Deep Dive: Foghat, TIGHT SHOES

Friday, May 22, 2020
Foghat TIGHT SHOES Cover

40 years ago this week, Foghat released their ninth studio album, an LP which would prove to be the last album by the band to feature the work of guitarist Rod Price for the better part of 15 years.

Produced by the band with Don Berman and Tony Outeda at Foghat Studios in Port Jefferson, New York, TIGHT SHOES found Foghat trying to switch things up with their sound at least a little bit, and from a musical standpoint, it worked relatively well. In reflecting on the album, AllMusic praised “the group's musicianship and studio finesse,” with critic Jason Anderson writing, “Foghat successfully incorporates stripped-down sonics and simpler, almost pop arrangements into TIGHT SHOES.”

Meanwhile, back in 1980, John Liebrand of JAM Magazine wrote that “TIGHT SHOES is album rock without over-powering characteristics or extravagant excesses. It won't irritate the listener with Van Halen screams, badger one with Kansas melodies, or break your front teeth like Ted Nugent with too much volume. It does nothing wrong and many things right. It's the perfect gift for the person who can't decide between Heart, Led Zeppelin, or the Eagles.  

Unfortunately, after having seven consecutive albums find their way into the top 40 of the Billboard 200, TIGHT SHOES found Foghat’s fanbase waning, and while the reasons were likely as much to do with the dramatic shift in musical sensibilities – new wave was on the rise, as you’ll recall – as anything else, the end result was disappointing sales figures: the album climbed no higher than #106 before beginning its descent.

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