Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Foghat: Fool For The City

Sometimes, hard rock albums from the '70s don't hold up well. I'm sure you've had the experience of throwing on an album you haven't heard in years; something you had fond memories of in high school or college, but 25 years later (or so), doesn't have the charm it once did -- think Uriah Heep, or maybe Iron Maiden.

It's been about that long since I've listened to Foghat's "Fool For The City", which came out in 1975. When I was in high school, about every other guy wore a "Fool For The City" t-shirt; the album was that popular. And why not? It was a flat-out blues rocker, with plenty of AM and FM radio hits.

Foghat, for those that don't know, was built on the ashes of Savoy Brown, the legendary UK blues group of the '60s. Although the Savoys were universally beloved, they never achieved Top 40 success in the States - a situation Foghat would definitely remedy.

I half expected the disc to bore me when I slipped it on, but once the needle hit the groove it was immediately apparent that "Fool" was not one of those albums that was an artifact of a diminished memory. Cut in '75, pretty much at the peak of Foghat's popularity, it's got the AOR rocker title cut, the AM Top 40 hit "Slow Ride" (in an extended, eight-plus-minute version you never heard on the radio), and a fantastic cover of Robert Johnson's classic "Terraplane Blues" that scorches Side 2. And there's also a preview of things to come: a (lead singer) Dave Peverett co-penned number, "Take It Or Leave It", which closes out the album with a taste of the sound that would win Foghat many more fans a couple of years later.

So when all's said and done I'm pleased and mildly excited to find that this Lp is just as fun and vital now as it was back in the day. Worth grabbing if you find a stray copy, for sure.

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