In 1994, Grunge effectively came to a halt for many of us with the death of Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain. On hindsight it was no surprise that this talented young man would burn out so quickly but this loss left a gap in many of our lives. Secretly, however, drummer and songwriter David Grohl had plans of his own and, in 1995 an album dropped that surprised us all. That album was Foo Fighters.
Why This Album?
There is an old joke, ‘What’s the last thing a drummer says in a band?’ this joke has been around forever and implies that the drummers are good for one thing, keeping the beat. Sure, there are some drummers who do just that, keep a good beat and never do anything more, but then there are drummers like Dave Grohl and those drummers don’t just play their new song, they write and perform an entire album.
The interesting thing about this album is that it is mostly just Grohl by himself. Soon after the death of Cobain and the Nirvana drummer chose to deal with the pain by doing what he did best, he made music. The results, one of the most incredible solo albums that eventually led to the forming of a now legendary band.
I remember being at the record store the day this album was released. Hearing that Dave Grohl had secretly recorded an entire album I was stoked to hear what the former Nirvana drummer had to offer, I was not dissapointed.
I’ll admit, I fully expected the grunge sound of sludgy guitars, simple verse chorus verse and introspective but nonsensical lyrics, instead, Grohl provided a poppy yet powerful rock album and instantly I knew that THIS was the next evolution of one of my favorite bands. For weeks my friend Grayson and I scoured the album, trying to find meaning in Grohl’s lyrics, thinking maybe there was something there about Kurt and the loss of Nirvana. Before long we realized that there is nothing introspective or profound in Grohl’s lyrics, it was clear the man just wanted to play some music and did he ever. It was then that we knew, Foo Fighters was here and it was good.
The album itself is full of shear joy and great music. The lyrics, whether they had meaning or not, were as much a part of the instrumentation as the guitars and drum beat. There was no need for a deeper meaning as every track every track is either full of Pop rock goodness (Big Me) or that classic 90’s rock (oh, George).
Bottom line, this is one of the best albums of the mid 90’s and one that really shows the perseverance of a man with too many options who wants to just rock on.
What’s the last thing a drummer says in a band?
Fuck it, I’m starting my own.
Oh George: This track is one of the few that sound the closest to his time with Nirvana but with a certain shine that could never have been pulled off by his former band.
Good Grief: Every time I hear this track it reminds me of The Beets from the animated series called Doug. I am not sure why but it makes me love it all that more.
Floaty: This one is such a dreamlike tune that I scoured over as a kid thinking there was something more to the lyrics. Was he singing about Kurt floating off as a spirit or something more metaphysical, no, he was just singing, Not much more, but damn it’s good.
Ok, Where do I get it?
I doubt this album will ever go out of print. This is a key album of the 90’s and the start to a band that has had 8 subsequent albums and have toured the world over. There is seriously not a person alive who has not at least heard of The Foo Fighters. After 20+ years of rock, they dont seem like they are slowing down in the least. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up my generations Rolling Stones or Aerosmith, rocking until they simply can’t rock no more.
Either way, give it a spin.
Late to the Game 12/29/2020 (Originally Published 12/10/2019)
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