1995 was quite the year. Clinton was president, Apple had just released the first-ever Macintosh computer, O.J. was on trial and Dave Grohl was still reeling from the death of his friend, Kurt Cobain. In October 1994, – seven months after Cobain’s death – Grohl entered the Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, Washington to record an album he claimed was just for fun. The humble project went on to become the foundation for one of the world’s most unstoppable rock bands. As Foo Fighters’ debut album celebrates its 25th anniversary, dig deep with seven facts about it below.

1. Grohl wrote and recorded all of the songs by himself. He was depressed following Cobain’s death and decided to book six days at the studio to record “my favorite songs I had written in the past four, five years that no one had heard”. According to him, the recording sessions consisted of him running from room to room, “still sweating and shaking from playing drums and [then] pick[ing] up the guitar and put[ting] down a track, do[ing] the bass, maybe another guitar part, have a sip of coffee and then go in and do the next song”. The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli provided a guitar part on “X-Static”, making it the only song to include an artist besides Grohl.

2. During the sessions, Grohl received an invitation to guest drum for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ performance on Saturday Night Live the month after. The gig led to an immediate invitation to join the band. An offer from Danzig followed, but Grohl turned down both jobs because “it would just remind me of being in Nirvana; every time I sat down at a drum set, I would think of that.” After hearing about Foo Fighters, Petty pushed Grohl to pursue to the project.

3. Grohl had never planned for Foo Fighters to be a solo project. He and producer Barrett Jones concocted a plan where Grohl would write and record the songs, but release the album under a name that would make people believe it was a band. “Foo Fighters” came from the nickname coined by World War II aircraft pilots for UFOs they reported seeing. Grohl is a huge fan of space so the album’s artwork is of an antique Buck Rogers raygun. Grohl is such an intergalactic fan that he was invited to appear as an extra in a 1995 episode of X Files.

4. As per the plan, Grohl decided that the album’s release would be low-key with only 100 LP records being pressed. He then went to a cassette duplication lab to make 100 additional copies to give to friends for feedback. “I’d give tapes to everybody. Kids would come up to me and say ‘Nirvana was my favourite band’ and I’d say ‘well here, have this'”. Eddie Vedder premiered two of the songs on January 8, 1995 during his Self-Pollution radio broadcast. The recordings soon became sought after in the music industry, leading to record label interest. Grohl ultimately signed with Capital Records and formed a band.

5. The original line up Grohl chose included bassist Nate Mendel, drummer William Goldsmith of the recently disbanded Sunny Day Real Estate and Nirvana’s touring guitarist and former Germs member, Pat Smear. Before releasing the album, and despite Grohl being the album’s only contributor, the record label still insisted that the liner notes included a photo of the full band he had recruited.

6. In June 1995, “This Is a Call” was released as the band’s first-ever commercial single. To promote the album, the band played a circuit of 25 shows in one month. On August 14, the band made their network television debut on The Late Show With David Letterman, performing their debut single.

7. The album debuted at #23 on the Billboard 200 on July 4, 1995. As of 2011, it has sold over 1.5 million copies, making it the band’s second most successful album behind 1997’s The Color and The Shape. It was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 1996 Grammy Awards but lost to Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged Live in New York.


SONiC 1-oh-FOO-9 and the Garner Andrews Show are celebrating 25 years of the Foo Fighters!

Join Garner for an anniversary party broadcast, featuring a very special guest, on July 4 at 9am and 6pm, and again on July 5 at 11am and 9pm.

Find all of the ways to listen to SONiC HERE.

Filed under: Foo Fighters