Dirty White Boy (song)

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"Dirty White Boy"
Foreigner - Dirty White Boy b-w Rev On The Red Line (1979) NL.JPG
Single by Foreigner
from the album Head Games
B-side"Rev On The Red Line"
ReleasedAugust 1979 (1979-08)
Recordedearly 1979
GenreHard rock
Length3:13 (single)
3:37 (album)
Foreigner singles chronology
"Love Has Taken Its Toll"
"Dirty White Boy"
"Head Games"
Music video
"Dirty White Boy" on YouTube

"Dirty White Boy" is a song recorded by British-American rock band Foreigner, written by Lou Gramm and Mick Jones, and produced by Roy Thomas Baker, Jones, and Ian McDonald. It was the first single taken from the band's third studio album, Head Games (1979). The B-side, "Rev On The Red Line" has also proven to be very popular among fans,[citation needed] but was never released as an A-side. Lou Gramm's trademark scream at the end of the song is missing from this abbreviated version of "Dirty White Boy".[citation needed] Jones has claimed that the song was about Elvis Presley, adding that "he always was that dirty white boy who changed the shape of music completely. It was talking about the kind of heritage that he left, and I think that had an effect on all the musicians that came after, like Mick Jagger - he was also a dirty white boy. Elvis paved the way for all that."[1] However, some listeners misinterpreted the song as a "crypto-racist statement."[2] The song spent nine weeks in the Top 40.


Billboard Magazine described "Dirty White Boy" as "a driving guitar/bass propelled rocker spearheaded by a forceful lead vocal and tight harmonic support."[3] Billboard also claimed that production generated a "gritty rock edge."[3]

Popular culture[]

The song is featured in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V on the in-game radio station Los Santos Rock Radio.

Track listing[]

  1. "Dirty White Boy" - 3:13
  2. "Rev on the Red Line" - 3:35


Chart performance[]

Chart (1979) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles[5] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 12


  1. ^ "Dirty White Boy by Foreigner Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  2. ^ Loder, Kurt (October 15, 1981). "Foreigner: Mass-Appeal Rock in a Post-Golden Age". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. September 8, 1979. p. 62. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  4. ^ "Foreigner - Dirty White Boy/Rev On The Red Line (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  5. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  6. ^ "Artist Chart History - Foreigner". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-19.

External links[]

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