Foghat - 1981 Girls To Chat, Boys To Bounce
ALBUM: Girls To Chat, Boys To Bounce
SERIAL: BRK 3578
CD REISSUE: 2006, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU 3578
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Dave Peverett - vocals, guitars * Craig MacGregor - bass * Roger Earl - drums * Erik Cartwright - guitars * Nick Jameson - keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Wide Boy * 02 Let Me Get Close To You * 03 Live Now, Pay Later * 04 Love Zone * 05 Delayed Reaction * 06 Second Childhood * 07 Weekend Driver * 08 Sing About Love
BackgroundWhat went wrong with this lot? After the boogie meltdown of the 70's Foghat inexplicably changed direction after 'Stone Blue' and cornered themselves into a pop direction, losing all traces of their previous identity. You could choose any of their 80's albums as examples and 'Girls To Chat.' is as good as any. By 1981 Foghat album sales were non-existent and their status as a premier live act had severely diminished. 'Lonesome' Dave was still around as were Earl and MacGregor from years past, but ex Tears guitarist Erik Cartwright had replaced Rod Price on guitar.
The SongsAs light as Foghat had become, the material was still of quality - though patchy . 'Wide Boy' is an English anthem about your average Cockney trickster (remember Del Boy?) that was a long way off the Americanized mid 70's sound. The riffing is the heaviest on the whole album and the chanted chorus is classic. Good to see the lads embrace their English roots! 'Let Me Get Close To You' recalls more of Foghat's glory days, a mid paced hard rocker with a hook that could have made it a hit. It feels like real Foghat, a good little bit of boogie. Following this it's all easy soft rock. 'Live Now-Pay Later' drags on forever, going nowhere musically and melodically. And as good as 'Love Zone's title is, neither does it. 'Delayed Reaction' is slightly heavier, not saying much. There are a few more guitars in the mix, but never threatens to cut loose. A bit too pleasant! 'Second Childhood' s lyrics are more interesting than the music, about some guy struggling to find work. The pop overtones are on overtime here. Soft harmonies and major wimp out guitars dominate a lousy dud. Foghat try to reclaim old ground slightly on 'Weekend Driver'. It's got the boogie guitar but toned down enough to make it ineffective. Fast forward. 'Sing About Love' is a rock and roll workout, but without any heaviness it becomes 'Sing About Bullshit.'. Terrible.
In SummaryIf you were a hardcore Foghat fan at the time I could understand a sense of apathy. Aside from the first two tracks, this is a slick piece of throwaway pop that betrays a legend. Not once do they let it rip. The guitars might as well not be there. Put this next to 'Honey Hush' and try to convince yourself its the same band. It isn't. Amazingly Foghat put out two more stiffs in 82 and 83 and then called it a day for a few years. At the time a very wise move.
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gdazegod August 14 2003 2586 reads 6 comments Print