Foo Fighters
Greatest Hits


4.0
excellent

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
November 8th, 2009 | 71 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Someone’s getting the best, the best, the best, the best of Foo.

Was anybody really that surprised when it was announced that the Foo Fighters would be releasing a greatest hits package? If anything, the only surprise has been the fact it’s taken so damn long to happen.

Over a span of six records, you’d be foolish not to give the band credit where credit is due. After all, it’s not every day that the band that stemmed from a bored drummer wanting to try and make some music after the singer in his band dies evolves into one of the biggest entities in modern rock music.
What’s great about the band especially is that even people who don’t register themselves as fans can happily admit to enjoying at least a couple of the band’s singles. It’s not as if there’s slim pickings, either. Essentially, if you’ve turned on a radio in the past decade, there’s a good chance you’ve heard a few of the band’s songs. Each single carries that sturdy rock edge, driven by big guitar and an even bigger chorus – sure, you might not be crazy about them, but it’s a little hard to not at least like them.

It’s for this reason the Foo Fighters’ Greatest Hits is more than just a stocking filler for this holiday season. It is a landmark of a band nearly fifteen years into their career, and a near-perfect arrangement of the songs we’ve grown to love over the years. The older stuff holds up well – “Big Me”, from the self-titled record, still has dollops sweetness and understated charm, whilst “This is a Call” maintains that out of nowhere sucker-punch when the guitar tone switches into overdrive and the drums charge through your speakers. And if we’re talking Foo singles from this era, who could even try to forget “Everlong”, regarded by many as Grohl’s post-Cobain piece de resistance. In a flurry of Taylor Hawkins’ high-speed drums, matched up with dual guitar crunch and Grohl’s vocals nailing both restrained melody and unleashed screech-singing, the band nailed their collective sound in a four-minute montage of everything that has contributed to the band’s longevity. Hell, put it this way - the song’s so good, it’s on here twice (the acoustic version closes most versions of the release).

One could easily accuse the band of weakening and declining in overall quality following the release of The Colour and the Shape. Singles featured here, however, such as “The Pretender”, “All My Life”, “Learn to Fly” and “Best of You”, are more than willing to contradict this mindset. It’s these tracks that perhaps best represent their respective albums – admittedly, something a single probably shouldn’t be doing; but the songs themselves are so well-structured and enjoyable it’s easy to ignore. “The Pretender”, the opener from 2007’s Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace rollicks along consistently on an edgy groove before roaring through that unmistakably excitable, anthemic shout-along of a chorus. In Your Honor’s “Best of You” brings the tempo down slightly, but keeps the energy levels at a high – especially following the second chorus, with the introduction of Chris Shiflett’s buzzsaw guitar break that scales the heights of the instrumental section at an impressively quick rate. Yes, at this point in their career, the Foos could have released pretty much anything and they’d still be packing stadiums. The fact there was still quality material to be found, nonetheless, is impressive and a merit to the band themselves.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Greatest Hits CD without at least one or two new tracks. The problem with this, however, is that most bands know this; and therefore put significantly less effort into them. Indeed, lethargic songwriting is what hinders the twangy “Wheels” and the jarring, uneven “Word Forward” (which can’t decide which kind of Foo Fighters song it wants to be) – there’s no spark or engaging accessibility here. The former features some lovely harmonies from Hawkins and Shiflett in a call and response with Grohl’s rambling chorus lines, but has little else to offer. The latter, meanwhile, drags from the get-go; burdened with cheesy acoustic guitar, a lame-duck chord progression and ill-fitting scowls of “they’re just ***ing words!” that completely belie the dorky “Farewell, Jimmy/Goodbye, youth” that commences the song.

Additionally, it wouldn’t be a Greatest Hits CD from a major label created sans the band’s blessing without some glaring omissions. So “Skin and Bones” was a hit, yet the Orange County soundtrack single “The One” was not? Furthermore, of the five singles released from There is Nothing Left to Lose (including the fantastic “Generator” and “Next Year”), only two are deemed worthy of inclusion? Granted, there’s only so much time we’ve got for the band, but the selections present only just get the green light – a few tweaks and we could have gotten a lot more value for money.

Sure, the “Greatest” is a little questionable at times (the new tracks, the slightly cheesy “Long Road to Ruin” et al.). Don’t try questioning the “Hits” element, though. The bulk of what we have here is certified rock radio gold. Foo Fighters’ Greatest Hits works for all kinds of fans – the diehards can complete their collection and have all the band’s great videos with the bonus DVD; and the passing fan can see the release as a mixtape for people who aren’t willing to wade through entire albums. The system works. Thanks, Dave.



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user ratings (277)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


Great review. I completely agree that they've had outstanding singles throughout their career. Tracklist is great I may check out the new songs.

BrandNewBoognish
November 8th 2009


1021 Comments


Tracklisting ISN'T great, new song sounds like Bon Jovi, and we really didn't need an acoustic version of Everlong taking up space on this

Greggers
November 8th 2009


2375 Comments


Good review as usual

AtavanHalen
November 8th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Greg.

Guys, it really depends on what kind of fan you are if the tracklisting is good or not. You two pretty much just proved that.

But thanks for stopping by, appreciated.
I'm really tired, though - it's nearly 4am here in Australia!

Titan50
November 8th 2009


4588 Comments


Someone’s getting the best, the best, the best, the best of Foo.


I pos'd this just for this, I haven't even started reading

NebSnurb
November 8th 2009


535 Comments


I think after the second album they became a singles band...and they were good that way.

TerminalC
November 8th 2009


243 Comments


"Someone’s getting the best, the best, the best, the best of Foo"

I see what you did there. Well played sir, well played.

Fugue
November 8th 2009


7354 Comments


The omission of "Hey Johnny Park" and "The One" upsets me slightly but the tracklist is still pretty solid. In fact it kind of highlights how many good songs they've had. Review is, as always, excellent.

robin
Emeritus
November 8th 2009


4261 Comments


good work david, still only got skin and bones by foo fighters which is the stupidest move ive ever made

Greggers
November 8th 2009


2375 Comments


Get The Colour and the Shape, its their best album

EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


^Yes its the only full-length album I have of theirs and its quite enjoyable throughout.

RobertDennis2
November 8th 2009


134 Comments


the self-titled is my favorite, and I personally consider it their best
good to see two songs from it on here


Masochist
November 8th 2009


8084 Comments


I kind of wish "D.O.A." and "No Way Back" were on here. But that's okay; this looks like it'd be almost as good as the Stone Temple Pilots' 'Thank You'.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2009


8391 Comments


great review David, I have only heard their "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" album in full, and it was pretty good imo. I don't know if I'll get this one, but nevertheless FF is a pretty good rock band and this was a worthy review.

EDIT: I actually just found that I have their Skin & Bones album on a cd too. I had completely forgotten it.

Oliver
November 8th 2009


118 Comments


Great review. Greatest hits albums tend to be hard to review.

I wish they had "Let it Die" or "New Way Home" on here. Pretty good songs.

jagride
November 8th 2009


2379 Comments


Can't believe that nobody has mentioned that I'll Stick Around isn't on this. Maybe their best song. What a shit CD

LepreCon
November 8th 2009


4156 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Summary is win. I probably won't be getting this, even for the bonus tracks, as I have all their albums, unless I become a total completist. Review is good too, I suppose another pos couldn't hurt

Knott-
Emeritus
November 8th 2009


10198 Comments


Whoever said the Everlong acoustic is unnecessary... have you heard it? It's arguably the best thing they've ever recorded, lol.

EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


The Skin and Bones version of Everlong is fantastic.

Greggers
November 8th 2009


2375 Comments


It is truly brilliant



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