Foreigner

Rough Diamonds [#1 EP]

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This limited-edition CD was designed by Foreigner to be released first over the Internet but, if fan sites and chat are to be believed, legal issues have apparently prevented the Internet release thus far. Nevertheless, the CD is commonly sold at Foreigner concerts and has become one of the most sought-after Foreigner treasures out there. The disc consists of five classic Foreigner tracks performed unplugged by Mick Jones and Lou Gramm. Recorded shortly after Gramm had finished treatments following the removal of a brain tumor, it is easy to hear that he is not working at his best -- but then Lou Gramm on his bad days sings better than most on their good days. This is quite a departure for those used to the powerful production values featured in the original versions of these songs, but good songs will stand up to different interpretations -- as these five certainly do. While Gramm noticeably strains on some of the higher notes, the power in his voice is still evident through most of the tracks (and will hopefully improve as his recovery continues). Jones is also solid, and the tracks are well-produced with a crisp, clean sound. Not destined to become a classic unplugged album like, say, Eric Clapton's, this is still an enjoyable, intimate experience and fans of Foreigner in general and these songs in particular will certainly enjoy a different perspective on some old classics.

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