There have been a handful of bands who started and ended their journey together, performing for decades, containing almost if not all its original members until the very end. More often than not, however, fans have witnessed most of their favourite musical groups split up even after enjoying immense popularity as a team. Generally, after parting ways, the members sought solo careers in which the chances for them to shine were fifty-fifty. But the rise of an equally celebrated band from the ashes of one or more former bands is a rare phenomenon.
The former drummer of the renowned American rock band Nirvana, David Grohl, succeeded in such an impossible effort. Nirvana’s split following the suicide of Kurt Cobain led to the formation of the Foo Fighters in 1994 by Grohl who clearly craved the comfort of a team over the limelight of a solo career. Though being the guitarist, drummer and vocalist himself, he was the one-man army initially only to be joined by Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith both formerly belonging to Sunny Day Real Estate, and Pat Smear. Though the group had its share of alterations, it became one of the most notable rock bands with the passage of time.
Among the band’s countless, unforgettable hits, is the song ‘Best of You.’ Released as part of the 2005 album In Your Honor, the song was influenced by the appearances in the 2004 campaign trail of the American presidential candidate John Kerry. Written by Grohl, it is “about breaking away from the things that confine you,” confirmed the Foos frontman.
He continued, “A song of resistance. It’s about the refusal to be taken advantage of by something that’s bigger than you, or someone you’re in love with. It’s the fight in the face of adversity…most people think it’s a love song, but it’s meant to be more universal, which I think is one of the reasons so many people sing along when we play it.”
The song was consciously stripped of any particular melody as the intention was to build up a powerful performance channelling anger where Grohl could “scream the whole way through.” Though the process was detrimental for his voice, he stuck to it because according to him, “when you go out and sing words from the heart, you scream twice as hard.”
As a result, the isolated vocals of the song are unique as it shines the spotlight on Grohl’s passionate delivery. It is indeed remarkable how a series of lines devoid of any such melody is made so magnetic that it compels one to focus on the depth of the words. Moreover, the ragged edges add a charm and tone of conviction to the entire performance.
Below, enjoy the isolated vocals of ‘Best of You’ from Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl.