These days, Foo Fighters are one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Their new sure-to-be-mega seventh album Wasting Light is due in a little under two months from now, and founding Foo Dave Grohl is the recent recipient of NME’s Godlike Genius Award. Back in 1995 though, they were an unknown yet promising quantity, the latter due to the weighty legacy intrinsically tied to them. While the fact that the Foo Fighters were created by a member of Nirvana—ubiquitously regarded as the most important rock band of the last 20 years—is never far from public consciousness even now, in the early days of the group’s existence it was of interest to people precisely because the Foo Fighters was Dave Grohl, Former Nirvana Drummer, who started the low-key recording project as a sort of musical therapy in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s April 1994 suicide.
But even from the get-go, it was clear to me that Foo Fighters were capable of crafting tunes that rank up there with the best Nirvana compositions. In fact, I was a Foo Fighters fan before I even heard Nirvana’s Nevermind all the way through, and I was unaware for an embarrassingly long time that the two alt-rock combos shared a key member (in my defense, goateed late ‘90s Grohl looked a bit different from the long-haired, clean-shaven beat master behind the kit in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video). To this day, I consider their first two albums—Foo Fighters (1995) and The Colour and the Shape (1997)—the best material they ever produced. Boasting a hearty serving of fantastic radio hits and ace album cuts, these two records should be the first stop for anyone aiming to delve into the Foo Fighters back catalog.