Foreigner is one of my favorite arena rock bands of the late 70’s and 80’s. Not unlike many others, such as Eddie Money, Loverboy, Night Ranger and Bruce Springsteen, they followed a general patten of moving from a classic rock sound in the 70’s to a more hard pop/rock sound in the 80’s–succeeding greatly in both areas!
They’ve since had three greatest hits albums (RECORDS in 1982, which only has a small collection of their early songs), this one, and 2002’s COMPLETE GREATEST HITS.
1977’s SELF-TITLED DEBUT:
-Cold As Ice
-Feels Like the First Time
I can’t argue with these choices. I’m not very familiar with the band’s first three albums outside of the hits, so I truly don’t know what may or may not be missing, but I think “Long Long Way to Go” was a radio hit.
1978’s DOUBLE VISION:
These are easily my two favorite early Foreigner rock songs, the title track in particular – with its catchy medium tempo – pointing towards what would become their 80’s sound. I actually do know the piano-based classic rocker “Blue Morning Blue Day” was another hit not included.
1979’s HEAD GAMES:
-Rev On the Red Line
-Dirty White Boy
This was easily their most hard-rocking album (and the least emphasis on pop), so, consequently, I listen to it the least, but I like the tltle track. Again, I’m not sure of any other hits to emerge from the album.
-Waiting For A Girl Like You
Ah, the first album I know so well! Obviously, these three smashes had to be on here, but I wish the underrated semi ballad-type arena rocker “Break it Up” and the 60’s styled hard rocker “Luanne” – both hits – were included too.
1984’s AGENT PROVOCATEUR:
-That Was Yesterday
-I Want to Know What Love is
This is where the band really started to not get credit for alot of their material. These two hits from this somewhat uneven album, were both great, but the low-key power ballad “Down on Love” and the harder title track should’ve made the cut too.
1987’s INSIDE INFORMATION:
-Say You Will
-I Don’t Want to Live Without You
Again, I’m seein’ a pattern. These were the two best songs, but nowhere near the only worthy ones that should’ve seen the light of day here. The abscence of “Heart Turns to Stone” (a rocker slightly harder than “Say You Will”) is hard to excuse.;)
1992 NEW songs:
-Prisoner of Love
-With Heaven on Our Side
I had my doubts as to whether these songs would be any good or not, but I proved myself wrong — (1), an energized, guitar-based rocker, probably one of their heaviest songs, not unlike the upbeat material on INSIDE INFORMATION…
(2) A mid-tempo rocker akin to a slowed-down version of Journey’s “Only the Young” (especially the synth opening), sounding closest to their early/mid 80’s power ballads, and…
(3) a slightly uptempo ballad with a deeper vocal from Lou. I’d call this a much stronger version of the style of ballads on his 1989 solo album LONG HARD LOOK.
Overall, the somewhat new COMPLETE GREATEST HITS is pretty similar overall to VBO, but I still slightly prefer this one for a few reasons. Out of the 3 new songs here, only one (“Soul Doctor”) made it there. Secondly, CGH put edits on a few songs, whereas this has the full-length versions of every song. The good points of CGH is that it has a few 80’s songs not present here (“Girl on the Moon” and “Heart Turns to Stone”) and new liner notes.
This is stil the best starting point for new fans of the band (and for diehards to pick up the three “new” songs).