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Dave Grohl's 20 favourite metal songs of all time


There isn’t much that Dave Grohl can’t lend his hand to. The iconic drummer for Nirvana as well as the leading man for the Foo Fighters, Grohl has cultivated the image of everybody’s favourite rocker to a tee. Not often inclined to share his negativity with the world, usually, the ‘Everlog’ singer prefers to shed light and provide shine for his favourite subjects. More often than not, that subject is music.

Throughout his career, Grohl has never been afraid to talk about the music he loves. From his adoration of The Beatles to his picking of the ten best John Bonham songs of all time, all the way through to his sincere appreciation for disco music, Grohl is most happy when speaking about the songs, records and artists he loves most. Let’s turn our attention then to one of his first musical devotions: metal. Below, we’ve got the drummer and singer’s favourite metal songs of all time.

During a conversation with Q, and collated on the Foo Archive, the Foo Fighters man picked out his favourite songs from the genre and, naturally, we’ve compiled it into one hell of a playlist. All the big hitters are there: Megadeth, Slayer and Pantera while the noted musician also pays tribute to the founding father of the genre in Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. It’s an essential look at a genre that gave Grohl his career.

Of course, like any true music fan, Grohl’s tastes have probably changed somewhat since he composed the list. However, we can be sure that one entry will not have moved, Led Zeppelin’s landmark single ‘Black Dog’. Grohl has often noted the song as one of his favourites and here he says: “This is what Led Zeppelin were all about in their most rocking moments, a perfect example of their true might. John Bonham played the drums like someone who didn’t know what was going to happen next – like he was teetering on the edge of a cliff.”

Another seminal band in the growth of metal music as we know it were Black Sabbath. Grohl has often noted the Ozzy Osbourne-led band as one of the landmark moments in his own musical journey and he selects their track ‘Symptom of the Universe’ as one of his favourites of the genre, noting: “One of the first fast heavy metal riffs. Everyone would know that riff if you played it on any set-list anywhere in the world. I don’t put Sabbath on much these days, but when you hear this you realise that this is the swamp from whence much metal crawled.”

There is also room on the list for Judas Priest and their watermark single ‘Breakin the Law’ as well as tracks from Pantera, Slayer, Megadeth and Sepultura. But, for Grohl, there is one song that stands out from the crowd. ‘Ace of Spades’ by Motorhead is a song that will go down in history and about which Grohl says: “You could delete all the other 19 records but still retain the blueprint for metal from this. This is metal DNA! Beyond the speed, the riff, and Lemmy… it’s the attitude. I first heard this on Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert before I’d listened to punk rock. There was nothing glamorous about it – it was dark and mean and intense as fuck.”

Below, you can find the full list of Dave Grohl’s favourite metal songs of all time as well as a perfect playlist to boot.

Dave Grohl’s 20 favourite metal songs:

  • ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ – Iron Butterfly
  • ‘Wake Up Dead’ – Megadeth
  • ‘Breakin’ The Law’ – Judas Priest
  • ‘Piranha’ – Exodus
  • ‘Highway Star’ – Deep Purple
  • ‘Stand Up & Shout’ – Dio
  • ‘Psychotic Reaction’ – Trouble
  • ‘Way She Fly’ – The Obsessed
  • ‘Hog Leg’ – The Melvins
  • ‘Black Dog’ – Led Zeppelin
  • ‘I’m Broken’ – Pantera
  • ‘Metal Church’ – Metal Church
  • ‘We Gotta Know’ – The Cro-Mags
  • ‘Thrashing Rage’ – Voivod
  • ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ – Sepultura
  • ‘A Corpse Without Soul’ – Mercyful Fate
  • ‘Master Of Puppets’ – Metallica
  • ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ – Black Sabbath
  • ‘Raining Blood’ – Slayer
  • ‘Ace Of Spades’ – Motorhead