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Foreigner - No End in Sight : The Very Best of Foreigner

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 10 / 11 / 2008

Foreigner - No End in Sight : The Very Best of Foreigner
Label: Rhino
Format: CD X2


Overblown and meaningless, but entertaining double compilation CD from the heroically uncool Foreigner

I was reading an interview which Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) gave a few years ago, whenever they were plugging their last album, when he admitted that there is still a part of him that wonders if it is okay to like certain songs. This might be the time to admit, possibly to consternation in certain quarters of the Pennyblackmusic readership, that there is no longer a single part of me that does. I can’t say its because I’ve grown up and started caring about more important things either, because my life essentially revolves around pub quizzes and cricket. But, though I accept that there is music that is artistically superior, I can’t be bothered to deny myself music I actually enjoy, even if it isn’t ‘good’. Foreigner can basically be described as a guitar pop band. Their first album was released in 1977, a fact that has been conveniently written out of the punk and new wave history books, and from that moment on, they combined 70's stadium rock with 60's bubblegum pop in a fashion that was, heroically, uncool. In the sleeve notes, we read how singer Lou Gramm and songwriter Mick Jones gradually fell out over the band’s direction. Jones, who has now reformed Foreigner with a new singer, admits that Gramm just didn’t want to sing the ballads anymore, but stresses that he remains proud of them. And why not? Number One hit single ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ (which you will have heard at every wedding you’ve ever been to) may be overblown and silly, but it is damned effective. It evokes the other side of pop history, which 'Mojo' has desperately been trying to erase, but its primary appeal is that it is incredibly catchy. Better, though, is their earlier material. During the 80's, the use of synths may have felt radical, but it makes some of songs on CD Two seem a bit dated. The tracks from their first two albums, in particular, give Jeff Lynne a run for his money in the silliness stakes, and are all the better for it. The real gold is 'Cold As Ice', which somebody sped up for a rap song and a toothpaste advert earlier in the decade. In its slower incarnation, this is pure pop genius - catchy, meaningless, dramatic and adventurous. Foreigner, of course, could really play, and this meant even their wildest ideas came out with a populist sheen. Okay, I’m probably not going to convince many of you. But your iPods might appreciate a little bit of 80's power-pop to balance out all the out-of-tune indie singers pretending to be Lou Reed. ‘No End In Sight’, frankly, is just too much fun.

Track Listing:-
1 Feels Like The First Time
2 Long, Long Way From Home
3 Cold As Ice
4 Headknocker
5 Starrider
6 Double Vision
7 Blue Morning, Blue Day
8 Hot Blooded
9 Dirty White Boy
10 Head Games
11 Women
12 Night Life
13 Break It Up
14 Juke Box Hero
15 Urgent
16 Waiting For A Girl Like You
17 I Want To Know What Love Is
18 Down On Love
19 Reaction To Action
20 That Was Yesterday
21 Say You Will
22 I Don't Want To Live Without You
23 Can't Wait
24 Tooth And Nail
25 Heart Turns To Stone
26 Lowdown And Dirty
27 I'll Fight For You
28 Until The End Of Time
29 Too Late
30 Say You Will (Live)
31 Starrider (Live)
32 Juke Box Hero/Whole Lotta Love (Live)

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