1991 release from Atlantic.
Johnny Edwards – Vocals, guitar. Mick Jones – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals. Rick Willis – Bass, backing vocals. Dennis Elliott – Drums.
Artist location: New York, USA.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Only Heaven Knows.
- Lowdown And Dirty.
- I’ll Fight For You.
- Moment Of Truth.
- Mountain Of Love.
- Ready For The Rain.
- When The Night Comes Down.
- Safe In My Heart.
- No Hiding Place.
- Flesh Wound.
- Unusual Heat.
Following the departure of the great Lou Gramm in 1990, Foreigner recruited vocalist Johnny Edwards (Buster Brown, Wild Horses, King Kobra) and released what is my favorite record from the band, ‘Unusual Heat’, in 1991.
Now I realize that is an odd statement considering the band we are talking about and many will disagree with me on it, which is fine, but let me explain. I am a Foreigner fan and I love Lou Gramm, but with the exception of 1994’s ‘Mr. Moonlight’ (the following album after this one coincidentally), I have never felt that they were much more than a hits band. What I mean by that is that, in the same way I feel about Aerosmith, they don’t really have much music outside of their hits that I like.
Don’t get me wrong, when they are good they are outstanding. Obviously they are responsible for some of the biggest AOR hits ever and I absolutely love their hits, unfortunately that always tended to be all I enjoyed with them, in fact I think Gramm’s solo work and his album with Shadow King are stronger records as a whole then most of Foreigner’s.
So, with that in mind let’s get back to the actual review. With Gramm gone and Edwards now behind the mic, and also co-writing all but one track on the album, we are given a record that tends to be a bit heavier then the band’s prior ones but still keeping with the AOR tones that the band was known for and is one heck of a great album.
The album was released to little fanfare and did quite poorly at the time with many people completely passing it over due to the fact of Gramm’s absence (keep in mind this was the first time that Gramm left and the very first record not featuring him), and the album never got the fair shot it deserved in my opinion.
Instead of listening to it and judging it on it’s own considerable merits, people dismissed it, never giving it a real chance when in fact it is a great melodic rock album that should be heard by fans of the genre.
Edwards is a wonderful vocalist (of course Foreigner has always had outstanding vocalists fronting the band with Gramm, Edwards and now Kelly Hansen filling that position) and obviously quite a good writer as well as he proves over and over on the album and he does a superb job here on all fronts.
The songs are all fantastic, full of some great rockers like the album opener, ‘Only Heaven Knows’, the single from the album, ‘Lowdown And Dirty’, and the soulful ‘Ready For The Rain’ are all excellent examples of this albums strength.
‘I’ll Fight For You’ is an absolutely wonderful ballad with an incredible vocal delivery from Edwards. ‘Safe In My Heart’ is another ballad nearly as strong as the first while ‘Flesh Wound’ is a classic Foreigner sounding track. Really there is not one bad song on the record and the album is a solid piece of melodic rock heaven.
We all know the band and what they offer with their records so there is really not much more to say about this except that if you missed out on this one or passed it up back when it released then do yourself the big favor of checking it out. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Very highly recommended.
‘Only Heaven Knows’.
‘Lowdown And Dirty’.
‘I’ll Fight For You’.
‘Ready For The Rain’.
‘When The Night Comes Down’.
‘Safe In My Heart’.