1991COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Johnny Edwards - vocals * Mick Jones - guitars, keyboards * Rick Wills - bass * Dennis Elliott - drumsTRACK LISTING:
01 Only Heaven Knows * 02 Low Down And Dirty * 03 I'll Fight For You * 04 Moment Of Truth * 05 Mountain Of Love * 06 Ready For The Rain * 07 When The Night Comes Down * 08 Safe In My Heart * 09 No Hiding Place * 10 Flesh Wound * 11 Unusual HeatWEBLINKS: www.foreigneronline.com
The release of 'Unusual Heat' heralded a new and uncertain phase in the Foreigner timeline. It was the band's first studio album since 1987's disappointing 'Inside Information', and was also the first to exclude figurehead vocalist Lou Gramm
. The mighty singer had departed for a solo career in 1986, releasing two excellent albums. The year 'Unusual Heat' appeared was the same as Gramm's new outfit Shadowking
appeared, and on the same label too coincidentally enough. Foreigner's new singer was Johnny Edwards. A great California based talent (though originally from Louisville Kentucky) previously heard on Ronnie Montrose
's 'Mean' album plus of course the King Kobra
album 'III'. Neither of those efforts were to give away any clues as to the man's prowess on 'Unusual Heat', a small triumph in itself.
Now, talking of coincidences, with Terry Thomas handling production duties, it was no surprise that Foreigner were aiming square-on for the same market held by Bad Company
, hugely successful the year before with their 'Holy Water' platter. The other aspect was Edward's resemblance to BC's Brian Howe. However where Foreigner differ slightly and excel at, is in the softer array of mid tempo tunes and ballads. For instance, 'I'll Fight For You' and 'Safe In My Heart' are two of the best softer moments the band have done. The keyboards on the latter are super-smooth. 'Moment Of Truth' is controlled aggression, as is 'Low Down And Dirty', both swinging in the direction of the aforementioned Bad Company
, while 'Only Heaven Knows is a curious opener, perhaps tripped up by some lyrics and vocal phrasing which don't quite fit the music. Overall though, the album is as appealing as some of their earlier works, though without the Al Greenwood synth touches. The guitar oriented aggression witnessed on 'Double Vision' and 'Head Games' rears it's head in places throughout 'Unusual Heat', rather than the layered keyboard pap heard on 'Agent Provocateur' and 'Inside Information'.
The album was mildly successful in the UK (#56) thanks to good promotion over there, not so for the USA. Oh well. The band ventured on into the 90's, Gramm returning for 1994's 'Mr Moonlight', bringing along Shadowking
buddy Bruce Turgon as the bass player.
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