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Rock Music: Foo Fighters

Posted by Catherine Taylor

The new Foo Fighters album Sonic Highways is out in under a month now, as it is released on 10th November 2014, and its popularity is already sky rocketing. The band have done a lot to promote this album, including releasing the single 'Something From Nothing' earlier this month, spurring fans to send out adoring messages on Twitter, the anticipation is building.

This is the band's eighth studio album and was completely unexpected, as they had announced a break in late 2012. But by January 2013 Grohl had announced that they had begun writing new material and just a few months later he confirmed that there would be a new album release in 2014. He also hinted at the unique way that the album would be produced.

The HBO TV show

Last year they produced their one-off documentary Sound City, but on HBO now is their new TV show Sonic Highways. The show sees the band visit the eight American cities that inspired the songs on the new album, showing the recording studio that the band recorded each of the songs in along the way. The highlight for fans will perhaps be the performance of the new songs at the end of each episode. 


The first city they visit is Chicago, and, as well as the lure of revealing the first song, the episode contains interviews, clips and narration that is personal and a real pleasure to watch. There is also a look into the way that Grohl writes the songs, with words taken from interviews and conversations with the people he meets and partially inspired by the social history of each place. He claims to write the songs while the episode is being filmed, and perhaps that is exaggerated, but we do get a look at him working on the lyrics.

But if you're looking for a TV show purely to find out more about Dave Grohl, this perhaps isn't for you. Instead, this show goes deeper into the whole band's history and gives a lot of time to the people being interviewed, who have helped the band with this album. It is a nostalgic look at the incredible 25 years of success Dave Grohl has had with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. So in honour of that let's take a look at how the Foo Fighters started. 

Foo Fighter Beginnings

Foo Fighters was the post-Nirvana project of Dave with Taylor Hawkins (drums), Nate Mendel (bass) and Chris Shiflett (guitar) and saw the drummer-turned-singer storm the charts again and again with an honest approach to rock that was, more often that not, humorously handled. Thankfully too, Grohl could write a melody, and this meant his new band made countless radio hits rather than imitating the obscure punk that had influenced them. 

‘This Is A Call’, ‘I’ll Stick Around’ (both 1995), ‘My Hero’, ‘Walking After You’ (both 1997) – the list went on and on, each single more radio-friendly than the last. Often the singles would come backed with hammy promotional films – but while critics accused Grohl of selling out, the likeability of the singer and the quality of his songwriting won through. The band released a Greatest Hits in 2009, then went briefly quiet as Grohl played with supergroup Them Crooked Vultures. Then, in 2011 they released Wasting Light, their seventh album, which was recorded in Grohl's garage using only analogue equipment and the album had a rawer, heavier sound when compared with their provious albums.

If you love rock music, our fantastic encyclopaedia Rock, A Life Story (ISBN 978-0857758071) with a foreword by Brian May, is the ultimate story of rock music from the 1950s to the present day. Find it on Amazon here.


  • For all your official latest Foo Fighters merchandise you can click here.
  • If you're not already, follow the band on Twitter here to keep up with all their latest goings on.
  • There are still a few tickets left in the Foo Fighters Autumn UK tour, check here to see! 

rock history, 60s music, 70s music, classic rock bands

Topics: Rock Icons, Foo Fighters

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