40 Years Ago: Foghat Releases ‘Energized’
What’s in a name? Well, nothing and everything, if the subject is legendary blues-rockers Foghat, since their curious moniker meant absolutely nothing. Still, their prophetically named third studio album truly ‘Energized’ their career, when it was released in January 1974.
Previously, the band, founded by erstwhile Savoy Brown members, “Lonesome” Dave Peverett, Tony Stevens, and Roger Earl, along with Black Cat Bones alum, Rod Price, had made slow but steady progress. They watched the promising sales and cult following established by their 1972 debut blossom into a Gold certification and bustling concert business for 1973’s sophomore effort, unofficially named ‘Rock and Roll.’
But most would agree it was the next year’s ‘Energized’ that really inaugurated Foghat’s golden period, and the band did so without changing a thing about their blue-collar style, but rather pushing it to new levels of focus and intensity.
That intensity was immediately obvious on the LP’s opening barnstormer, which, though it was named ‘Honey Hush’ and correctly attributed to Big Joe Turner, actually owed much of its relentless musical thrust to the Yardbirds’ rendition of Tiny Bradshaw’s ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’ (and Aerosmith were clearly fans because they lifted Foghat’s arrangement for their ‘Get Your Wings’ version, released just two months later).
And while next offering, ‘Step Outside,’ embraced keyboards, big choruses and a more laid-back groove, the quartet rarely stepped off the gas pedal for the duration, blasting out a string of surprisingly hard-rocking originals in ‘Golden Arrow,’ ‘Wild Cherry,’ and the floor-stomping ‘Fly by Night,’ as well as a juiced-up jam on Buddy Holly’s ‘That’ll Be the Day.’
The only additional pause for breath on ‘Energized’ arrived midway through, via the anthemic road-case philosophizing of ‘Home in My Hand,’ which proved to be an indispensable on-stage mainstay for Foghat’s storied career up through the present day; their final word on the road-warrior ethos, if ever there was one.
And it goes without saying that Foghat’s legions of fans simply won’t let them take their drums and guitars to any ol’ retirement home, but will instead demand they keep on truckin’ cross the land, as ‘Energized’ as ever.