Yes, Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters debut album (1995) is a weird grunge history masterpiece

Foo Fighters is the self-title debut album by Dave Grohl’s post-Nirvana band and was released on July 4, 1995 through Mr Grohl’s own label, Roswell Records. Dave Grohl wrote all songs by himself and recorded the whole album within one week. Again, playing all instruments himself, with just a few exceptions.

Some people say that this album was self-therapeutic for Dave Grohl, after Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain tragically passed away in 1994. However, the mood of the album isn’t as dark as one might expect. In addition, having been created in the heydays of grunge, it sounds less psychedelic than most of Nirvana’s music.

One can definitely hear the moody Seattle feel in the songs, but to me it sounds also more melodic, or – dare I say – mainstream than Nirvana. The production is rather dry, which reminds me of a well-mixed demo. It’s nothing like all the *high-gloss grunge productions* of Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Silverchair, and their likes.

The album lyrics make absolutely no sense whatsoever and seem to be more aesthetics and functional rather than story-telling. However, many alternative rock albums from that era didn’t seem to be very intellectual when it came to lyrics. Also, the voice is set relatively far behind in the mix, which makes it difficult to understand the words. Therefore, the lyrics lose their weight.

In terms of sales the album performed quite well for having been a “one-man, one-week production job”. In the United States, it debuted at the Billboard 200 on number 23 and sold 40,000 unites in its first-week. In the UK Album chards it debuted at three, and by the end of 1995, it had reached 900,000 sold albums in the USA and 2 million worldwide.

I don’t feel the album has any bad songs, but here are my favourites:

1. “This Is a Call” 3:53
2. “I’ll Stick Around” 3:52
3. “Big Me” 2:12
5. “Good Grief” 4:01
7. “Weenie Beenie” 2:46
10. “X-Static” 4:13
12. “Exhausted” 5:45

Album grade:
Lyrics 3/10
Musicianship 7/10
Production 5/10
Concept 9/10
Total grade: 6/10

Despite the relatively low grade, I would over-write it and consider this album a gem! Pick it up if you like good old-school 90s grunge rock, and let me know what you think about it. Tweet me at @sebisays and don’t forget, albums matter!

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer