Juke Box Heroes: The Very Best Of
Please note, territorial restrictions may apply to this product.
Foreigner took hard
rock and gave it a radio-friendly sheen, bringing the music into the
effect. The songs of Mick Jones, delivered by gravel-voiced Lou
conquered the States
and eventually Jones’ home country of Britain when ‘I Want To Know
Love Is’ topped the
charts in 1985. This package features the hits from ‘Feels Like The
Time’ to ‘Urgent’
This 2CD collection
features highlights from across 5 hit albums including the Top 5 album
and the chart
topping 1984 smash ‘Agent Provocateur’.
Foreigner have had
no fewer than five Top 5 US albums and worldwide album sales
stand at 50 million
is the first 2CD mid price Foreigner compilation available in the
|| ||Cold As Ice|
|| ||Feels Like The First Time|
|| ||Hot Blooded|
|| ||Long Way From Home|
|| ||Double Vision|
|| ||Juke Box Hero|
|| ||That Was Yesterday|
|| ||Out Of The Blue|
|| ||Say You Will|
|| ||I'll Get Even With You|
|| ||Heart Turns To Stone|
|| ||Tooth And Nail|
|| ||I Don't Want To Live Without You|
|| ||I'll Fight For You|
|| ||Only Heaven Knows|
|| ||When The Night Comes Down|
|| ||Love Maker (Live)|
|| ||Fool For You Anyway (Live)|
|| ||Not Fade Away (Live)|
|| ||I Want To Know What Love Is|
|| ||Waiting For A Girl Like You|
|| ||Love On The Telephone|
|| ||Blue Morning, Blue Day|
|| ||At War With The World|
|| ||Love Has Taken Its Toll|
|| ||Dirty White Boy|
|| ||Lowdown And Dirty|
|| ||Head Games|
|| ||Break It Up|
|| ||Down On Love|
|| ||Two Different Worlds|
|| ||Can't Wait|
|| ||Inside Information|
|| ||Street Thunder|
Foreigner took hard rock music and gave it a radio friendly sheen, bringing the band great success on both sides of the big pond and notching up sales of around 50 million records.
The songs of Mick Jones, delivered by gravelly voiced Lou Gramm, conquered the States, and eventually, Jones’ home country of Great Britain. This 2CD package contains just about everything you want to hear and features tracks from across five hit albums, including the chart topping 1984 long player, Agent Provocateur.
Highlights include the big UK singles I Want To Know What Love Is and Waiting For A Girl Like You, plus USA chart successes Cold As Ice, Feels Like That First Time, Hot Blooded, Long Way From Home, Double Vision, Juke Box Hero, That Was Yesterday, Urgent, Dirty White Boy and Head Games.
Foreigner played Glasgow earlier this month, on a bill bookending them between Styx and Journey.
This dance of the rock dinosaurs through Europe is proving to be extremely popular, and that's interesting, as none of the bands boast the presence of original frontmen, respectively Lou Gramm, Denis Deyoung and Steve Perry.
Given that they can each deploy a considerable weight of well known back catalogue material, the absence of a former frontman may not be such a handicap. But as Foreigner showed, the all round abilities of the band's vocalist clearly make a difference.
Consequently, it was unquestionably Foreigner's night, as it was frontman Kelly Hansen who proved to have the stage presence and the charisma to connect and engage with the Scottish audience.
By an amazing coincidence, Demon Music Group offshoot label, Music Club Deluxe have just released this 2 Cd compilation. Yes, I know that Foreigner are one of the most "compiled" bands in the western world, but this one, 'Juke Box Heroes' is an absolute cracker, with a massive 38 tracks, allowing some license in the selection process. It shouldn't be confused with the Atlantic/Rhino release of the same name back in 2000.
That title. I saw Foreigner on their last gig in Scotland, back in 1988 (I think it was), and up till then I had never been a huge fan of that song.
Then I heard it live. I was an immediately convert. It suits Gramm's voice (and Hansen's too) to a tee.
It's accompanied here by the usual suspects from '4' - the one with Mutt - and considered to be the real breakthrough album, even though its 3 predecessors sold just as many.
Surprisingly, there are half a dozen tracks from 1987's 'Inside Information'.
Released to a cataclysmic din of critical condemnation, or at best, damned by faint praise, the album quickly became a firm favourite of mine, and still is.
I know relations between Jones and Gramm were strained at the time and consequently they produced only half a great album, but 6 of the 11 tracks are truly among the best committed to tape by the band.
These songs have dignity, grace, depth and an urbanity only hinted at on previous releases. That sense of sophistication is heightened by the production, which is dynamic, richly textured and often restrained, thanks to the master, Frank Fillipetti.
The elegant Adult Rock of 'Say You Will', a Top Ten hit in the UK and the vastly underrated, late blooming 'Out Of The Blue' sit comfortably alongside Gramm's killer solo effort, 'Heart Turns To Stone' and Jones's 'I Don't Want To Live Without You'. This last song is unequivocally up there with previous world straddling ballads, a chest beater that resists the obvious temptation to again add a gospel choir, and wins us over through precious understatement.
Some music becomes great by subtracting, not adding,
Bravely, this new label has included 4 tracks from the band's abortive liaison with ex Montrose and King Kobra vocalist Johnny Edwards. A relationship that gave birth to only one album, 1992's 'Unusual Heat'.
In the main, the songs are written by Jones, Edwards and producer, Terry (Charlie) Thomas, fresh from his success with the Brian Howe led version of Bad Company.
Consequently the songs are strong, but attempting to replicate the AOR Lite production style that made Bad Company an FM radio success doesn't work for Foreigner.
That notion is emphasised by the sequencing of these tracks side by side with the powerful material culled from the band's 1993 'Classic Hits Live' album. On the truly outstanding live versions of 'Love Maker' and 'Fool For You Anyway', full of raw emotion, controlled and channelled through live performance, you can hear Foreigner's place in a bloodline that leads directly from Led Zepellin.
Tracks like 'At War With World', 'Dirty White Boy' and 'Hot Blooded' simply confirm this. Later, Mick Jones's artful development of the band's sound, by mixing compact riffs and joyful hooks, by layering rich harmonies over sharp melodies, saw the band's recordings soar into the heavy rotation playlists of Radio stations across the USA and the UK.
Not many people know this, but Foreigner had more Top Ten single hits in the UK than they did in the US.
Side two opens on a high, with the fist-in-a-velvet-glove, one-two punch of 'I Want To Know What Love Is', and 'Waiting For A Girl Like You', the two worldwide hits that effectively branded Foreigner as a big ballad band.
But there are some gems buried close to the surface further on, including the band's one and only instrumental, 'Tramontane', taken from 1978's 'Double Vision'.
Named for the wind that blows in the Languedoc region of Southern France. Cool, classical, powerful, with fleeting progrock undertones, it's no surprise to learn the track was written by two of the band's "foreigners", Mick Jones and Ian (King Crimson) McDonald.
The inclusion of 'Love Has Taken Its Toll' (from Double Vision), 'Headknocker' (from the debut) and 'I'll Get Even With You' (from Head Games) is a delight. These are tracks that always suffer second billing to the chart hits, yet while they lack the immediacy of those stadium filling tracks, they paint the album's canvas with short, sweet, economical bursts of colour, just as important and arguably, just as rewarding as the stuff that gets all the attention.
On the downside, nothing from 'Mr.Moonlight', none of the "new" tracks from 'Very Best And Beyond' and nothing from 'Can't Slow Down'. I'm assuming it's a contractual thing, and anyway, as far as that last album goes, it's maybe just a little too soon after its release for any tracks to appear on a retrospective.
Lastly, good to see 'Street Thunder' closing side 2.
The keyboard/synth instrumental was originally the B side to 'I Want To Know . . . ' and part of Official theme music to the Los Angeles Olympic games of 1984. It vividly evokes an era, capturing the zeitgeist much in the same way as did the work of the ubiquitous Harold Faltermeyer at the time.
Thankfully, Foreigner's music has endured, ageing gracefully.
Because they did nothing for show and everything for effect.
Works for me.
Written by Brian
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Show all reviews by Brian
Foreigner defined the term of radio friendly rock, their music gracing the airwaves of a hundred or more rock, pop and middle of the road radio stations across the globe.
The sound of such hits as, Cold As Ice and Waiting For A Love Like Yours were defining sounds of the 80’s music scene. The throaty vocals of Lou Gramm conquered the US first before his home country England where I Want To Know Where Love Is topped the charts in 1985.
This double CD set is a mind blowing 38 tracks and is one of the best of its kind.
Featuring highlights from the groups five albums including the chart topping Agent Provocateur from 1984.