Sunday, May 21, 2017

Grohl lotta love

It's perhaps hard to remember now, but once upon a time Foo Fighters were actually a really good band - specifically around 1997 and their second LP The Colour And The Shape. While I love the rawness of their self-titled debut, its more polished successor is more varied and texturally interesting as a collection of songs. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the album's release, Rolling Stone's Dan Epstein has listed "ten things you didn't know" about it.

That the songs' subject matter largely concerned Dave Grohl's divorce and that the recording process resulted in tensions with drummer William Goldsmith, culminating in his departure, are hardly the revelations that Epstein presents them as. I also knew that 'My Hero' - Grohl's first song explicitly about his former bandmate Kurt Cobain - had been knocking around for a while before finding its way onto the album - I first heard it on a bootleg live cassette from 1995.

However, I wasn't aware that Pat Smear's exit was also already assured (he eventually left four months after the album's release, in September 1997, between me seeing them at V97 in Leeds and at the Sheffield Octagon shortly before Christmas that year), that producer Gil Norton had such an integral role (in terms of the tracklisting and lyrics) or that Grohl was initially planning to bin the riff for 'Everlong' because he thought it was a rip-off of Sonic Youth's 'Schizophrenia'.

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