When Foo Fighters released a debut album written and recorded entirely by leader Dave Grohl -- at that point known only as the powerhouse drummer for Nirvana -- in the summer of 1995, few would have guessed that the group would wind up as the only band to survive the '90s alt-rock explosion unscathed. Once the band's lineup coalesced around the time of its third album in 1999, Foo Fighters' sound also gelled into a recognizable signature built upon the heavy, melodic, loud-quiet-loud template of the Pixies and Nirvana, the modern rock anchored by a love of classic guitar rock. When Wasting Light became their first number one album in America in 2011, it was confirmation that Foo Fighters were survivors who had earned a large audience primarily through hard work. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
The Foo Fighters are an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1994. Drummer Dave Grohl formed the group as a one-man project after the dissolution of his previous band, Nirvana. Prior to the release of the band's debut album in 1995, Grohl drafted two members from the former band Sunny Day Real Estate, Nate Mendel as bassist and William Goldsmith as drummer, as well as fellow Nirvana bandmate Pat Smear as guitarist to complete the group. Goldsmith left during the recording of the group's second album in 1997 and Smear's departure followed soon afterward. They were replaced by Taylor Hawkins and Franz Stahl, respectively, although Stahl left before the recording of the group's third album in 1999. Chris Shiflett then joined as the band's third guitarist and in 2010 it was confirmed that Smear had officially rejoined the band. The current lineup consists of Grohl, Smear, Mendal, Hawkins and Shiflett.
The band's self-titled debut album was released in 1995 and peaked at #23 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was certified platinum in the United States. It was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 1996 Grammy Awards ceremony. "This Is a Call" the lead single, debuted at #12 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and quickly rose to a peak of #2.
Their follow-up 1997’s “The Colour and the Shape” reached #10 on the Billboard 200, and went platinum in the U.S., Australia and Canada. "Monkey Wrench" was the first single released, and peaked at #9 on both the Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. The second single "Everlong" went to #3 on the Modern Rock Tracks and #4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. “My Hero” the third single, peaked at #6 on the Modern Rock Tracks and #8 on the the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. “The Colour and the Shape” was a Grammy nominee for Best Rock Album in 1998.
1999’s “There Is Nothing Left to Lose” was again certified platinum in the U.S., Australia and Canada. It peaked at #10 on the Billboard 200. The lead single, "Learn to Fly" was the band's first single to peak at #1 reaching the top spot on Modern Rock Tracks chart and also reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Other charting singles included, “Staked Actors,” “Breakout” and “Next Year.” In 2001 the album won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album and “Learn to Fly” won a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.
Foo Fighters' fourth album 2002’s “One by One” was their first to top the charts in the United Kingdom and Australia. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. The album was the second Foo Fighters released to have a song reach the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart, with "All My Life." “One by One” won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2004 while “All My Life” took home the award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
The band's fifth album, “In Your Honor” was released in 2005 and featured two discs, one electric and one acoustic. It reached #2 on the Billboard 200 and in the U.K. The single, "Best of You" achieved the band's highest certifications for a single, earning platinum status in the US and Canada. It, along with the second single, “DOA” both topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
“Skin and Bones,” a live acoustic album was released in 2006 and peaked #21 on the Billboard 200. The 15-track set was recorded on August 29, 30 and 31, 2006 at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles and showcased an expanded eight-piece lineup featuring violinist/singer Petra Haden, former Germs/Nirvana/Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear, Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee, and percussionist Drew Hester.
The band's album “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” was released in 2007 and topped the charts in the U.K., Australia, Canada and Belgium, earning Foo Fighters more #1s than any other release. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. The album's singles also charted well with "The Pretender," "Long Road to Ruin" and "Let It Die" all topping the Modern Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. The album won the 2008 Grammy for Best Rock Album and "The Pretender" won for Best Hard Rock Performance. The album was also nominated for Album of the Year, while "The Pretender" was also nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rock Song.
In February 2011 the band released “Rope” the first song from their seventh studio album, “Wasting Light.” The single peaked at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs, Rock Songs and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, while also reaching #70 on the Hot 100. The song is only the second in history to debut atop the Rock Songs chart. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the band's first #1 album in the U.S.