It may be hard today, given their footnote status in the history of rock, to realize how huge Foreigner once was. They were, however, one of very few groups having three albums among the top 50 best selling ones during the 70s. The records are:
22. Foreigner - Double Vision (7 Million Sales)
38. Foreigner - Head Games (5 Million Sales)
42. Foreigner - Foreigner (5 Million Sales)
Their forth album, 4, also sold as many records and actually elevated them to international super stardom. After that their album sales began dwindling but they still managed churning out a few hit singles.
Since their break up, a number of compilations by Foreigner have been released. The main ones are The Very Best...and Beyond and Complete Greatest Hits. The former one was close to being perfect with two major problems though. The first problem was the addition of 3 new songs, all of which were stinkers. Luckily those songs were the first songs on the CD so one could simply start on track 4. I know one could go on and on about such and such tracks should be included but releasing a Foreigner compilation without Long, Long Way from Home as this compilation did can't be justified. This was one of their biggest hits on Rock stations, basically a staple on such stations and also a top 20 hit. Omitting that song is similar to deleting Let the Good Times Roll on a Cars compilation, not a huge hit but a staple at Rock stations. It also omitted Blue Morning, Blue Day but that is not the same travesty. This was rectified on this compilation, Complete Greatest Hits, which really has all their hits (including one of the before mention stinkers which albeit became a minor hit at Rock stations) but has one problem; the songs have been in many cases edited. The name of the compilation is thus not correct since some of the songs are not complete and really should be called The Definete Collection.
Recently Rhino released a double CD compilation which rectifies the above problems. That collection contains all the hits by Foreigner plus practically all the main album tracks. There is hardly a track I miss unless maybe a few of Double Vision, which is my favourite Foreigner album. What is maybe of even greater interest for many is the fact that most tracks are presented here in full length, I Don't Want to Live Without You the only exception I noticed. Being more of a complete collection rather than a definite one, it includes a few avoidable tracks.
The re-mastering job is very good on both compilations. Comparing the sound to the Very Best...Beyond release brings forth a subtle yet clear difference in clarity. For audiophiles, the difference is still obvious.
For the casual fan, this collection is the one to get, despite having edited versions. For those who really want the full length versions and some added album cuts, The Defenite Collection is the one to get.