My list of essential summer albums continues to grow with Dave Grohl’s opening salvo as a solo artist, Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut.
After the death of Kurt Cobain in April 1994, Grohl entered a state of depression and stopped making music altogether. After being coaxed into performing a one-off gig in support of Mike Watt’s solo album in June of that year, Grohl was reinvigorated and decided to record a handful of songs he’d written over the last half-decade. These songs became, Foo Fighters, written and performed entirely by Grohl, with the exception of “X-Static,” which features Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli on guitar.
The album was released on the 4th of July, 1995. I remember it well because I was on vacation in Wells Beach, Maine with my family. There were no record stores in the area, so I got up that morning–it was a Tuesday–and drove from Wells Beach to the Newbury Comics on Rt. 1 in Saugus, MA. I bought Foo Fighters on cassette tape, popped it into the tape deck of my 1985 Chevy Monte Carlo, and drove back up to the beach. For me, it started as a summertime album and it’s one I continue to go back to every year at this time.
It stands on it’s own as summertime rock, too, from the kickass opening shots of “This Is A Call” and “I’ll Stick Around” to the hazy and warm “Floaty” to the skate-punk influenced “Weenie Beenie.” I interviewed Dave Grohl in 2007 and told him it was my favorite Foo album (12 years later and it still is). He brushed me off and brushed the album off as “demo tapes,” which is both typical humble-Grohl and inaccurate. What the album lacks in slick production it makes up for in freewheeling summer spirit. Dive back in and get all Floaty below.