Album Review: Fool For the City By Foghat
via Darryl Hushaw/YouTube
A Win For The Band
Foghat’s Fool for the City was a commercial and critical success. Thanks to their previous records, they already amassed a cult following but they finally struck gold. Aside from being awarded with Platinum status, it also spawned their signature song, ‘Slow Ride’ all thanks to their new bassist Nick Jameson. Even with over a dozen albums on their catalog, this is a real standout – the band at the height of their creative powers.
It’s a tight and well-balanced album, ambitious but not altogether predictable. It’s not innovative or groundbreaking but every track is solid. It showed Foghat at their absolute best. From hard rock to acoustic ballad numbers, it offered so much more to the listeners. While working on Fool for the City, they were simply jamming and having fun. Even when faced with minor problems like the power going out, they knew how to make it more enjoyable. And that basically reflected on the whole vibe of the album.
“A lot of Foghat songs came about with just us sitting around jamming and recording it, and we would take parts we liked and glue them together. A song would be formed. Actually, a song like ‘Slow Ride’ is a John Lee Hooker riff, just played in a 4/4, as opposed to a shuffle. Thank you, John Lee. There’d be no boogie without John Lee Hooker.” – Roger Earl
The album opens with a catchy and hard rockin’ title track that defines “boogie rock.” My Babe is a cover of The Righteous Brothers original and while it’s often upstaged by the more popular tunes on Fool, it’s still a stellar version. Slow Ride was created during a jam session with Jameson which is perhaps why it’s not surprising that it showcased his bass playing.
Terraplane Blues is another cover, this time from bluesman Robert Johnson’s 1936 song. It starts out slow before it turns full-on rock. Save Your Loving (For Me) is upbeat and bouncy. It’s also catchy and groovy. Drive Me Home is fast-paced and funky while the closing track Take It or Leave It is proof of the band’s versatility and musical range.
Overall, there’s consistency and uniformity. And more importantly, it helped Foghat gain the recognition they truly deserved.