Friday, July 22, 2011

History of the Foo - Part III

(If you haven't read the other two might want to go back and start there...)

After the beginning of the band...there were the usual issues.  Band members came and went.  There was drama and growing pains.  The growth of pop and rap pushed rock acts to the back of the line.  MTV changed to become primarily reality TV and people started becoming more interested in country music.  But through it all, the Foo Fighters kept moving along.  They kept finding ways to reinvent themselves to do something different.  For people who don't really understand what this means...I suppose it is just letting the music reflect what is going on at the time and not being afraid to take risks.

That's another reason I love this band...they are constantly evolving.  No matter what mood I am in...I can find something in their library of songs that suits me.

The second album was "The Colour and the Shape" and featured an ambitious 20 song album.  Because it was released in 1997, getting MTV airplay was still a good way to build exposure for the band.  The essentials are Everlong, Monkey Wrench, My Hero, Walking After You and Wind Up. 

Most hilarious to me is that the band members play all of the roles.  That's Taylor Hawkins (the drummer) in the blond wig and the guitarist (Pat Smear) and bass player (Nate Mendel) after Dave's character. 

"Monkey Wrench" is probably in my top three Foo Fighters videos.  According to my iPod is also one of the top three I listen to.  If you listen to the "elevator music" in this video, you'll hear "Big Me."  Nice touch.

"My Hero" is a great song and one that everyone has probably heard as it got a lot of radio play.

"Walking After You" was inspired by and used on the "X Files" TV show, the video doesn't really reflect it.  It has that "stalker" feel to it like the Police's "Every Breath You Take" - or maybe that's just my interpretation.  And the girl?  Just an actress.  But you'd never know by watching.  In fact, Dave is so good at the acting parts in most of the videos (especially the funny ones) that I think he should host Saturday Night Live AND be the musical guest (with the band, of course). 

No video...but a great song.  It has that classic "rock screaming" that Dave is prone to doing at least once on every album.

After more personnel changes, the band was down to three (Dave, Nate and Taylor) and they released the band's third album "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" - which I thought was an appropriate name - in 1999. The album was recorded in Dave's basement and the cover art shows the "FF" tattoo on the back of Dave's neck as the primary image. 

Essential songs from this album are "Learn To Fly," "Breakout," and "Ain't It The Life."  Frankly, I actually like the "B sides" of this album a lot.  These include "Gimme Stitches" - which sounds like it should have been on the soundtrack for the movie "Fight Club" - but wasn't (but could have possibly been inspired by the movie since the movie and the song were released in the same year), "Stacked Actors" - inspired by Dave's time living in Los Angeles (or about Courtney Love...she thinks so, anyway), "MIA" - because I love the lyrics...clever, "Headwires," and "Next Year."  It was this album that changed the band's sound to more melodic.  Of course, "Breakout" and "Stacked Actors" satisfied the fans expecting class Foo Fighters.

My favorite video is "Learn To Fly."  Check out Jack Black and Kyle Gass from "Tenacious D" and the different roles that each of the band members play.  Also, listen for "airplane music" of the band's song "Everlong" before the video starts.  Hilarious.

The song "Breakout" was in "You, Me and Irene."

 "Ain't It The Life" is really a pretty song.  Not exactly what you'd expect from a rock band, is it?

In 2002, the band released another album after more band drama...and after the addition of guitarist Chris Shiflett.  Essential songs on this album: "All My Life," "Times Like These," and "Low."

"All My Life" is the song that the band plays at every show.  Amazing energy.

This is my favorite Foo Fighters song - "Times Like These" - but actually, the version I prefer is the acoustic version like this...
Amazing, isn't it?

In fact, it was a live version of "Times Like These" that got me started on Foo Fighters to begin with.  I bought a CD at Target called the "Target Red Room" for something like five dollars.  "Times Like These" was on that CD.  That was in 2005.  I've been a fan ever since. 

I've been an obsessed fan for the past two years.

Come back tomorrow for Part IV.  See you then...

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