Foghat essentially was a reversal of a band that didn’t include Kim Simmonds. Simmonds, the mainstay of Savoy Brown, had “Lonesome Dave” Peverett (who was in Savoy Brown for multiple albums), Tony Stevens, and Roger Earl in a configuration of Savoy Brown that produced the fine Looking In album before the three slipped the confines of the band in 1971 and formed Foghat. They brought in Rod Price, whose blues guitar and slide methods matched what the other three were feeling and the rest was history.
They produced the first album that yielded the classic interpretation of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You” as well as Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene.” But the real winner in Foghat’s career was the unsung Rock and Roll album, so named because of the cover shot of a rock and a roll. The album otherwise did not sport a title past the band’s name.
Rock and Roll was released in 1973 and contained a bluesy mix of rock found on 9 excellent songs. The album’s only cover tune, “Feel So Bad,” allowed Foghat to further define their sound, a trait that they took even further on Energized with a fiery version of Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day” and Big Joe Turner’s “Honey Hush.” While “Feel So Bad” doesn’t really show off Foghat’s capabilities to their fullest, it still is a welcome and enjoyable song. Price’s slide is all over on this song.
Other standouts in an already excellent album, perhaps their best, are “What a Shame,” a song that was already recorded and on the charts prior to this album’s release but remixed for inclusion here; the superb “It’s Too Late,” a cooker of a road song in “Road Fever,” and the untouchable “She’s Gone.”
All of Foghat’s albums should be revisited with Definitive Editions, especially replacing the meager releases that we have today with pumped up booklets and digipak casing.
Foghat would go on to bigger things – bigger stadiums, more album sales, and flashier lifestyles – but before they got there with songs like “Fool for the City,” “Slow Ride,” and other hits, they cut their teeth with albums that were never revisited in style. Rock and Roll is one of those. I call it their best achievement.
If you became a Foghat fan during their Fool for the City years and after, excellent. I encourage you to dig deeper and give Rock and Roll a try. If you were there from the beginning, following the boys from Savoy Brown to a new incarnation, dig the album out and enjoy some of the old days. But if you are younger than all of this, and need a “new” sound, let me suggest Foghat’s first three albums, Foghat, Rock and Roll, and Energized. Where you go from there is up to you.