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Foreigner: The Best of 4 And More

Mick Jones ; Lead Guitar, Kelly Hansen ; Lead Vocals, Jeff Pilson; Bass, Tom Gimbel ; Flute, Rhythm Guitar, Saxophone, Michael Bluestein Keys, Chris Frazier ; Drums and Bruce Watson - Lead Guitar. Do you notice anything about those names? That's right, they're all seriously top notch at what they do but only Mick Jones was a part of Foreigner's classic line-up. Virtually inexplicably, although I'm sure pound signs, Euros and dollars were involved, they have decided to re-record much (but not all) of the classic 4 album in front of a crowd, toss in a few non-4 tunes and release it on the, I imagine, somewhat apathetic public.

Whilst I'm sure there may well be mileage in continually putting out similar versions of the hits surely what Foreigner should be doing is putting out a follow up to 2009's excellent Can't Slow Down? The versions on The Best of 4 And More are as proficient as one would expect from such a talented bunch of individuals although the cheese factor in the singalong attempt of "I Want to Know What Love Is" is almost off the scale. There's no great reason to re-record 4, inserting a riff from "Black Night" into "Cold as Ice" isn't innovative go and make a new album please.

The score below is for the music (although inferior to the originals) and not the concept.

Track Listing
01 Night Life
02 Woman In Black
03 Urgent
04 Waiting For A Girl Like You
05 Break It Up
06 Girl On The Moon
07 Say You Will
08 Feels Like The First Time
09 Cold As Ice
10 Hot Blooded
11 I Want To Know What Love Is
12 Juke Box Hero

Added: November 25th 2014
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1649
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Foreigner: The Best of 4 And More
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-11-24 17:59:37
My Score:

A band who haven't been shy of releasing compilations or live collections in recent times, it would be a fair question to ask if we really need The Best Of 4 And More from Foreigner. Judging from my esteemed colleague Simon's review above, I guess it's a matter of opinion, for while I'll whole heartedly agree that there are failings on this release (the cringeworthy old folk's home sing along during "I Want To Know What Love Is" being the main culprit...), having seen this extended configuration of the band in a live setting recently I have to admit to being taken back to an energetic, engaging, faultless performance by this album.

The premise is simple, take most of the tracks from the album widely regarded as the band's best, 4, and add in a few hits for good measure in front of an (apparently small) audience. Personally the mix of well known hits - "Urgent" is terrific and lesser known album cuts "Night Life" opening the album in fine style works a treat. Add to that, and I've said this before, as a long standing admirer of original singer Lou Gramm, that Kelly Hansen is simply perfect for Foreigner in 2014, with his live wire stage persona coming through strongly here, and the vibrancy this band currently possess lands thick and strong; his vocal display is also beyond criticism.

Now with three guitars in the line-up, Foreigner may forever be known for their lighter tracks ("Waiting For A Girl Like You" is given a great workout here), and yet when the riffs are cranked up we're given a strong reminder as to what Mick Jones and his cohorts are capable of when given the opportunity, as it does on "Hot Blooded", "Cold As Ice" and "Juke Box Hero". Often the bassist in a band is forgotten, however the stability that ex-Dokken and Dio man Jeff Pilson brings this band is well worth mentioning, while extra guitarists Bruce Watson and Tom Gimbal (who also provides flute and sax) don't exactly let themselves down either.

Possibly The Best Of 4 And More, housing tracks such as "Woman In Black" and "Break It Up" makes it a release aimed more at the diehard Foreigner faithful who have stuck with the band through thick and thin. I count myself in that number and on that level have to admit I found a lot to enjoy on an album that could have, if not careful, turned into a bits and bobs collection. Thankfully that's far from the case for this quietly (well quite boisterously actually) confident release is more than a bit nifty.

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