No. 60: Foghat, ‘Slow Ride’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs
‘Slow Ride’ is an eight minute-plus slab from the 1975 Foghat album ‘Fool For The City’ that works its way into your subconscious slowly but quite deliberately. When that steady drum beat starts, you’ll no doubt find your hand starting to smack your kneecap in time as the initial guitar riff kicks in.
Barely past the 10 second mark, shape shifting cymbals surround a woozy slide guitar riff from Rod Price. This provides the appropriate backing for vocalist ‘Lonesome’ Dave Peverett to deliver the soul-shaking chorus: “Slow ride/ take it easy/ Slow ride / take it easy.”
Simple enough, right? After a couple more rounds of that, Peverett shifts into the verse: “I’m in the mood/ the rhythm is right/ We can roll all night/ Move to the music.”
That right there was plenty to provide the soundtrack to more than just a few “lost weekends.” The basic framework is pretty simple, but with ‘Slow Ride,’ Foghat had definitely hit on a winning formula that would score them a Top 20 hit on the Billboard charts.
A whole new generation of music fans discovered ‘Slow Ride’ for the first time in the early ‘90s, thanks to its high profile feature placement in the closing credits of the stoner comedy ‘Dazed and Confused.’ [In fact, one enlightened Youtube commenter calls 'Slow Ride' the "f--king best song to ever listen to stoned."]
Movies and the eventual video game licensing possibilities were probably the furthest thing from the mind of Foghat during their heyday. The band was focused on building an audience at a time when they couldn’t get arrested, chasing their dreams as they perfected their own special blend of “boogie rock,” the ingredients of which called for lots and lots of generously applied slide guitar.
That recipe was good enough (and then some) for five gold selling albums and several charting hits — yes, the overall the ’70s were very good to Foghat. The ‘80s brought about a quiet period for the band, and the members drifted apart for a few years, but an American event would bring the original form of the British rock band back together at the beginning of the next decade.
1991 brought the word that Rick Rubin was interested in making an album with Foghat. The idea of Rubin’s Midas touch was understandably enough to pique their collective interests, but almost as soon as they were back together, Rubin had faded out of the project for reasons that are still unknown.
Drummer Roger Earl is the only remaining original member still in Foghat today, following the deaths of both Peverett and Price. The current lineup features former Ted Nugent vocalist Charlie Huh,n who shepherded the group through their well-received 2010 release ‘Last Train Home.’
Watch Foghat Perform ‘Slow Ride’