So why is Foghat’s Fool for the City on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
ChatGPT is all the rage at the moment. It represents a crazy leap in artificial intelligence innovation, where basically you can enter essentially any “prompt” or question or idea you can think of (“Provide me five ideas for gardening on the moon. Be sarcastic and make sure to include a joke about daylight savings time. Oh, and do it in the style of Charles Nelson Reilly”), and it will provide “natural language” text in full paragraph form to your exact specifications.
AI has also taken huge leaps forward when it comes to audio and even music. I mention this because I’m convinced that if you asked a “ChatGPT for music” to create a quintessential hard rock album that sounds exactly like 1975, it would – after making some requisite bleeps and boops – spit out Foghat’s Fool for the City.
There’s no doubt at all that songs like the title track, “Fool for the City,” and “Slow Ride” (the band’s best known song, for good reason) rock exceptionally hard. But I think the “1975-ness” of it relates to a wonderful lack of irony in how hard these guys rock. There’s no self-aware, tongue-in-cheek element to it. They just go for it in a way that is powerful and even disarming.
It makes me smile a little bit, listening to these songs, and I’m ever so slightly tempted to judge the guilelessness of it, to tease it and make fun of it, perhaps. But then I get over that hump, which is really a small hump, and then I can appreciate and dig it in my own guileless way.
Which is to say that I can rock out to it. Which is a great thing when it comes to rock music.
“Take It or Leave It” shows off a slower, groovier side to Foghat, but which is thankfully once again so very, very 1975.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Foghat’s Fool for the City
The summer before my senior year at Binghamton University, I got in the best shape of my life. This was in anticipation of joining the rugby team and moving into the unofficial “rugby house,” with a group of old friends (two of which I grew up with on Long Island) and ten guys all told.
It was one of the best years of my life, and certainly the wildest. Looking back, it’s so fascinating and strange to realize which memories bubble up the fastest when I think about that time.
For me, it’s the comedy: the weird jokes, gags, and riffs that we had that helped to make the experience so much fun. In short, there was a lot of hilarity going on.
One random thing that took on a life of its own was related to the saying, “take it easy,” which is something that people would say as a form of a goodbye. But at least during that era, “take it easy” was decidedly out of fashion; it’s something the Olds would say.
So we made “take it easy” our own, except we leaned into the corniness of it and put a super old school New York spin on it for good measure, so it became “take it eee’s.” So then that could become, “Hey! Hey you! Take it eee’s.”
And then you could point at someone with your pinkie – imagining you have a nice big gaudy pinkie ring on it – as you say it. And obviously you’d pretend you were in the movie Goodfellas while you said it, because of course you would.
At some point in the fall semester, I briefly dated a gal who was a few years my junior and not part of the rugby circuit at all. I recall telling her to take it easy a few times (which I’m sure came out more like take it eee’s), which she:
1) did not think was funny at all and
2) in no way appreciated
I’m sure I found her response to be pretty funny, so:
3) see: the “briefly dated” part.
That’s my homage to slow ride / take it eee’s.
Some stats & info about Foghat – Fool for the City
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Hard Rock, Album Rock, British Bands
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Fool for the City released?
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #523 out of 1,000
Foghat’s Fool for the City on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Foghat’s Fool for the City that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
I’m in the mood, the rhythm is right. Move to the music, we can roll all night.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.