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Agent Provocateur Original recording remastered

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002J5Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,948 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Tooth And Nail
2. That Was Yesterday
3. I Want To Know What Love Is
4. Growing Up The Hardway
5. Reaction To Action
6. Stranger In MY Own House
7. A Love In Vain
8. Down On Love
9. Two Different Worlds
10. She's Too Tough

Product Description

Certified at 3 million units by the RIAA. (2/01)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Agent Provocateur (1984.) Foreigner's fifth album.
Following the release of their 1981 album, 4, Foreigner took a break from recording for a while. The band had recorded four incredible classic rock albums, so they deserved a rest. By now, the spotlight had shifted elsewhere in the music industry, and the band wasn't nearly as popular as they once were. But this wasn't going to stop the band from rocking. In 1984, the band released its fifth studio album, Agent Provocateur. Read on for my review.
To put it in the simplest terms possible, this album is not up to the standards of the "classic four" Foreigner albums, but it's solid nonetheless. With this album (as well as the follow-up effort, Inside Information), the band shifted its sound toward something that fused classic rock with power rock. For the most part, the fusion of the two styles works. Although this album was never nearly as popular as the band's seventies albums or their early eighties effort 4, it DOES contain the band's biggest hit in terms of chart position - I Want To Know What Love Is. Sure, this song isn't the band's most popular song, but it's their only song to ever hit number one on the pop charts! Sadly though, it proved to be the only really popular song on the album. That's a shame, because it was far from being the only good one present. The opening rocker, Tooth And Nail, brings back memories of the band's earlier days. That Was Yesterday and Growing Up The Hard Way are interesting tracks in that they combine synthesizers with the band's usual rock stylings - and they greatly help the sound. The straight-up rock stylings of Reaction To Action make it another excellent song that is well worth listening to. From start to finish, Agent Provocateur is an excellent album.
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Format: Audio CD
To me, rating an album like this is tough on a 5-star system. It isn't amazing as its predecessor (the 100% classic "Foreigner 4"), but it is an "almost-great" album still, so I can't give it just 4 stars. After all, the songs are either heavy rockers or soul-touching ballads--all of which I like.
The album begins with a song as rocking as any Foreigner song, "Tooth And Nail". Cleary Lou Gramm comes out singing like he's ready to fight (in this case, to be with his woman). Then comes the beautiful, heart-rending anthem, "That Was Yesterday"--a number 12 hit that nonetheless had no staying power on radio. Very underrated song. The next track, however, is famous to this day. Foreigner's only #1 hit, "I Want To Know What Love Is", is one of the fabulous hits of the mid-'80s. "Growing Up The Hard Way" is a decent anthem although one of the less notable tracks on the album. Then comes two quality rockers in "Reaction To Action" and "Stranger In My Own House". On the latter track especially, Lou is clearly fed up, as he sings "I've got the keys to the door but I'm still locked out!"
Then, the mood changes from angry to soulful over the next three tracks. Many have criticized this part of the album, but I find it absolutely enchanting. Here are three slower songs that are synthesizer-heavy but emotional and well-sung. "A Love In Vain", "Down On Love", and "Two Different Worlds" are all great rock ballads. Particularly on the middle one of the three, "Down On Love", Lou's vocals are at their heart-rending best. That song to me should have been another big Foreigner hit.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is solid 80s. To some extent it is reminiscent of numerous other 80s hard rock groups. And yet, it also contains unique compositions that are among Foreigner's better contributions to rock music.
The most memorable and perhaps longest lasting songs on this CD are the ballads and quasi-ballads. Songs like "That Was Yesterday" and "I Want to Know What Love Is" continue to get airplay on 80s stations and now some classic rock stations. "I Want to Know What Love Is" is not only a ballad, but a POWER ballad.
However, in addition to these ballads are less memorable efforts that are okay, but distract from the better songs. "A Love in Vain" and "Two Different Worlds" are also ballads, but while not bad songs, are clearly filler songs stuck in to fill out a CD.
While the ballads are what will keep Foreigner in the minds of many people, Foreigner really was a hard rock group. "Tooth and Nail", "Growing Up the Hard Way", "Reaction to Action", "Stranger in My Own House" and "She's Too Tough" are the kind of hard rock songs that defined Foreigner. Most have a flavor of the 80s, though for some songs the flavor may be a taste, for many the songs are easily detectable as 80s. However, just because the songs are 80s, they remain decent songs, and even decent hard rock songs.
Because this album was a follow up to the monster album "Foreigner 4", and because of some of the weaker songs on the album, the album has been maligned by a number of reviewers and critics. Fortunately we live in the CD age, and you can program this CD to match your musical tastes. If you like Foreigner the hard rock group, just program the five or six rocking songs, and skip the ballads. If you like most of the music except for the weaker ballads, program them out.
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