Foghat – Fool For The City (1975)

FrontCover1Fool for the City is the fifth album released by English rock band Foghat, released in 1975. This was their first platinum album and features, along with the title track, their signature song “Slow Ride”.Fool for the City is the fifth album released by English rock band Foghat, released in 1975. This was their first platinum album and features, along with the title track, their signature song “Slow Ride”.

The album cover shows drummer Roger Earl sitting alone on a soap box fishing down a manhole in the middle of East 11th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) in New York City, near the address of Foghat’s American office. The back cover features skeptical bystanders observing Earl’s unusual activity and the other members of the band either asking him what he is doing or trying to dissuade him from it. In a 2014 interview, Earl explained how the picture was taken:“ It was a Sunday morning and I hadn’t slept. […] It was Nick Jameson’s idea […] since I have this penchant for fishing. Anyway, we lift up the manhole cover and I’m sitting on a box. Almost immediately a couple of New York’s Finest come by in their patrol car. They’re looking at us and they wind the window down. We’re like, “Oh shit.” They yell out, “Hey! You got a fishing license?” and then start laughing. So they come over and say, “What the fuck are you doing?” They took some pictures with them handcuffing me. I love New York’s finest.

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After building a solid core audience through relentless touring and a string of hard-rocking albums, Foghat finally hit the big time in 1975 with Fool for the City. It still stands out as the best album in the group’s catalog because it matched their road-tested abilities as hard rockers to a consistent set of tunes that were both well-crafted and ambitious. The tone for the album is set by its title track: This hard-rocking gem not only pairs riff-driven verses with an effective shout-along chorus, but also throws in a few surprising moments where the guitars are taken out of the mix completely and Nick Jameson’s bass is allowed to take the lead in a funky breakdown. Fool for the City also produced an enduring rock radio favorite in “Slow Ride,” a stomping rock tune that transcends the inherent clichés of its “love is like a car ride” lyrics with a furious performance from the band and a clever arrangement that works in well-timed automotive sound effects during the verses and plays up the band’s ability to work an R&B-styled groove into their hard-rocking sound (again, note the thumping bassline from Jameson).

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Further radio play was earned with “Take It or Leave It,” an acoustic-based ballad that worked synthesizers into its subtle yet carefully layered arrangement to become one of the group’s finest slow numbers. The album’s other songs don’t stand like the aforementioned selections, but they all flow together nicely thanks to a consistently inspired performance from the band and clever little arrangement frills that keep the group’s boogie-oriented rock fresh (example: the witty spoken word bit at the end of “Drive Me Home”). All in all, Fool for the City is both Foghat’s finest achievement in the studio and one of the high points of 1970s hard rock. (by Donald A. Guarisco)

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Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums, percussion)
Nick Jameson (bass, keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Lonesome Dave Peverett (vocals, guitar)
Rod “The Bottle” Price (guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01- Fool For The City (Peverett) 4.32
02. My Babe (Hatfield/Dixon/Medley) 4.37
03. Slow Ride (Peverett) 8.13
04. Terraplane Blues (Johnson) 5.44
05. Save Your Loving (For Me) (Price/Peverett) 3.32
06. Drive Me Home (Peverett) 3.55
07. Take It Or Leave It (Jameson/Peverett) 4.56

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Foghat – Road Cases (1998)

FrontCover1This 76-minute collection of live cuts from two live shows in Oregon during 1996 starts off a little ominously, in terms of the beat that the group uses on “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” abut Rod Price’s guitar carries the day and the group does well enough on the old blues-rock standard, stretched out to nearly ten minutes. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of variety in the sound of Lonesome Dave Peverett’s singing, which is good, but not quite good enough to sustain interest across over an hour of largely original material. The material offers some variation — the most attractive songs here are the Chess-based material, which includes “Chevrolet,” an undisguised Bo Diddley variation, but the group does better with originals like “Soakin’ the Bone” (itself a Jimmy Reed rip-off). The material is well-recorded, and fans of Rod Price’s guitar will definitely not feel short-changed by the mix or the mastering.(by Bruce Eder)

That´s what I call “fucking good Blues-Rock” !

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Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums)
Lonesome Dave Peverett (guitar, vocals)
Rod Price (guitar, slide guitar)
Tony Stevens (bass, vocals)
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Kim Bullard (organ on 11. + 12.)

BookletATracklist:
01. I Just Want To Make Love To You (Dixon) 9.54
02. Drivin Wheel (Peverett/Price) 7.21
03. Chevrolet (E.Young/L.Young) 4.21
04. Soakin’ The Bone (Peverett) 3.59
05. Sweet Home Chicago (Johnson) 7.48
06. Rock Your House (Peverett/Price) 6.06
07. It Hurts Me Too (James/London) 8.04
08. Bad Bad Lovin’ (Peverett) 4.13
09. Fool For The City (Peverett) 5:05
10. Slow Ride (Peverett) 9.23
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11. Angel Of Mercy (studio recording) (Peverett) 5.08
12. Tear You Down (studio recording) (Peverett) 4.48

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Foghat – WPLR Studios Dallas (1974)

FrontCover1A nice find, featuring the original core lineup of the band performing 8 tracks broadcast live on WPLR-FM, New Haven CT (the title is misleading, as the performance is actually from January Sound in Dallas, not WPLR studios.) The sound quality is superb, usually crystal clear. The performance was to promote their current album, Rock and Roll Outlaws, one of my personal favorites. From that record, they give us the title track, “Chateau Lafitte ’59 Boogie”, and a sizzling version of “Dreamer”. Bassist Tony Stevens left after this period to pursue acting, so this is the closing of that era for the band before their leap to radio success the next year with “Slow Ride” and the great Fool for the City album.

In addition to these 8 songs, we get three bonus tracks: “Honey Hush” live (also from 1974), plus two live tracks from November of 1972 in San Diego. The three tack-on tracks are nice, but nowhere near the high quality of the previous material. The closer, “Louisiana Blues”, is a cover of the Muddy Waters tune and is not available on any of the band’s albums. Fans of Foghat will be quite pleased with this boot. (by Skinnie Robby)

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Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums)
Dave Peverett (guitar, vocals)
Rod Price (guitar, slide guitar)
Tony Stevens (bass)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Wild Cherry (Peverett/Price/Earl/Stevens) 4.53
02. Home In My Hand (Peverett/Price) 5.08
03. Dreamer (Peverett/Price) 8.19
04. Hate To See You Go (Peverett/Price) 5.33
05. Rock N Roll Outlaws (Cavaliere /C.Moore/W.Moore ) 5.27
06. I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Dixon) 9.08
07. Chateau Lafitte 59 Boogie (Peverett/Price) 8.06
08. Maybelline (Berry) 3.41

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