"Alive and Rockin'" (Eagle Rock; 2012)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The legendary rock band Foreigner had a lot of big hits ... and I mean a lot of big hits. And you can find most of them here, gathered together in this live collection. And they sound pretty good. The band sounds like they're having fun, the songs are tight enough to sound good, but loose enough to sound live. And they're still hits. Just try not to get caught up in "Hot Blooded" or "Feels Like the First Time" (or, my personal favorite, "Jukebox Hero").

But while this is a good live Foreigner album, it's not a great one. First, it is my humble opinion that any live classic rock album should be two CDs, not just one. The reason for that is, while it's great to have all the hits gathered together, it's also nice to hear a couple of lesser-known songs as well. There are no lesser known songs on this CD ... just really big hits.

Second, while the band is strong enough musically on this CD and, again, appear to be having fun, they certainly don't sound inspired. You almost get a "yeah, yeah, here we are playing that hit again for the ten thousandth time" kinda of vibe. And I'm not even going to wade into the whole "this isn't the original band" controversy.

Nonetheless, if you're looking for a decent collection of Foreigner hits performed live, this CD will do the trick. And it's great driving music, too. But "Alive and Rockin'" isn't the definitive live Foreigner recording. I'm still on the lookout for that.

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"Double Vision" (Rhino; 1978)
"Head Games" (Rhino; 1979)

Reviewed by Snidermann


Rhino Records has released expanded and re-mastered versions of Foreigner's classic albums, "Double Vision" and "Head Games." Both CDs still rock well today and are a blast from my rock'n'roll past. 

Much of my teen years were spent listening to Foreigner and hearing this music newly re-mastered and sounding crystal clear, it's like hanging out, smoking cigarettes, playing foosball and pool and trying to get into the head cheerleader's pants. Of course, the real question was always who was going to buy us beer.

Foreigner's music always connected with its tales of love, parties and music. It still sounds great today but it's obviously pure 80s rock'n'roll. The re-mastering here is incredible. Each note rings clear and resonates with the radio hit quality that Foreigner did so well. 

These two CDs have a few things in common 1) Both showcase Foreigner at the height of their fame; 2) both sound absolutely perfect thanks to modern re-mastering and 3) both have cool, previously unreleased material ("Head Games" features a bonus track entitled "Zalia" and "Double Vision" has live versions of "Hot Blooded" and "Love Maker.")

Anyone out there who has lived and/or loved (or as least tried to - I never did get into that head cheerleader's pants) I strongly recommend picking up both of these CDs soonest.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:21 -0400 .