Record Company: Bearsville Records
Release Date: September 1975
Producer: Nick Jameson
Web Site: http://www.foghat.com/
"Lonesome" Dave Peverett ~ Lead Vocals, Guitar & Heavy Breathing
Rod "The Bottle" Price ~ Guitar, Slide & Vocals
Roger Earl ~ Drums & Repercussion
Nick Jameson ~ Bass, Keyboards, Guitar & Vocals
1.) Fool For The City [4:32] (Peverett): Alright, without a doubt, everyone knows this song. Everyone loves it (or at least, those of us with ears... ). There's not much I can add to this one, except to say that party rock like this is sorely missed, especially in an era of half-assed reunion tours and lame "one more time" albums. This is what rock n' roll sounded like when it ruled the airwaves. Rating: 12/10
2.) My Babe [4:36] (Hatfield/Medley): This is a cover of one of the Righteous Brothers' early tunes. I know what you're thinkin'... but Bobby Hatfield & Bill Medley had a few rockers in their repertoire too, believe it or not. Either way, you know this was going to be an amped-up version of the original. It is also a great example of the band's harmonizing skill, which makes it a great sing-along jam. Also of note here is Rod's killer slide work, which is nearly as nasty as Slow Ride, especially during the solo. Overall, a very cool little ditty. Rating: 8/10
3.) Slow Ride [8:13] (Peverett): Here's another staple of the rock radio airwaves... and quite possibly Foghat's most famous song. From the first thunderous beat of the kick drum, you know this one is gonna be BIG!!! Lonesome Dave howls it out and Rod plays slide like his guitar is on fire, making this the epitome of an "amps cranked to 11" barn-burner! What makes this version unique is that it is the full version, which isn't available on any of their 'greatest hits' compilations. In other words, this version gives you an extra-long kick in the ass... and let's face it, most of us need a good ass-kicking every now and then. Rating: 12/10
4.) Terraplane Blues [5:44] (Johnson): Here we have a cover of the Robert Johnson blues classic. The intro mirrors the tinny guitar sound from Johnson's recordings before busting out into a full-blown Foghat explosion. The song is more of a mid-tempo jam than the other songs, so there's plenty of room to showcase Rod's smoking slide work. Move over Duane... Rating: 9/10
5.) Save Your Loving (For Me) [3:31] (Price/Peverett): This is a great sing-along tune similar to Slow Ride, but a little more restrained. The rhythm section really takes a front seat, with producer-turned-bassist Nick Jameson and Roger Earl laying down a rock-solid foundation. Lonesome Dave and Rod trade licks throughout, giving this one the sound of an all-out jam. Good stuff. Rating: 9/10
6.) Drive Me Home [3:54] (Peverett): This song is a old school rip-roaring jam, complete with piano and catchy choruses. The band lets it fly through most of the song, pausing only for the break to showcase each instrument for a few bars. A fun song for any party... and I love a good party. Rating: 8/10
7.) Take It Or Leave It [4:59] (Jameson/Peverett): This tune is one of Foghat's best-kept secrets. It's a smooth blues rock jam entirely unlike anything else here. The rhythm section lays down a mellow groove... and Rod plays a straight-up solo on this one (no slide) that suits the mood of the song to a tee. Dave's vocals are just raspy enough to give the song a little bit of an edge. Some may not like this tune as much as I do, but I think it's one of the best things they've ever done. Rating: 12/10
Two of the songs from this album made the Billboard Pop Singles charts: Slow Ride at #20 and Fool For The City at #45. However, they were on the charts in different years, with Slow Ride appearing in '75... and Fool For The City in '76.
The band's original bassist, Tony Stevens, quit the band just before the recording of this album due to the group's relentless touring schedule. At the last minute, the album's producer, Nick Jameson, filled in on bass. For the next album, Craig MacGregor took over the duty on bass.
Foghat had two gold records in 1974: "Energized" and "Rock N' Roll Outlaw"... but "Fool For The City" was their first platinum seller.
The Last Word:
Q: You take a beautiful summer day, add some lawn chairs on the porch, a 12-pack and a couple of good buddies. To make this an instant good time, what else do you add?
A: This disc in the boom box... set to repeat.
That's right. Lonesome Dave and the boys have come to rock your day. These guys were big in the 70's, but seem to have gotten overshadowed by bands like Zeppelin, Floyd and Sabbath in the longevity department, which is a real shame, 'cause they were everything that those other bands were not. They didn't want to dazzle you, trip you out or depress you. They just wanted to give you a 40-minute party on vinyl, complete with good times, cold beers and hot women. Foghat ran a lot closer to bands like Bad Company, Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Deep Purple in that respect. They played straight-up rockers... loudly.
I found this cassette in a bargain bin in Jacksonville, FL in '92. After getting a little chuckle over the cover picture (that's Rod Price doing a little asphalt fishing, by the way ). I turned it over and, recognizing a few of the song titles, I figured what the hell. One spin is all it took. I've been a fan ever since.
Time for a little history lesson:
Like about a dozen other British musicians who landed all over the rock n' roll map, Lonesome Dave Peverett, drummer Roger Earl and Tony Stevens (the original bassist) all got their start in Kim Simmond's band, Savoy Brown. Needless to say, anyone who's heard Savoy Brown's early work knows where these guys got their penchant for blues rock (Do I smell another review here? ).
After a short stint with a band called Black Cat Bones (who released one album), guitarist Rod Price signed on to complete the lineup. They released their self-titled debut in 1972, working with producers Todd Rundgren and Dave Edmunds at Bearsville Studios in upstate New York (both great musicians in their own right... more reviews? ). They scored a minor hit with a red hot version of the Willie Dixon blues classic, I Just Want To Make Love To You... and never looked back.
Constant touring and recording produced several minor hits, until the band hit it big with their 5th studio disc... "Fool For The City." They put out several more hard-rockin' records before Lonesome Dave went into retirement with his wife and children in the early 80's. In that time, they left quite a legacy of great music, but arguably, none as great as this album.
Sadly, Lonesome Dave Peverett died of cancer in 2000... and Rod "The Bottle" Price passed away of heart failure in 2005. However, the legacy of Foghat lives on through a vast collection of great albums. I've yet to hear a clinker... and that's impressive for any band, even more so for a band with this kind of longevity.
As I said before, this disc is guaranteed to give you a kick-ass afternoon with every spin.
Now, tell me: How many discs come with a guarantee like that?
So grab a cold one and enjoy the "ride"...
RockHard approved in a big way...
The Bottom Line (AKA - The Six-Pack Scale):