By CHRIS LUCIANIN
Hello again, Trax Packers, and welcome back to #SoundTrax. With The Foo Fighters (my favorite band) about to drop their eighth studio album, I wanted to do a special tribute to them that included a brief time line and description of their albums — from after the tragic passing of Kurt Cobain that gave Dave his voice all the way up to present-day.
Note: This is a discography time line. Some details (not all), such as record labels and band member additions/dropouts, have been left out. The Platinum and Gold tallies are marked between RIAA, ARIA, BPI, IFPI Counts, and RIANZ and are not reflective of individual sales.
1994-95: The Birth of The Foo Fighters
After the end of Nirvana, Dave Grohl purchased some studio time to record a 15-track demo. Being the talented musician he is, he played every instrument and sang on the recordings. Grohl then signed a record deal with former Nirvana rep, Gary Gersh, who took over at Capitol Records. He then recruited three members to join his new project: William Goldsmith, Nate Mendel and Pat Smear (Smear and Mendel still play in the Foo’s to this day — guitar and bass, respectively. Goldsmith has since been replaced by a God amongst men drummers, Taylor Hawkins.) Being a huge UFO buff, Grohl decided that their band name and the self titled EP would be called, The Foo Fighters (WWII term for UFO).
1995: Foo Fighters
The EP was released with just minor edits, making Dave the only credited musician on this album, as he recorded it in studio by himself. Notable singles off the album included “This is A Call,” “I’ll Stick Around” and “Big Me.” This album reached No. 23 on the charts in the United States — and went all the way up to No. 2 in New Zealand. The record went two-time Platinum and one-time Gold.
1997: The Colour and the Shape
THE. BEST. ALBUM. OF. ALL. TIME (this might be the homer in me talking, but God I love that album). Words can’t describe the absolute talent, and overall chops the riffs on this album produce. Hit after hit after hit this album pulls everything the Foo’s stand for. “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” and “Everlong” were all huge commercial successes and radio No. 1s. However, the best song on the album, and probably the best Foo song ever is “Hey, Johnny Park.” Many in the music industry think that Grohl was playing off of his international success by spelling “Color” the European way, “Colour,” which, in hindsight, is not very ‘Murica and hence, not very Rock ‘n Roll. Bruce Springsteen probably cried a little. This went four-time Platinum and was No. 10 in the U.S.
1999: There is Nothing Left to Lose
This album is significant in two ways: it gave us the epic jam that is “Learn to Fly,” and also introduced us to the Demi God, Taylor Hawkins. Four-time Platinum; No. 10 in the U.S.
2002: One by One
This was the first glimmer in the light of the Foo’s that showed they were in fact, human. Like all amazing rock bands there comes a time when egos grow, and creativity starts to take an alpha role (like Ted and JJ). Initial recording wasn’t received well by the label, which led to finger pointing. The band powered through and landed two big hits, “All My Life” and “Times Like These,” which are some of the Foo’s best work. They took on the role of the more heavy rock feel that we know today. Grohl’s been quoted saying this new riff style of heavy guitars, tight bass lines, and killer drum solos was inspired by the band’s live performances. Six-time Platinum, four-time Gold, No. 3 in the U.S.
2005: In Your Honor
In typical Grohl fashion, he attempts to change the game by releasing this album as a dual disc. One disc, heavy guitars. The other disc, acoustic. MIND. BLOWN. Well received by Foo Fans, the heavy rock side of this disc produced hits such as “No Way Back,” “Best of You,” “DOA” and “Resolve.” Some of their best work. 15-time Platinum, three-time Gold. No. 2 in the U.S.
2007: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Besides their main single off of this album, “The Pretender,” the album is worth skipping in my opinion. It was not the most well-received Foo album of all time because it blends acoustic rock with rhythm rock and hard rock — all on the same album. Little late in your career to be taking psychedelic drugs Dave, don’t ya think? Still rallying from their last album. Eight-time Platinum, three-time Gold, No. 3 in the U.S.
2011: Wasting Light
Absolute excellence. Going back to their heavy riffing routes, Grohl rounded up the gang and brought them back to his garage in California to just jam — and Wasting Light was the product. The band went for a heavier and rawer sound to contrast with the musical experiments from their previous albums, and it’s fucking awesome. Pumping out true rock hits that break the social norm of the “octane” music it was going up against. This album flourished with hit singles “Bridge Burning,” “Rope,” “Dear Rosemary,” “Alandria,” “These Days,” “Back and Forth” and “Walk.” With this absolute juggernaut of an album, the Foo’s truly hit their stride, landing their first U.S. No. 1. Six-time Platinum and eight-time Gold.
2014: Sonic Highways (?)
Only time will tell what is up next for the Foo’s. However, if they truly are only hitting their stride now, we are in store for what could be the next great rock band (if they aren’t already). As for Sonic Highways, that will be another article for #SoundTrax.
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Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf – The Game
As a real hip hop fan it’s nice to hear The Game rely on rhythm, flow and analogies to absolutely crush it on Blood Moon. His best album since The Documentary. One of the best MCs out there right now, and doesn’t get quite the recognition of clowns like “2 Chainz” who I swear one time rhymed “Big Booty” with “Big Booty.” If you’re a fan of real hip hop, with the likes of old school NAS, Fabolous, and Masta Ace, check out Blood Moon.
“Cigarette Daydreams” – Cage The Elephant
Another hipster/Starbucks/Pumpkin Spice ER’THING band for my single of the week, but hey, it’s just what I’ve been feeling. I heard this song for the first time on SIRIUSXM U, it’s a live cut from a small performance these guys did at a small guitar center. Pretty awesome. Cage the Elephant tugs at the heart strings in a way that makes you want to live in an overpriced apartment on the Upper East Side, look out the window while it’s raining, and date a girl with short hair who is probably kind of a bitch. They have a strange effect on people.
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SONG THAT MAKES ME WANT TO PUNT BABIES:
“Drunk Americans” by Toby Keith.
Okay, maybe I don’t get country music as much as I should, but I came across this song and thought it was a joke. Like that Red Solo Cup nonsense. It’s a real song — about drunk Americans with beer guts, ex-wives and gambling problems. Sounds awesome, right? It’s not. It’s an abomination to music with no chords, no rhythm, and no feel. Besides, it makes me want to vote Democrat all of the time. But here’s a link. Enjoy? Or storm my house with pitchforks. You decide:
Until next time, Trax Pack. I’m Chris Lucianin, and this is Sound Trax.