He was born Michael Leslie Jones, but music fans have come to know him as Mick Jones...and that's the Mick Jones who used to be in Spooky Tooth before co-founding Foreigner, mind you, not the Mick Jones who was in the Clash and then went on to start Big Audio Dynamite. (One can easily envision a scenario where both Mick Joneses at various points in their careers have had a moment a la the character of Michael Bolton in Office Space.)
Even before his days in Spooky Tooth, however, this particular Mr. Jones was already making a name for himself, first as guitarist for the British instrumental band Nero and the Gladiators, then as a songwriter and session musician in France, writing tunes for Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, and Sylvie Vartan, among others. Indeed, Jones stayed in France until the early '70s, when he returned to the UK to join forces with Gary Wright in a band called Wonderwheel, which eventually led to Wright reforming his former band, Spooky Tooth, this time with Jones in tow. When the members went their separate ways in late 1974, it set Jones on the path that would lead him to found Foreigner, and the rest is history.
There's more to Jones's story, however, including a number of songs that he penned - or co-penned - for other artists, including Cheap Trick, Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Cult, and since today is Jones's birthday, Q has compiled a playlist filled with a number of Jones's compositions, including some covers of songs he wrote whilst in Foreigner. The end result is a decidedly eclectic collection of tunes, including Millie Jackson and Isaac Hayes doing "Feels Like the First Time," Shannon - of "Let the Music Play" fame - doing "Urgent," country band Southern Pacific tackling "Louanne," and Soul Asylum ripping "Jukebox Hero" to shreds. But as it's been put together predominantly in chronological order, let's kick things off by traveling to France for a few tracks, shall we?
Happy birthday, Mr. Jones, and do keep rocking, won't you?