Deep Album Cuts Vol. 24: Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters are an easy band to like, and a hard one to love. A lot of people can admit grudging respect for "Everlong" and some other hits from their pretty remarkable run of singles, and maybe either or both of their first two albums, but things tend not to go much further than that. Mostly I think it just irks a lot of people that such an important band with such a dark story as Nirvana was followed by one of its sidemen embarking on a long career the most happy-go-lucky frontman in mainstream rock. And sure, Foo Fighters songs are mostly just lyrically slapdash excuses for riffs and drum fills, but they're pretty great riffs and drum fills.

With their 8th album Sonic Highways and a whole HBO series of the same name about to roll out this fall, it feels remarkable that Dave Grohl has done so much to successfully brand himself in the mainstream as rock's last true believer. But I really don't think he would've been able to do that, even with the lingering Nirvana fame, if he hadn't consistently churned out shiny, brutally effective radio singles for over a decade. And while the albums are often patchy outside of the singles (although One By One is I think the only one Grohl will cop to being filler-heavy), I have a soft spot for deep cuts on pretty much all of them. It wasn't difficult to assemble this, other than cutting out a few songs I really like. And really, Wasting Light turned out to be one of their best albums ever, so I have kind of high hopes that the new one will have value beyond the whole over-the-top concept they used to record it.

Foo Fighters Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. My Poor Brain
2. Good Grief
3. The Deepest Blues Are Black
4. Hey, Johnny Park!
5. Aurora
6. Wattershed
7. Hell
8. A Matter Of Time
9. Summer's End
10. Enough Space
11. See You
12. Overdrive
13. Up In Arms
14. Tired Of You
15. Doll
16. Miss The Misery
17. I Should Have Known
18. Weenie Beenie
19. Razor
20. Word Forward
21. February Stars

Tracks 2, 6 and 18 from Foo Fighters (1995)
Tracks 1, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15 and 21 from The Colour and the Shape (1997)
Track 5 from There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999)
Tracks 12 and 14 from One By One (2002)
Tracks 3, 7 and 19 from In Your Honor (2005)
Track 9 from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007)
Track 20 from Greatest Hits (2009)
Tracks 8, 16 and 17 from Wasting Light (2010)

I tried to be very strict about deep cuts here, which was touch because a ton of the best Foo Fighters songs are minor hits and UK-only singles, stuff that didn't appear on their Greatest Hits album and don't get any radio play today but aren't full-on deep cuts ("For All The Cows," "Stacked Actors," "No Way Back," "Cheer, Up Boys," "Arlandria," the list goes on).

It was inevitable that The Colour and the Shape would dominate the playlist, and I actually left off a couple songs I love just to keep it from total overkill. But what really speaks volumes is how much I leaned on that album for songs that gave the playlist variety. There just aren't songs like "My Poor Brain" or "See You" or "Up In Arms" on their other albums, and having that stuff in here I think helps break up the more monolithic idea of the band's sound that's been fostered by the more homogeneous later albums. Grohl is a more interesting, idiosyncratic songwriter than he gets credit for. Another thing I love about Foo Fighters albums that's lacking from their singles is the brevity of a lot of songs. Their Greatest Hits features only one song that's under 3 minutes, and I've got seven on this comp.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
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