Better late than never
55 / 5
This album, originally titled "Classic Hits Live," came out in 1993, but the tracks are all cherry picked from performances during Foreigner's 1977-1985 prime. Had this been released right after "Agent Provocateur" in the mid-80s, I really think it would have been a huge seller — and gone a long way toward reinforcing Foreigner's status as not only a bankable hit machine, but as an absolutely killer live band. Every single performance here is knocked out of the park; the weakest link is a rather keyboard-laden, "we've never done this before, might not do it again" crack at Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," but it's saved by a typically terrific and energetic, 110-percent vocal by Lou Gramm. The one other cover, an obscure blues rocker called "Love Maker," finds the original ’70s lineup at their absolute best. The rockers here all bristle with arena-shaking conviction, but the ballads really stand out. I never really loved "Waiting for a Girl Like You," but Lou's live performance here is spectacular. Ditto his vocal on "Fool for You Anyway" (from the self-titled debut), and the live version of "I Want to Know What Love Is" (complete with gospel choir), which is even more moving than the "Agent Provocateur" original. All in all, essential listening for any Foreigner fan, and highly recommended to anyone who ever kinda liked the band but dismissed them (wrongly) as just a faceless "corporate rock" entity. The live band showcased on this collection could go head to head against anyone.