Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Rock, Grunge
Almost 15 years on from their debut, Foo Fighters deliver their first Greatest Hits, a 15-track (16 if the double dip on "Everlong" counts) retrospective covering their six albums from 1995 to 2007. Greatest Hits isn't arranged chronologically, which isn't a detriment; if anything, skipping through the years emphasizes just how consistent the Foos have been, always delivering oversized rock & roll where the hooks are as big as the guitars. The only exceptions to the rule are the two lo-fi cuts "Big Me" and "This Is a Call," with "I'll Stick Around" qualifying as this comp's inexplicable omission ("Walking After You," "DOA," "Stacked Actors," and "No Way Back" all also didn't make the cut), plucked from their 1995 debut, where the band was only Dave Grohl recording at home.
We all know the hero myth of Nirvana: Kurt Cobain stormed MTV and radio with punk anthems of genuine rage, and saved us all from the vapidity of hair metal. This story has been repeated so many times that it's rare to find Cobain's music framed in any other context, especially since his suicide served only to make him a rock'n'roll martyr. Foo Fighters have something of a hero myth going on too, but it's a lot less dramatic: Following the death of his comrade, Dave Grohl rocked on as the leader of his own band, and spent the next 15 years making mainstream rock radio, uh, slightly more listenable.
It's interesting how the music that was "alternative" during the '90s has become the classic rock of today. This phenomenon is most apparent with Pearl Jam, their songs now seeming almost as much a staple of classic rock radio as, say, Led Zeppelin. However, in terms of sound and sentiment, one of the bands whose true ethos seems closest to that of classic rock fare is Foo Fighters.