Six essential tracks to mark the group’s anniversary
Written by DJ AquaTrunk on October 14, 2020
That’s how long it’s been since the Foo Fighters burst onto the music scene, dropping their self-titled debut album in July 1995.
In a business filled with one-hit wonders, the rock group, created by ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, has had serious staying power. They’ve put out nine studio albums, including their most recent, 2017’s “Concrete and Gold.”
After Nirvana, Grohl knew he was under immense pressure in making music with the Foo Fighters.
“We tried really hard to do it right … in doing any promotion or press, we didn’t make a video right out of the gate, we tried to temper all of that stuff because it was scary in a way,” Grohl told Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson in an interview released Friday. “I knew that I was walking the plank on this. I knew that I was going to be scrutinized and I knew that there was going to be comparisons.”
Grohl noted that should he ever re-write the liner notes for their debut album, he would dedicate it to Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain due to the impact the band had on his life.
“It’s safe to say that we wouldn’t be here right now talking about this if it weren’t for my time in Nirvana. And I had learned so many lessons from Kurt, I learned so many lessons from Krist. It was such an honor to be in that band and it was so devastating when it ended,” Grohl said.
A tour set to coincide with Foo Fighters’ 25th anniversary has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, with shows in Canada and the US now tentatively set for October.
Grohl addressed the coronavirus shutdown and its impact on musicians and concert-goers in a recent column he wrote for The Atlantic:
“In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it’s hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other.”
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Here are six essential Foo Fighters songs to mark the band’s 25th anniversary:
Fast fact: This song is the second single from Foo Fighters’ second album, “The Colour and the Shape.”
Sample lyrics: “Breathe out // So I can breathe you in // Hold you in // And now // I know you’ve always been // Out of your head // Out of my head I sang.”
‘Learn to Fly’
Fast fact: The “Learn to Fly” music video won a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video.
Sample lyrics: “I’m looking to the sky to save me // Looking for a sign of life // Looking for something help me burn out bright // I’m looking for a complication // Looking ’cause I’m tired of trying // Make my way back home // When I learn to fly (high).”
‘All My Life’
Fast fact: This song was the first single from the group’s fourth album, which was recorded in Grohl’s basement. Grohl told Rolling Stone it was “the biggest (expletive) song the band ever had.”
Sample lyrics: “All my life I’ve been searching for something // Something never comes never leads to nothing // Nothing satisfies but I’m getting close // Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
Fast fact: In “Stacked Actors,” the band takes a not-so-subtle jab at Hollywood phonies.
Sample lyrics: “Will you resign to the latest design // You look so messy when you dress up in dreams // One more for hire // Or wonderful liar? // I think its time we all should come clean // Stack dead actors // Stacked to the rafters // Line up the bastards // All I want is the truth.”
Fast fact: The song was a staple on alternative radio in 1998, almost from the minute it was released in January.
Sample lyrics: “Too alarmin’ now to talk about // Take your pictures down and shake it out // Truth or consequence, say it aloud // Use that evidence, race it around // There goes my hero // Watch him as he goes // There goes my hero // He’s ordinary.”
‘Best of You’
Fast fact: The group’s highest-ranking song on the Billboard charts to date.
Sample lyrics: “Are you gone and onto someone new? // I needed somewhere to hang my head // Without your noose // You gave me something that I didn’t have // But had no use // I was too weak to give in // Too strong to lose // My heart is under arrest again // But I break loose // My head is giving me life or death // But I can’t choose // I swear I’ll never give in // I refuse.”
Follow Gary Dinges on Twitter @gdinges
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Foo Fighters: Six essential tracks to mark group’s 25th anniversary