At first glance this latest offering from Foreigner does seem to be a compilation album released just in time for Christmas, however it is not, it is a live album featuring the best of their defining album and many more hits. The band recorded these live at the Borgata Hotel’s Music Box theatre in Atlantic City on October 3rd & 4th, 2014.
Foreigner ‘4’ spent more weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts than any artist in the history of Atlantic Records, including AC/DC, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, and went on to sell more than 9 million copies worldwide.
Opening up to thunderous applause ‘Night Life’ (also the opening track on the album) is played fast and loud, full of meaty guitar riffs, a pounding rhythm section and Kelly’s amazing vocals.
‘Woman In black’ needs no introduction with its chugging riff keeping the tempo going before we get to the first of many, many mega hits.
‘Urgent’ is a timeless classic, the hard rock guitar opening riff followed by that Saxophone playing, originally by Motown great Junior Walker transcends musical genres. The Sax solo is now played by multi-instrumentalist Thom Gimbel who takes this song to a whole new level, this track is always the favorite of mine when Foreigner play live, yet for it to be track number three on here, is almost an anti-climax for me.
I say almost, as what follows ‘Urgent’ is one of the greatest love songs ever written, ‘Waiting For A Girl Like You’. The way Kelly Hansen sings this song is just amazing, the gentle intro and then accompaniment of Mick’s keyboard playing really is stunning, it is still a magical piece of music.
‘Break It Up’ brings the tempo back up, heading into the more melodic traditional hard rock that Foreigner is known for. “Break It Up” was the fourth single taken from the ‘4’ album, and it’s not hard to see why, a very strong song with killer backing harmonies.
‘Girl On The Moon’ and ‘Say You Will’ are totally stripped back and played acoustically here, this adds another dimension to these songs, the acoustic arrangement’s just oozes class. Kelly is outstanding ( is he ever not? ) here, leading the crowd in a sing-a-long to the chorus of ‘Say You Will’.
The pounding rhythm section of Chris Frazier – Drums and Jeff Pilson – Bass remind everybody that Foreigner are a rock band first and foremost as they power into the opening of ‘Feels Like The First Time’. A timeless classic rock anthem.
‘Cold As Ice’ is another one of Foreigners mega hits hitting number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1977, it is amazing that it hasn’t dated and still feels as fresh today as it did nearly forty years ago.
‘Hot Blooded’ is the only song on here taken from the 2nd album and on this Mick lets his guitar playing do the talking. Foreigner are rocking here and it shows.
‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ is a great sing-a-long song, with Kelly getting the crowd to sing the chorus back with the help of a local school choir.
‘Juke Box Hero’ is the final track, bringing the concert to a rousing finale, the famous opening bars get the crowd clapping along, with drummer Chris Frazier providing a tempered beat, before all hell breaks loose as Mick rips the notes from his trademark Gibson Les Paul. At nearly 13 minutes long it also allows for some crowd interaction from Kelly before a blistering solo from Bruce Watson wraps things up.
What a set, what a night this must have been.
01 Night Life
02 Woman In Black
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
“Great songs, great performances and great production are timeless. “4” has all three in spades,” says bassist and producer Jeff Pilson. “Bringing the album to life on stage with the energy and passion the band has always maintained, made us very happy. We’re thrilled to give people a chance to really reflect on what a great and classic album ‘4’ truly is.”
FOREIGNER are: Mick Jones (lead guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Bruce Watson (guitar), Chris Frazier (drums).
The Best of 4 And More will be released on December 8, 2014