Initially, I dismissed the Foo Fighters when Dave Grohl brought his new project to the radio.
Despite some early catchy tunes it didn’t really resonate with me and honestly the name Foo Fighters seemed a bit silly and overall I expected the band a personal project that would go nowhere.
Was I wrong.
Over the years, it was hard to ignore their presence as Foo Fighters made hit after hit and quickly surpassed Grohl’s former band. Then Grohl and Taylor Hawkins showed up and put Rush into the Hall of Fame. That was the first time I saw the Foo Fighters live even though it was them acting as Rush. Still, I wasn’t convinced and even wondered where have these guys been in support of Rush all these years? Now they finally show up?
But they got my attention and I began listening.
And the more I heard about Grohl the more I liked. Grohl appears the type of rocker who would gladly give a Q&A interview to a website like drewsreviews.org. Who knows, maybe he’s a jerk, but at least that’s my impression. So what’s not to like about a guy who loves rock, plays it well and seemingly loves his fans, loves playing and giving music to the masses.
So thanks to a significant lull in concert attending, Foo Fighters gets the Drew’s Reviews Top 10 Best treatment. Like previous lists, this Top 10 doesn’t necessary include radio favorites and represents those songs I can’t live without, for the moment, therefore the asterisk*. Time changes all things, right? And like the others this list is not in particular order except for #1.
- Times Like These – One By One
The best of the Foo Fighters catalog as far as I’m concerned. Born from a stressful period of the band’s history while writing 2002’s One By One not only do the lyrics offer some serious reflection for anyone enduring trying times but the accompanying music offers stellar melody. So many driving guitar chords throughout this piece bring this one home.
- Run – Concrete and Gold
So soft, then so hard. Just as your eyes begin to well up from that emotional start “Run” runs an entirely different direction. It’s venomous and sweet while showcasing the solid guitar work that make Foo Fighters one of today’s premier rock bands. “Run” was the first single released off last year’s surprise album Concrete and Gold and for good reason.
- The Pretender – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
A classic off Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, “The Pretender” offers some different time signatures without ever losing focus or energy. It’s a solid rock song that remains a radio, fan, concert and Drew’s Reviews favorite.
- Congregation – Sonic Highways
“Congregation” feels like it’s been around forever but only four years old now and one of several gems off the ambitious Sonic Highways from 2014. By now Foo Fighters have cemented a “sound” that’s exclusively Foo Fighters and “Congregation” falls right in line.
- Monkey Wrench – The Colour and the Shape
“Monkey Wrench” likely represents the song that got me tuning in to the Foo Fighters. One of several anchors to the band’s second album The Colour And The Shape from 1997 “Monkey Wrench” along with “Everlong” and “My Hero” prevented any chance of a sophomore slump and proved the first album that was written and recorded and with all instruments played by Grohl was no fluke. Grohl should have named this album Here To Stay.
- Saint Cecelia – Saint Cecelia EP
Say what? “Saint Cecelia” off the EP of the same name released in 2015 opens this five song short. Sure, it’s got a somewhat familiar guitar chord, but just different enough to stand on its own. I don’t really know if any of the songs off Saint Cecilia received the live treatment but this one certainly deserves a spot on the setlist.
- Long Road to Ruin or Rope – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace or Wasting Light
A first on the Drew’s Review Top 10 list. What shall make this list? OK “Rope” wins. It’s an obvious one and perhaps my penchant towards not picking all radio fare and fan favorites leaned me towards “Long Road to Ruin” but “Rope” off Wasting Light offers a bit more dynamic sounds and helps reshape a familiar Foo Fighters sound.
But dang if “Long Road to Ruin” doesn’t have a pleasant melody. No, no forget it. “Long Road To Ruin” wins out.
Or does it? You pick.
- A Matter of Time – Wasting Light
Obscure? Perhaps but that’s what makes individual Top 10 Lists so interesting. Casual fans probably never heard this tune, the eighth track off Wasting Light, and it’s not the driving guitar that propels this song. Check out the bass line during the chorus. So fetching! Take away that bass and this song simply falls into “Yeah, that’s a pretty good song” territory.
- Walk – Wasting Light
The final track off Wasting Light. At this point you probably see a pattern to Foo Fighters’ songs and what makes them so special. A slow melodic start that takes a plunge into hard rocking guitar that develops into a propulsive yet dynamic harmony that compliments the opening riff.
- La Dee Da – Concrete and Gold
Seriously cannot believe “Lee Dee Da” was not played on the first leg of the Concrete and Gold tour which hopefully means it gets on the setlist for the 2018 leg. Listen to “La Dee Da” with headphones. That obscure guitar lick that pops out of nowhere jolts every time. But it’s not just that cleverness, “La Dee Da” along with the rest of the band’s latest album shows Foo Fighters have a lot left in the tank.
Check back in 10 years. No doubt this list changes some as Foo Fighters just 20 years young continue to push the boundaries of rock and roll and seemingly destined for an FF30 tour. Grohl surrounds himself with accomplished musicians and as long as egos remain in check expect the band to release a new album every three to four years with more fresh takes. Unless Hawkins takes up drumming for Rush.
But seriously Grohl needs to figure out the screaming. It won’t work when he’s 60.