Road Fever: The Complete Bearsville Recordings 1972-1975

By the time British blues-and-boogie quartet Foghat struck gold in 1975, it already had a solid catalog under its belt. This box explores its first five studio albums. While many early-’70s LPs lacked audio punch, Foghat’s debut stands out for Dave Edmunds’ in-your-face production; the stage anthem “I Just Want to Make Love to You” rides on Tony Stevens’ punchy bass and twin-guitar fury of Dave Peverett and lead man Rod Price, while “Sarah Lee” echoes The Allman Brothers Band’s sweet melodicism.

Despite being studio creations, every track is intentionally configured for live work. By 1973’s self-titled album (with its famed “rock and roll” cover art), Foghat’s studio sonics had mightily improved, as heard on “Ride, Ride, Ride.” Price’s bottleneck lines make it even more combustible. “Honey Hush” mashed-up the 1953 blues lyric with the riff from “Train Kept-A Rollin,’” providing a juicy platform for Rod’s solo spotlight.

“Home In My Hand” and “Rock and Roll Outlaw” are more examples of hand-clapping arena rock. With new bassist Nick Jameson, the ’75 Fool For the City album finally brought Foghat much-deserved FM fame, thanks to its sexy slide anthem, “Slow Ride.” In retrospect, Road Fever is a fine lesson in electric-boogie history.

This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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