“Urgent” is a song by the British-American rock band Foreigner and the first single from their hit album 4 in 1981.
Foreigner went into the studio with producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, best known at the time as the producer for hard rock band AC/DC. Foreigner’s sound wasn’t quite as heavy, and the band worked with then-unknown Thomas Dolby to program and play synthesizer. Dolby’s work can be heard on “Urgent”, along with a saxophone solo by Motown great Junior Walker.
The song entered the U.S. pop charts the week ending July 4, 1981, and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, holding that spot for the entire month of September “Urgent” hit #1 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart, a position it held for four weeks.
“Urgent” was the most successful single from the 4 album on album-oriented rock radio, though it was outsold by the album’s later single, “Waiting for a Girl Like You“, which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981 and remained at that spot through the end of the following January, for a total of ten weeks, being certified Gold. 4 went Gold and Platinum during the chart run of the “Urgent” single. The album has since been certified multi-platinum by the RIAA, for selling over six million copies in the U.S. alone.
The song was Foreigner’s second-best-selling single (after “I Want to Know What Love Is“) in both Canada and Sweden, reaching #1 in Canada in September 1981and #20 in Sweden in March 1982. In Australia, “Urgent” peaked at #24 in August 1981. In the UK, the song reached only #54 upon its first release in 1981. In 1982, after “Waiting for a Girl Like You” went Top Ten there, “Urgent” was re-released, this time reaching only slightly higher, peaking at #45.
Foreigner performs a live version of the song on the 1993 album Classic Hits Live.
A live concert version by the 2005 incarnation of the band, featuring Kelly Hansen on vocals, can be heard on the release Extended Versions.