Top 10 Foo Fighters Songs

Foo Fighters Songs

Photo : By Jo [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Typically, it would be considered an impious course of action to carry on the legacy of a band so important and revolutionary by forming an all-new band with a few of the same traits; that was the case for the Foo Fighters. Coming off the world-shaking suicide of Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl decided that he would form his musical vision that he had in mind ever since he was a teenager. It could have blown up in his face if he even thought about reiterating the same kind of spirit of Nirvana, but Grohl had a different sound in mind, and it all paid off. When the Foo Fighters’ songs rose to mainstream prominence, many thought that their music would be a vacuous reflection of Nirvana, but they had a fresh and easy-going attitude that soon made grunge a thing of the past.

Dave Grohl’s healthy balance between his quiet-to-loud vocal yowls never appears overplayed, and his excellent guitar command showed his range as the guy who was, up until that point, known as “the drummer from Nirvana.” In 1994, Grohl went into the studio to record what would be known as the Foo Fighters’ debut album; he played all of the instruments on the record, and by 1995, he’d get a record deal with Capitol Records. Germs guitarist Pat Smear, who was already the fifth member of Nirvana, soon joined the Foo’s. They would go through a few lineup changes from there before permanently enlisting bassist Nate Mendel, drummer Taylor Hawkins, and lead guitarist Chris Shiflett.

After eight records, millions of sales, critical praise, and undeniable respect in the music industry, it’s no wonder why the Foo’s still sell out stadiums and put out tasty music more than twenty years later. Dave Grohl has undoubtedly proved why he’s the most fabulous and most beloved rock star of his generation, and he continues to do things that make us adore him even more. So, for our list, we’ll be pulling Foo Fighters songs from each of their albums that show a glimpse into why the Foo Fighters are a band not to mess with.

# 10 – Aurora

There Is Nothing Left to Lose, their third studio album, showcased the genesis of their new drummer, the late Taylor Hawkins, and shined a light on a new direction for the Foo Fighters. They ditched their post-grunge ferocity for a more melodic essence, and Aurora is a glistening example. It has a soft and sweet progression, with just the right texture of amplification to turn this song into the perfect open-road anthem. It’s also the perfect song to open our Top 10 Foo Fighters Songs List.

# 9 –  Exhausted

Their self-titled debut was the kind of record the world of rock needed after Nirvana was laid to rest, along with their spokesman, Kurt Cobain. As the title suggests, this is an exhausting Foo Fighters song. It’s loud, rude, and nauseating, but it has a heart within its context. It’s got a real “Nirvana” swagger to it without riding on its coattails. Grohl’s drumming makes this song, too.

# 8 – New Way Home

This was the song to close out their great sophomore effort, The Colour And The Shape, and it’s everything you’d come to expect from the catalog of Foo Fighters songs. It glides through a wave of different dynamics that came to define the band. It kicks off the opening with a blistering riff that wears Grohl’s shoe-gazing vocals with style, but not until it turns everything down a notch halfway through with a quiet intensity, before exploding into a hopeful finale.

# 7 – Dear Rosemary

When the Foo Fighters recorded their seventh record, Wasting Light, they wanted to return to the rudimentary basics that made their previous work raw. So they cut the album in Grohl’s garage using only analog equipment, with Butch Vig serving as producer; he produced Nirvana’s Nevermind, among other things. Dear Rosemary is one of their craziest yet masterfully composed numbers, showing a darker side to the Foo’s. Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü also makes a guest appearance on the song.

# 6 – Skin and Bones

This song was released as a B-side for their hit single “DOA,” and later appeared on their EP, Five Songs and a Cover. A stripped-down, acoustic version subsequently made its way into the setlist of their live album of the same name; Skin and Bones are on here because of that version. It’s a beautiful bundle of harmony with very poignant lyrics that are every bit as depressing as they are stimulating.

# 5 – Waiting On A War

At the halfway point of our list of top 10 Foo Fighters songs, we turn to one of the band’s most recent releases, “Waiting On A War.” This emotional rocking song was issued on the band’s recent studio album entitled Medicine at Midnight. The album was released in 2021. What starts as a mid-paced acoustic rocker becomes a full-blown intense rock and roll epic towards the song’s ending.

# 4 –  I Am A River

Sonic Highways is probably their most original record, and one of their best, because they took this great concept and turned it into a history lesson for music. Dave Grohl produced this excellent miniseries on HBO a few years back titled Sonic Highways, where he and the band toured different cities across the United States that were home to some of the most monumental recording studios; they interviewed a wide variety of musicians from their collective home states who pioneered the particular genre that area was known for. Everywhere from Seattle, Nashville, Austin, all the way to Chicago, New Orleans, D.C., L.A., and New York, an amazing documentary on the history of music if you haven’t watched it. I Am A River is an emotional epic that cleanses the soul with a shower of that organic Foo Fighters rain.

# 3 – Let It Die

This one is, hands down, one of their most badass tunes; it’s like two polar opposite songs conjoined to the hip. It was only released as a promotional single, but it has every component to make it a commercial success. The first half starts out in a Stairway to Heaven fashion, building up its moving chord changes into a volcanic climax of distorted madness. This is the Foo Fighters we know and love.

# 2 – Everlong

Everlong harbored a sound that symbolized a shift in the mid-nineties; music was moving forward for the bands of that time who realized they weren’t going anywhere if they didn’t switch their style up. There’s a certain nostalgia to a song like this, and it’s also one of Grohl’s most personal compositions because it was written about the break-up of his first marriage. It’s also worth noting that Everlong is David Letterman’s favorite song; the Foo Fighters performed it at the end of the final Late Show episode.

# 1 – Best of You

After much consideration, choosing “Best of You” for the number one spot on our Top 10 Foo Fighters songs list wasn’t daunting. “Best of You” is one of the best songs of the 2000s and is indeed the golden child of the Foo Fighters catalog. It’s riveting, powerful, and inspiring: a song about overcoming the obstacles that try to bring a person down. Grohl has stated that he inspired Best of You after being on presidential candidate John Kerry’s campaign trail.

It’s a song that equates to their legacy as a bona-fide arena band, and it’s their live performance of the song that puts them in a category all of their own when it comes to retaining a spiritual connection with their fans. For further proof, check out their 2008 Wembley Stadium performance; that’s a band feeding off the emotional unity of the crowd singing the words right back to them.

Top 10 Foo Fighters Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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