The band that entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the very year they were eligible. Holding 15 Grammy Awards, of course, we’re talking about the Foo Fighters. We’re going to take a little bit of a journey through all their studio albums- All of which are available on vinyl!
The Beginning of the Foo Fighters
With humble beginnings in 1994, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl started up the Foo Fighters. Starting off as a one-man band, Grohl initially hired unofficial members to help with live performances. These included Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith of Sunny Day Real Estate and Pat Smear, Nirvana touring guitarist.
The debut, self-titled album “Foo Fighters” released in 1995. Producing the band’s first handful of singles in “Big Me”, “I’ll Stick Around” and “For All The Cows”. While Grohl had hired in help at this stage, he had recorded this album on his own. The album is a raw release of energy, songs that have been locked away by the drummer of Nirvana for years finally found their audience in 1995.
This time when entering the studio, Grohl had several hands to help him put the next Foo Fighters album together. While he did write all the songs again, he also had the rest of the band’s help in arrangements. Unfortunately, Grohl re-recorded Goldsmith’s drumming tracks to replace them with his own, ultimately leading to Goldsmith leaving the band.
Enter Taylor Hawkins, the next drummer to enter the Foo Fighters. He made his debut with the band’s second album, “The Colour and the Shape” in 1997. This album met a lot of trouble during recording, but given its current status of popularity amongst fans, the trouble was worth it. It brought about popular hits like “Monkey Wrench”, a hard one not to sing along to, as well as “My Hero” and “Everlong”. As well as the hits, there are the underrated “February Stars” and “Walking After You”, this album’s songs generally came with very thoughtful lyrics paired with its wonderfully grungy sound.
It wouldn’t be the story of the Foo Fighters without more member-swaps. Smear left the band in 1997, down to his own exhaustion and refusal to head out on another long and tiring tour. In his place came Franz Stahl. However, outsiting of touring, this didn’t last very long. Stahl didn’t even stick around to record the next album due to butting heads with Grohl over songwriting.
“There is Nothing Left To Lose” released in 1999, with just a trio of Grohl, Mendel and Hawkins at the helm. The popular “Learn To Fly” spawned from this album, with another fun music video to boost its popularity. As well as this, the beautifully crafted ballad “Next Year” makes its appearance as well. The album goes on a journey of sorts, from the bouncy rock sound, perfect for massive crowds to be jumping around to as the Foo Fighters are very well known for, then moving onto a new wave sound and being wrapped up by some of the most heartfelt and sincere tracks the band had ever put together.
Having lost Smear in the process of the last album, a new guitarist was recruited. Chris Shiflett joined the group, initially just for tour assistance but then coming on full time before the production of the next album.
Unfortunately, this next album also met troubled production. Quickly into recording, the album caused many fights between the band, while at the same time, Grohl was helping Queens of the Stone Age complete another album, “Songs for the Deaf”.
However after a successful live performance and an honest talk between Grohl and Hawkins, they were able to get the album back on track and “One by One” was released in 2002. This album isn’t particularly popular amongst fans, but it did come with songs “All My Life”, “Times Like These”, “Low” and “Have it All”. These songs have a good emotional weight to them, but many, including Grohl himself, believe that there are only 4 good songs on the record and the rest aren’t up to par. Interestingly, “Times Like These” saw use in political agenda by George W. Bush, which Grohl bit back at by hosting acoustic solo performances at John Kerry campaigns and one with the whole band at a presidential debate.
A few years passed before the next record was produced, as Grohl didn’t wish to rush right into the next album after the troubled development of “One by One”.
What came of the next recording was “In Your Honor” in 2005. The Foo Fighters’ first venture into a double album, one half being acoustic and the other being the hard rock the Foo’s were known for. The band’s first stable lineup resulted in their biggest production yet, delivering “Best Of You”, “Resolve” and much more underrated tracks like “Friend of a Friend”. This album was finally a departure from the endless comparisons to Grohl’s past with Nirvana and a wonderful showcase of Grohl’s talented songwriting. He got to show it off even more with some of the lesser appreciated tracks on tour, like “”Ain’t It the Life” and “See You”.
Following in 2007, “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” was released and with it came one of the most legendary and well-known Foo Fighters songs to ever release, “The Pretender”. It earned them a spot in Wembley Stadium to play with some of the greats, including playing onstage alongside Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. “Lon Road to Ruin” also released in single format, with a music video to help promote it. As well as the roaring success of the album, Pat Smear announced his return to the Foo Fighters. Things were looking up!
With Smear’s return to the band, “Wasting Light” was put together in 2011. Whether it was Smear’s return or a venture away from the more experimental period of the last few albums, “Wasting Light” returned the Foo’s to their grungy, hungry and immensely energetic energy that they showed decades before. “Rope”, the album’s first single, is an instant hook down to its incredible opening riff. Grohl exhibits that he’s still got a strong pair of lungs to scream out his songs in “White Limo”. Certain songs like “These Days” takes the vulnerable formula of the acoustic outings of the band and perfectly blends them with the hard rock the Foo Fighters are best known for.
Just a few years later in 2014, “Sonic Highways” released after tours and a long and very interesting production theme. 8 tracks recorded in 8 different cities. The TV show was a fun success, and the album remained to be what the Foo’s do best- Hard rock and roll. While most of the influence of each city tends to just lie in the lyrics, the heavy rock still stands very strong and the finishing track of “I Am A River” leaves the album off on a very high, emotional note.
The band had another small break, but during the recording of their next album, their numbers went from five to six. Keyboardist Rami Jaffee joined the ranks of the Foo Fighters.
The Foo Fighters Go From Five to Six
In 2017, “Concrete and Gold” was released. Interestingly, this was the absolute closest to a politically themed album that the Foo Fighters had gotten, due to it being produced shortly after President Donald Trump was elected. There are absolutely themes of hope and determination through what felt to be dire times, but they were subtle enough so as not to completely label this album as political. “Run” was the first single to release and did so in promotion of the album. The album is overall a little angry, a lot of rock, and with Jaffee joining the band, happy to show the Foo’s were still more than happy to experiment.
The band, after returning from touring once more, settled in to start recording their next album in 2019. Unfortunately, it was quickly delayed due to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and would be picked back up when it was safe enough to do so.
So in 2021, “Medicine at Midnight” would be released. Singles “Shame Shame”, “No Son of Mine” and “Waiting on a War” were released before the album itself was. Overall, the album was just another solid Foo Fighters album. Not quite as much experimental material, but plenty of hard and heavy rock to dive into the mosh pit to.
As of now, this is a brief look at all of the Foo Fighters’ studio albums so far. That’s right, we only covered the studio albums! There is plenty more history to this legendary band’s history, and many more records under their names. Singles, EPS, live albums and even movies have been released under the band’s name.
Unfortunately on March 25th 2022, Taylor Hawkins passed away. His legacy lives on throughout all the albums above and the rest of the Foo Fighters’ legacy as well as his prior endeavors before the band.
Have a look below at Foo Fighters albums we currently have in stock, and make sure you invest in listening to this incredibly talented band on the high quality of vinyl.