We all know the myth of Nirvana don’t we? How Kurt Cobain reluctantly gathered the born to lose generation around him and stormed the mainstream with anthems of genuine rage and pain before suicide transformed him into rock'n'roll’s ultimate martyr. What may be more of a surprise is that once upon a time the Foo Fighters had something of a myth about them too, although in their case it was a lot less dramatic. The death of such an iconic friend and bandmate was always going to be difficult but Dave Grohl made it infinitely harder for himself by choosing to follow his own path rather than take the easy option of drumming for a living.
I can still remember the day the Foo Fighters self-titled debut came out. It was 1995, I was twelve years old, Kurt had been dead for little over a year and in the UK, laughable, lightweight, non-entities like Stiltskin and Bush were doing their utmost to capture Nirvana’s hallowed crown. But what was surprising about Foo Fighters was how, in such a turgid musical climate, it managed to sneak out almost unnoticed with little fanfare or acclaim.
Naturally, Dave Grohl's connection to Nirvana helped get his foot in the door yet even now, he continues to do the business, banging out a string of pleasurable songs driven by a sturdy rock edge, a big guitar and an even bigger chorus. Laying the groundwork in the early years, he proved just how great he was at playing the game and staying in the mainstream. He must have done because going from Nirvana drummer to his generation's answer to Tom Petty is a seriously remarkable journey in anybody’s book.
Of course, these days, the Foo Fighters are the epitome of contemporary classic rock, the perfect stadium band. And don’t the kids, particularly the middle aged, never moved on from grunge kids, just love ‘em! God bless him, Dave Grohl continues to do his absolute best even if his reference points are a little dull and very predictable. What I like most about him is that he’s clearly a nice bloke trying to be as honest as he can in such a cut throat business. In fact, he’s so nice that even those who would never acknowledge themselves as Foo Fighter fans happily admit to enjoying at least a couple of his songs. In these impatient times where attention spans tend to dart and flicker, that’s not such a bad thing is it?
1. Alone + Easy Target / Foo Fighters / July 1995
2. Floaty / Foo Fighters / July 1995
3. Hey, Johnny Park! / The Colour And The Shape / May 1997
4. My Poor Brain / The Colour And The Shape / May 1997
5. Enough Space / The Colour And The Shape / May 1997
6. Stacked Actors / There Is Nothing Left To Lose / November 1999
7. Breakout / There Is Nothing Left To Lose / November 1999
8. Next Year / There Is Nothing Left To Lose / November 1999
9. Have It All / One By One / October 2002
10. Disenchanted Lullaby / One By One / October 2002
11. Come Back / One By One / October 2002
12. End Over End / In Your Honor / June 2005
13. Cold Day In The Sun / In Your Honor / June 2005
14. Let It Die / Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace / Sept 2007
15. Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running) / Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace / Sept 2007
16. Bridge Burning / Wasting Light / April 2011
17. White Limo / Wasting Light / April 2011
18. The Feast And The Famine / Sonic Highways / November 2014
19. Outside / Sonic Highways / November 2014
20. Subterranean / Sonic Highways / November 2014