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Foo Fighters
If there is one thing that the Foo Fighters (name taken from a forties air force slang for UFOs) have been endowed with, it is an expanded vision. And their fifth album sees the band oscillating between two tremendous extremes. In Your Honor - their fifth release - is a double album with the first positioned to be the exact antithesis of all that is on offer on the second album. The Foos have never been short on energy levels and their ability to create musical havoc is known to come quite naturally.

Anthem rock is rare these days but the Foo Fighters occupy more space in that category than most others. Screaming vocals, adulterated guitars and blasting drums mixed with carefully polished melodies have ensured that they have alienated no one in their quick rise to rock n' roll majesty.

Few musicians are as restless as Dave Grohl. He's played drums with Queens Of The Stone Age and also played with Brian May and the Nine Inch Nails. He has also campaigned across America with John Kerry and rumours about a solo album were eventually put to rest with the making of In Your Honor.

In Your Honor marks a decade for the Foo Fighters who started out in 1995 as an accidental aftermath to Kurt Cobain's quick and decisive end to Nirvana. But Dave Grohl was already recording material while drumming with Nirvana. In a recent interview with Billboard, Grohl reveals how his short stint in Nirvana, where he came in as the sixth replacement drummer, was shadowed by insecurities and chaos. He says, 'I don't know if they'd (Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic) ever had a drummer they were totally happy with. There was never much of a deeper connection outside of the music.'

The demo of the Foo Fighters debut self-titled album was made with Dave Grohl playing most of the instruments with help from his friend Barrett Jones. It was only a short time later that Capitol released the album in 1995. With the release of the single Big Me followed by heavy touring and promo, the album sold over a million copies and already set the Foo Fighters up as amongst the most sought after rock acts of the time.
It was their next album, The Colour And The Shape released in 1997, when grunge was on its way out, that The Foo Fighters laid claim to the title of one of the biggest rock successes in the year. With singles like Monkey Wrench and Everlong, comparisons to Nirvana were forever put to rest and it was then that they began their upward ascent into the rock n' roll stratosphere. The album went multi-platinum and was nominated for two Grammy's. Their next album in 1999 There Is Nothing Left To Lose opened to expected hype as the Foos, by then, were nothing less than superstar material. The album, lead by the single Learn To Fly went platinum within a month of its release and with Taylor Hawkins, Alanis Morissette's drummer, coming on board the band were lent a new and invigorated sound that made There Is Nothing Left To Lose among the best rock albums that year. They received two Grammy's for the album and by then, Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters were far bigger than anything they had intended.

Going by their track record, the Foos were a consistent band that worked hard at getting better. Their fan base grew vastly. In the UK, Australia and Japan, the band was treated just as well as they were at home in the US. The album, One By One, released in 2002, was met with as much fanfare as would be expected. The band did not betray their fans by once again delivering a hard rock album that had all the elements of a quintessential Foo Fighters album. Once again, they were able to garner chart success and pick up another Grammy in 2003.

You can read the rest of our feature on the Foo Fighters in the August 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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