Still urgent

Legendary rock group Foreigner has been chugging along for almost 40 years, fueled by a host of hit singles like “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Cold as Ice” and “Feels Like the First Time.” Despite spending the bulk of every year on the road, it’s still not getting old.

“Every night is really different,” said singer Kelly Hansen, who took over vocal duties from Lou Gramm in 2005. “The challenge of doing a great show is omnipresent. Those things keep it fresh every day.”

Even when rehashing those classic tracks into yet another greatest-hits release — the band has issued 15 such compilations in its career — a fresh spin is put on things by packaging two discs with a live DVD.

“Nowadays, you can’t just put out a CD,” Hansen said. “We tried to put together a package that was valuable to people, something that was different.”

One of those records includes acoustic renditions of hits from Foreigner’s back catalog.

“We realized there was a desire for this kind of presentation that we’d never really thought of before. It was unbelievable,” Hansen said. “The songs really come out in a new way.”

The other disc features re-recordings of those singles by the band’s current lineup.

“It’s a reflection of who we are know as a band. We really wanted people to see what Foreigner is now,” Hansen said. “I don’t sit there saying, ‘Ooh. I like to hear myself,’ but I think it’s good to show what we are all about now and also show these songs have a really long life ahead of them.”

Up next? Prominent placement in summer’s film adaptation of the Broadway smash Rock of Ages, a musical comedy centered around a glammetal club in the ’80s. Not only do Paul Giamatti, Russell Brand, Bryan Cranston and a pair of megastars belt out two of the band’s biggest hits, but Foreigner logs more songs in the movie than any of the other featured acts, including Journey, Styx and Poison.

“I heard Tom Cruise is going to sing ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’ and Alec Baldwin is doing ‘Jukebox Hero,’ and I’ve heard reports that they are fantastic,” Hansen said. “I can’t wait.”

Joshua Boydston

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