Foreigner – Greatest Hits Live (earMUSIC)
At first glance this appears to be the definitive live set from the Kelly Hansen fronted Foreigner. All the hits are here – including the extended version of Juke Box Hero featuring the Whole Lotta Love interlude – and delivered with typical vim and vigour.
It’s a slick production by a band that knows its way around the odd AOR anthem or 12. And with summer finally set fair it’s the perfect soundtrack to a lazy- hazy July day with the soft top down and the road ahead clear.
So what’s the catch?
Well, this Las Vegas show is almost 11 years old. It introduces Hansen as the new boy in the band and sounds very little like anything Foreigner can achieve in 2015. The vocals are conservative, professional and, on the whole, pin sharp.
But Hansen has grown into this high-pressure role during the last decade and Greatest Hits Live simply doesn’t do justice to a singer now enjoying his golden years. That Was Yesterday – fourth up here – sums it up perfectly: today fans retreated to the full Foreigner experience rather than this timid, tepid imitation.
On the plus side the band’s Texas Station set does feature the irrepressible Jason Bonham on drums. A short-lived member of the AOR titans, he occasionally hits too hard for Journey’s softer rock and yet on Head Games and Hot Blooded – the songs bookending this archived set – John’s boy sounds like the perfect fit.
Those wishing to hear Hansen in full flow should get their hands on a copy of 2014’s The Best Of Foreigner 4 And More. Compared to Greatest Hits Live it’s a far superior record of a band reborn. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 5/10 Foreignurghhh