After Peter Frampton and Kiss proved in the late 70's that you could throw a live album onto the market and not only sell it in tonnage, but establish your career with it, the floodgates were open. Not everyone fared as well as those two first waves, but one of the bands that did was Foghat. Their six song volume-splintering "Foghat Live" was what every good live album should be, energetic, powerful and adrenaline inducing.
There was no stagy sounding patter, no virtuosity overplayed musicianship, just a full-on party band at the peak of its power. Recorded as the band was becoming enormous in the states due to "Slow Ride" and the "Fool For The City" album, the band comes across like conquering heroes here. The call and response between the late Lonesome Dave Peverett and the late Rod Price on "Honey Hush" is astonishing to behold. It underscores that fact that Foghat is possibly one of the most underrated of the 70's rock bands. They could take old classics like Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and claim it as their own (and hit the top 40 with it), and at the same time, turn out an anthem like "Slow Ride," which remains a classic rock staple. As far as 70's classic rock is concerned, "Foghat Live" is essential.
Which then begs the question. Why isn't this and other Foghat albums being given the remaster treatment? And where is the double disc anthology they so richly deserve? C'mon Rhino, don't leave us in the cold here....
on March 30, 2010
Foghat from the outset was good for a rip-roaring brand of hard rock and blues, but there was an argument to make that the quartet---former Savoy Brown stalwarts Lonesome Dave Peverett (lead vocals, guitar) and Roger Earl (drums; a third Savoy expatriate, bassist Tony Stevens, who'd played with Peverett and Earl in the second and best Savoy Brown incarnation, left Foghat somewhere between their third and fourth albums); slide guitarist extraordinnaire Rod Price; bassist Craig McGregor---was far more effective in live performance than on their solid if sometimes inconsistent studio recordings.
Small wonder: they hit the road running, blowing the likes of Bachman-Turner Overdrive off the stage, and built a following almost more on their exuberant concerts than their crunchy recordings, even if their fifth studio album, the remarkable "Fool for the City," was their best-seller to date and yielded their first taste of something resembling a hit single. ("Slow Ride.") If timing is everything, Foghat couldn't have timed their first live album better: they decided to do it at a time when a) "Fool for the City" was still on the best-seller lists; and, live albums were suddenly proving career-makers for the like of Kiss and (especially) Peter Frampton.
With their road-warrior image and the no-questions-asked crunch of their live show, Foghat should have been a natural. And they were---"Foghat Live" became their best-seller of all, and it deserved to be. They were wise enough not to try putting their whole show onto a single set, if they wanted to introduce the uninitiated into the big meat of what they offered, and the decision plus the band's no-frills performances clicked. Others may have made a vice out of straight-up bloozaboogie but Foghat played as though it still mattered, still had legitimacy, and were more than willing to let you figure it out for yourself if you had room to breathe (and were willing to shake off your hipster aspirations) between their exercises and exuberance.
Foghat might have been slitting their own throat to kick off both their concerts and this live set with "Fool for the City's" title track, however, because live they absolutely demolish the studio version---from the kickoff from Earl's drums you get the distinct feeling that the train they're looking to hop to the city can't pull in fast enough to pick them up, and Price, who's as clean a lead guitarist as he is a slide player, peels off a pair of solos that more than hold their own with any of the bigger-reputation players on the circuit. "Home in My Hand" becomes the anthem it was intended to be and shows a side of the band even their most stalwart fans probably underrate: their vocal harmonies, the a cappella coda telegraph a surprising and welcome tension-breaker. And if you thought their piledriving version of "I Just Want to Make Love to You," the Willie Dixon composition (for Muddy Waters) that the Rolling Stones first turned to churn over a decade earlier, was enough to make you look for the missing Stones in the rearview, just wait until you get this version---from the moment Peverett and Price open it with a smart little guitar duel to the blistering finish, Foghat makes even their own studio original seem like an exhausted warmup.
"Honey Hush"---essentially, wrapping most of the original Big Joe Turner lyric around the Yardbirds' reimagining of "The Train Kept a-Rollin'"---gets played at 78 rpm in these hands, which probably causes more than a few knowing headshakings and clappings when Peverett sings out "Are you ready to take a slow ride?" to usher in what would become Foghat's signature piece. Of course, "slow" doesn't mean "sluggish," and here again they take what's already a hit single and drive it right through the earth. If Lynyrd Skynyrd wanted to challenge Foghat to an encore contest, they just might have a difficult time throwing even "Free Bird" down up against this loping, pounding onslaught that shifts into sixth gear with striking aplomb for a charging finale.
It's a tribute to the sensibility of their original concept that, when the signature Foghat lineup reunited in the mid-to-late 1990s, before Peverett's death of cancer, they could still crank it out with energy comparable to the original and produce a second live album worthy of the first. Worthy, but not quite equal. Lots of rock and roll bands of Foghat's prime era got themselves and their live albums described as "kicking ass"; Foghat was one of the few who didn't just kick it, they yanked it inside out and back, on both those counts and a few others wouldn't have dared let themselves consider.
on September 22, 2003
FOGHAT LIVE is perhaps one of the best live albums of its day. Powerful, super-charged rock with a Stadium fel to it. Recorded at the War Memorial in Rochester, this album portrays Foghat in their heyday; at their height. Six wonderful blues rock songs with some of the very best slide guitar ever recorded from Rod Price. Lonesome Dave's vocals are on the merk this night, not to mention the incredible rythym section of Roger Earl and Craig McGregor. Any rock fan should get this album. There's no question as to why this went double platinum upon its release. The only problem is that it's only six songs, about 43 minutes worth. This really should have been a double album, and I want to believe that there were more songs recorded on this tour that would make up a wonderful re-release on the complete concert. Wouldn't that be special. The production is awesome, the performance flawless. GET THIS CD!!! RIP LONESOME DAVE.
on April 20, 1999
Foghat was one of those hard working bands that made good, basic rock music. Live always seemed a step better than studio, capturing the good time, blues-ey feel of the band. This album captures one of those moments. The songs are simple, boogie influenced, guitar showcases, featuring the slide work of rod "the bottle" price. "Fool for the City" is great opener diving right into the show with foot stompin' road song. "Home in my Hand" carries on nicely, leading into a collection of burner blues songs. Particularly outstanding is "Honey Hush" that rises into a scorching guitar duel that ends by feeding directly into a nicely drawn-out version of the band's almost anthem, "Slow Ride." This live version boils with price playing faster and faster until you wonder if he's going to melt the strings. While this album doesn't push the envelope like earlier blues rock bands (e.g. cream or hendrix) and it doesn't even attempt the braininess of other mid-seventies acts (e.g. yes or elp), it sure does make you tap your feet and smile!
on June 27, 2001
Tight is the keyword. Tight as in playing together, night after night, day after day. There are no gaps in their playing, no sudden spaces here, just an immediate and room-filling intensity that pervades the consciousness from first note until the last. There was always a pre-eminent place in my heart for "Live" albums. No second takes, no overdubs..."just the facts, Ma'am." And the fact is that very few bands could blow the doors off an auditorium like these four players did consistently. Night after night, tour after tour. A rock-solid bottom of Tone (Tony) Stevens on bass, Roger Earl on drums, pumped out an atomic pulse under the searing "glass whip" slide guitar of Rod Price and the syncopated 'chunk' of Lonesome Dave Peverett's ever present Gibson Melody Maker. Always topped off by Lonesome Dave's lusty,husky vocals this whole set is an excellent example of Foghat's work in the mid '70s. I never heard Foghat as 'heavy metal' (as one reviewer did), although I may be guilty of adding to the cliche of Boogie Band when I think of Foghat. I never think of them as 'heavy' at all. Oh, sure, there were towering banks of Marshall amps (or Hi-Watts)but one thing I always appreciated about Foghat was a certain lightness of being. They never came on stage to crush the audience and, in the 2 times I was lucky enough to watch them create their special magic, the band members never seemed distant from the audience at all. Like all truly gifted performers, from the moment Foghat walked onstage they worked to establish a connection with the audience and, never once letting that connection falter, set ablaze a bonfire of spirit that was fueled by equal parts the band's performance and the audience's love of being together to witness Foghat pushing the outside of the sonic envelope. Foghat wasn't kidding and Foghat wasn't fake - they were solidly based in Rhythm&Blues. Their original 'hit', I Just Want To Make Love To You, was a cover of one of the many masterpiece songs of the legendary Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon. From their inception and during their meteoric rise they both paid respects to the masters and were able to create their own slickly stylized music that never strayed far from The Blues fold. I agree with the term 'anthem' one reviewer used in describing the version of Slow Ride found here. In it you will also hear the device known as "field hollers" or "call and response" (dates back to the Mississippi Delta before The Blues was electrified) that comes with the interplay between Rod Price's guitar and Lonesome Dave's vocal. Honey Hush is one of my favorite Foghat tunes and I probably played the studio version of that song until the black vinyl grooves of my LP were white. Although I did wonder sometimes if the lazer sharp riff of Honey Hush was 'ripped' from Train Kept A Rolling, I never lost any sleep over the question as Honey Hush is so immistakably stamped with the Foghat benchmark -the mark of quality. Home In My Hand is another classic Foghat anthem. Whether you imagine a guitar case in your hand or a suitcase this song still evokes the careless and carefree blessing of being twenty-something - footloose and fancy free. This album, as all Foghat albums were, was produced and engineered to be played LOUD. If, in your heart, you are a dedicated fan of Easy Listening Music, I don't think that you will appreciate this album. I have this serious, very personal thing: Volume Does Not Equal Skill/Craft. These four guys were total pros - they handled it with classy elan! I don't care if the reader is 14 or 64, if you seek something of The Real Deal that went down in the '70s, seek no further. Buy this album. As always, this reviewer remains a: Fool For The City. I also highly recommend Foghat's 'reunion' album on the mid-'90s, Return Of The Boogie Men. Even in middle age it seems that whenever these four gentlemen got together nothing had changed. It seems that all they like to do, by playing together in their usual four-as-one style, is open up another can of Rock & Roll Whup Ass on us. I, for one, can dig it!! God bless us all, and God help us keep the memory of Lonesome Dave Peverett alive (he succumbed to cancer earlier this year). In the words of the fabulous James Brown, "...there was a time..." And this album represents Foghat's "time", a time when they were flying 'hide, wide and handsome'...and playing so "together" that they had few equals. And the keyword is still TIGHT. In the musical sense this band was so tight that every time they took a penny out of the communal spandex pocket, President Lincoln blinked at the light.
on January 14, 2006
Foghat Live,oh man did I wear out a couple albums and a few pair of headphones on this disc.When I first heard it it was everything I loved in one package.Loud giutars,great rhythm section,a great lead singer and a bunch of blues infected,rock and roll tunes.I swear that I would listen to this disc at top volume on a great pair of Koss headhones I had until my ears rang for 15 to 20 minutes after the stereo was shut off !!!
Every song is great,Road Fever is,I think anyways,THE best driving song of all time.Do you know a 11 or 12 year old kid just getting into music?Give them this....its got some blues,some rock and roll and alot of volume.A great disc.
on March 13, 2000
A good live album,the 6 songs they picked are all good (road fever is my favorite) and the sound quality is excellent but if I was to pick between this album and the new "king biscuit" live album which was recorded at about the same time (1976)I'd pick the king biscuit because that album has 10 tracks and good liner notes as well as good sound quality and good song selection, nevertheless both albums are well worth checking out
on August 20, 1999
My first vinyl copy of this album developed a click right before "Honey Hush" as a result of 1000's of needle drops... This album is unquestionably one of the most energy packed live albums I've ever heard from the 70s. Get an early Aerosmith album, Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits, and ZZTop's "Deguello", hop into your muscle car (mine's a '70 Chevelle) and you're know what it was like to be a teen rocker in the mid-70s. I'm 16 again! Thank you, Foghat!
on January 8, 2007
THE BAND: "Lonesome" Dave Peverett (lead vocals, guitar), Rod Price (lead guitar), Craig MacGregor (bass), Roger Earl (drums & percussion). *R.I.P. Dave Peverett and Rod Price.
THE DISC: (1977) Six songs clocking in at just under 39 minutes. Included with the disc is a minimal 2-page foldout containing band pictures, song listing, band members, and thank you's. All songs written by Foghat, except "I Just Want To Make Love To You" by Willie Dixon, and "Honey Hush" by Big Joe Turner. Recorded at Soldiers Field, Chicago. Label - Rhino/Bearsville Records.
COMMENTS: One word - ENERGY. "Foghat Live" was always my favorite Foghat album. Honest blue-collar rock & roll with a touch of blues & boogie, with no added audience noise (as so many live albums are guilty of). As it goes, "Live" was the band's best selling album. Two concert staples, "Slow Ride" and "I Just Want To Make Love To You" clocked in over eight minutes each. Along the lines of Peter Frampton's material, I always felt the sound from Foghat's live album was head and shoulders above their studio releases. Commercially, in the studio, Foghat peaked with their album "Fool For The City" (1975 - featuring the title track and their highest charting #20 single "Slow Ride"). 1976 found them perhaps stuck in the middle with their album "Nightshift" - a good release, but it simply went nowhere on the charts (no hits, and no songs featured on "Live"). Then came '77 and their famed double-platinum "Foghat Live". Though a short album, the songs here are the cream of the crop... each absolutely rocked in the traditional rock & blues Foghat style (I have to believe there are other songs missing that could have made this a double-length release). This live album gave their careers a huge boost... at least for a few more years. Decades later, their music is referenced on TV shows like Seinfeld, King Of The Hill, Family Guy, Malcolm In The Middle, Newsradio... as well as several movie soundtracks. I can easily put this 'live' album on the shelf with other 'live' classics like UFO's "Stranger's In The Night", Kiss' "Alive!", The Who's "Live At Leeds", Lynyrd Skynyrd's "One More From The Road", Ozzy's "Tribute", and Deep Purple's "Made In Japan". Foghat was always best LIVE and this is a classic album (5 stars).
on April 20, 2008
Foghat's live record, simply called 'Foghat Live' is simply incredible. There are only six songs here, but all six of the songs are far superior to the studio versions. 'Fool For The City' is just a jam session between vocalist/guitarist Dave Peverett and guitarist Rod Price.
The famous 'Slow Ride' is even better than the studio version. Peverett's vocals are at their finest, and it is the best part of the entire record. Also, Price and bassist Nick Jameson jam as well.
As a huge Foghat fan, I can always recommend this live record. It is one of the best live records ever recorded.
Highly recommended for any Foghat or classic rock fan. ENJOY!!!