Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Foreigner -- "Head Games"

Oh Lou Gramm, I have missed you like the cracked dry earth misses the rain.

So the Wikipedia entry for the album "Head Games" is short but yields a couple of delightful tidbits. First, I would be remiss if I didn't share with you the album cover.

Yikes. That definitely is right in the running with the Scorpions' "Virgin Killer" for creepiest cover art featured on this blog. And at least the "Virgin Killer" cover is related to the title of the album ... in this case, it would seem Foreigner just really wanted to use a photo of a young girl squatting in a urinal despite the apparent absence of a connection to the title "Head Games." I guess a bathroom can be called a "head" so there is pun potential there, but whatever she's doing doesn't really look like it's part of a game. And why use the urinal when there's a row of seemingly unoccupied stalls right there? The mind reels.

Also: "In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Head Games is one of the abilities of the Foreigner Belt. This ability allows the wearer to transform their victim's head into a game, possibly limited to Connect Four." Now that's comedy!

Here's the studio version of the song, or if you prefer, watch this rendition that may or may not be performed by a drunken Lou Gramm impersonator.

Daylight, alright

I really am loving the beginning of this song more and more every time I listen to it. The opening guitar riff is awesome and I appreciate how they just jump right into the hook rather than employ any kind of intro. It's cool. And the first line is nothing but "Daylight! Alright!" as if Lou Gramm is just bursting with happiness and ready to leap out of bed, sing with the bluebirds, and celebrate another glorious day of being alive. As we will soon see, though, this is not the case.

I don't know, I don't know if it's real / Been a long night and something ain't right / You won't show, you won't show how you feel

At this point (see previous Foreigner-related posts for details) I am highly -- highly -- distrustful of any claims that Lou Gramm makes about his relationship problems. I am strongly inclined to believe that whatever is wrong is somehow his fault.

No time ever seems right / To talk about the reasons why you and I fight

And yet, he really seems to be making an effort here. He wants to talk it out. Lou Gramm has seen the light! Hey, that rhymes with four other lines in the first two verses, and one line still to come! Alright!!

It's high time to draw the line / Put an end to this game before it's too late

That seems like a pretty good idea. Relationships are built on trust and communication, and it's better for the couple to put their cards on the table and talk through their problems rather than letting them fester. Lou Gramm is perfectly justified in his desire to bring this situation to a head, if you will.

Let's see how this plays out! Just for a change of pace, I'll pretend to be the object of old Lou's psychotic ramblings! Won't that be fun?

Head games, it's you and me baby

Hi, Lou. Yeah. Who else would it be?

Head games, and I can't take it anymore

This is unhelpful. What head games are you talking about? I'm happy to discuss this with you but you'll have to be a little more ...

Head games, I don't wanna play the head games

OK, Little Louie Lou-Pants, I understand you're frustrated and I want to try to talk this through ... if we could just ... are you listening to me? Louis?!

I daydream for hours it seems / I keep thinkin' of you, yeah, thinkin' of you / These daydreams, what do they mean? / They keep haunting me, are they warning me?

I don't know if daydreams really have this effect on people. If he was talking about a regular REM-sleep-type dream, the last line makes perfect sense, but since daydreams are a product of your conscious mind, I don't know how they really haunt you or warn you of anything. Maybe Lou thinks a daydream is just a dream you have when you take a nap during the day?

Daylight turns into night / We try and find the answer but it's nowhere in sight

Phew. That was a long day. A long day of head games.

Let's play analogies! I've got one. Lou Gramm:O.J. Simpson::"the answer":the real killer. Wasn't that fun!?

It's always the same and you know who's to blame / You know what I'm sayin', still we keep on playin'

I guess he's saying that she's to blame. Right? I don't know who else he would be referring to. Unless it's God. Is it God? That would be some dark shit.

Head games, that's all I get from you / Head games, and I can't take it anymore
Head games, don't wanna play the head games

We've been over this already. Have we heard one concrete example of a "head game" yet? I don't think so. I'm very suspicious. As Lou Gramm might say, "something ain't right." Sherlock Holmes might also say that. If he was more like Lou Gramm, that is.

So near, so far away / We pass each other by 'cause we don't know what to say / It's so clear, I'm sorry to say / But if you wanna win you gotta learn how to play

Uggghhhh. More vagueness. I'm about to pass out here.

Hey, what's up with the rhyme schemes in this song? Each verse seems to have a slightly different one. Oh, guess what I just remembered? I don't care.

Head games, always you and me, baby / Head games, 'till I can't take it anymore

There's no chance that the "head" in "head games" refers to Lou Gramm's penis, right? Just asking.

Head games, instead of makin' love

Ah. I think here we are finally getting at the crux of this sordid matter. Head games ... instead of making love.

Lou Gramm: Hey, baby! Welcome home! Let's make love!
Woman: Oh, Lou, can't we just sit down and talk a while first? I'm so tired and I just walked in the door.
Lou Gramm (clutching his head in dismay): Wooooaaaah! What are these head games you're playing with me, man? What a drag! Dullsville!
Lou Gramm: (embarks on a 36-hour spiritual journey fueled by drugs and disillusionment)
Woman: (shrugs shoulders) Here we go again!
(Canned laughter)
(Roll credits)

Head games, in the first degree / Head games, yeah, always you and me / Head games, why do you do it baby?

I like how Lou always saves his most nonsensical lyrics for the outro. (See "Hot Blooded.") It's like he thinks, hey, this song is pretty much over and probably doesn't need any more lyrics, but I have to sing something here at the end, right? Umm ... "Head games! In the first degree!" .... "That's gold!"

If you want to waste five perfectly good minutes playing "Head Games" of your own, try this out! So long, suckers!


  1. Yet another song for the "creepiness" label. Lou Gramm is your muse, BLB.

  2. I seriously want to know who thought that album cover was a good idea. Do you think it was the same person behind Millie Jackson's Back to the Shit?

  3. The girl is not peeing. She is erasing graffiti, hence the double meaning: head (bathroom) games and head (psychological) games. Someone wrote her name on that wall which she was compelled to enter in the men's room to erase. Her facial expression is awesome...like someone just walked in on her. Yes, a bizarre album cover...but interesting.

  4. Who was the model name?

  5. Lisanne Falk, Heather McNamara from the film Heathers