Rhino Records/ Warner
July 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10

Like many mega-selling bands, Foreigner’s story is littered with the euphoric highs of success, and the desperate lows of interpersonal strife and fluctuating quality. But what a mega-selling band they were – their first five albums sold a staggering 26 million copies in the U.S. alone – over seven million of those for 1981’s ground breaking smash 4. Which is undoubtedly why the cover of this collection mirrors that album.

Accordingly, here’s the almost obligatory fortieth anniversary compilation – one which kind’ve makes the many prior compilations redundant… provided you’re not mired in the past.

Disc One is all killer, no filler as it cherry picks from those early records. Huge hits Feels Like The First Time, Cold As Ice, Hot Blooded, Urgent, Juke Box Hero, Waiting For A Girl Like You, I Want To Know What Love Is and That Was Yesterday populate the track listing making it almost impossible not to sing along from start to finish. There’s a clutch of radio edits as well, making this a nice stop for collectors who already have the albums.

For some, Disc One is all they’ll need, but it is worth exploring onto Disc Two, covering the ground post-mega success, through Lou Gramm’s departure and brief return, and into Kelly Hanson’s tenure as vocalist. It’s the Hanson material here which shines brightest, making it a shame that he’s only recorded one album with the band.

Disc Two is also a bonanza for collectors, with live tracks, a great acoustic version of Say You Will, the Lou Gramm-era Soul Doctor, previously available only on an older compilation, and two new songs – both of which fall on the wrong side of the sappy fence. Mick Jones saves face, though, by finishing with the great The Flame Still Burns, which he and Marty Fredericksen wrote for the film Still Famous.


Filed Under: Music Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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