A Look Back at the History of a Rock Icon


The Foo Fighters have released multiple albums across multiple decades, rendering them veterans in the industry. Credit: Brian Dyer

Brian Dyer

In 1994, Dave Grohl formed the Foo Fighters with William Goldsmith, Nate Mendel, and Pat Smear and released their first album in 1995. In 2021, They played at the US Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden and released their latest album, Medicine at Midnight. How did they get here?

After Nirvana disbanded because of the death of guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1994, Dave Grohl released recordings he made anonymously under the name of Foo Fighters. He hoped that the name would lead people to assume that the music was created by more than just one person. The demos circulated around the music industry, creating interest in the Foo Fighters name. Afterwards, he formed a band to support the album Foo Fighters, consisting of Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smear, as well as bassist Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith, who were both formerly in the Seattle group Sunny Day Real Estate.

The band released two more albums in the 90s. These include The Colour and the Shape and There is Nothing Left to Lose, the latter of which included their single “Learn to Fly”, which was their first song to reach the US Billboard Hot 100. The band also left Capitol Records and signed with RCA instead after the forced departure of Capitol Records president Gary Gersh.

After releasing One by One and In Your Honor in 2002 and 2005 respectively, the band published Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace in September of 2007. The first single of the album, “The Pretender”, topped Billboard’s Modern Rock chart for 19 weeks. The group’s works were nominated for five Grammys the next year, of which they won Best Rock Album, as well as Best Hard Rock Performance (for “The Pretender”).

After publishing Wasting Light and Sonic Highways, the group began work on their ninth studio album, later to become Concrete and Gold. The single “Run” from the album topped the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in July. The album was issued in September 2017, winning a Grammy for producer Greg Kurstin for Non-Classical Producer of the Year.

And on February 5, 2021, the band released Medicine at Midnight. It was originally scheduled to release in 2020, but because of the pandemic, was delayed to this year. It has received generally positive reception from fans and critics alike. The band has gone through much history to arrive where it is today, and it has much more history to create in the future.