (stars in his eyes)
[Verse 2]
In a town without a name, in a heavy downpour
Thought he passed his own shadow, by the backstage door
Like a trip through the past, to that day in the rain
And that one guitar made his whole life change
Now he needs to keep on rockin'
He just can't stop
Gotta keep on rockin'
That boy has got to stay on top
And be a juke box hero, (got stars in his eyes)
He's a juke box hero, (got stars in his eyes)
And be a juke box hero, (got stars in his eyes)
He took one guitar, (stars in his eyes)
He'll come alive tonight woah
[Guitar Solo]
Yeah, he's gotta keep on rockin'
Never gonna stop
Gotta keep on rocking'
Someday gonna make it to the top
And be a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
He's a juke box hero
Yeah juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
Juke box hero, ahh
Juke box hero, ahh
Juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
Stars in his eyes
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