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When the Foo Fighters picked their favourite albums of all time


There’s a serenity that comes with picking one’s favourite albums or songs of all time. Such is the myriad of options to choose from that the chaos promotes a sense of combustible clarity. It’s the type of calmness I’d imagine one feels having finally completed their last will and testament. However, when you apply this notion to a whole band, complete with different personalities, tastes and styles, you get an impressionistic view of the group as a whole. For the Foo Fighters, it is a reminder of their roots.

When Dave Grohl was forced to acknowledge the end of Nirvana, following the tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain, he was already writing his own songs. A few short months later he was beginning to find a home for them in a new project dubbed Foo Fighters. Following the band’s debut record in 1995, the group have only found more and more praise, outstripping Grohl’s efforts with his previous grunge outfit. Such is the band’s meteoric rise, that they have been in the limelight for nearly two decades.

Such a juggernaut career ensures that heaps of interview debris have been left in their path. Here is where our two worlds collide as we dip into a 2005 interview the entire band at the time, made up of Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Chris Shiflett as they pick out their favourite albums of all time.

Usually, when such a list is created it is pulled together under the cover of skin and bone, formed in the forges of one’s own cerebral cortex. However, for this list of the greatest albums ever made, the band all joined in on the Filter interview and shared their thoughts as and when. It makes for a relatively jumbled list of albums. For example, everyone with a whiff of Grohl’s career will know that Led Zeppelin are his favourite band of all time. However, they do not feature in the list.

Instead, the albums on offer provide a sincere insight into the group as a whole and, within the list, you can see the very roots from which the might Foo Fighters grew. First up, however, was an album that seems incredibly close to Grohl, a soundtrack album from the film Paris Texas by Ry Cooder. Grohl said of the record: “The most beautiful acoustic album ever made. The only song with vocals has Harry Dean Stanton singing this fucking mariachi song. I discovered that record on a Scream tour in Europe when I was 18 or 19. I just remember driving through Italy in the summer listening to that.”

Grohl is also famed for having a particular love for The Beatles, they too fail to feature in the list but are mentioned by Hawkins when he selects The Zombies album Odyssey and Oracle: “The lost Sgt. Pepper. It was recorded at Abbey Road around the same time but it tanked then a year later ‘Time Of The Season’ got big in America.” Bassist Nate Mendel confirmed his own adoration for the LP by saying, “Nobody talked about that record forever – I thought I was the only one.”

There are also spots for the self-titled album from Britpop stalwarts Supergrass, which Hawkins and Grohl described as “genius”, as well as three more self-titled albums. Not only do the band pick out the B-52s albums, which Grohl calls “fucking tough” but also pay tribute to Queen’s titular LP, which Hawkins calls “just a raw rock record,” and, The Knack which the band have a special respect for. “You gotta get the Knack’s first record,” says Hawkins, noting their perennial lack of ‘cool’ and suggesting we should all forget such a notion.

Throughout the interview, which you can find in full here, the band display the multitude of influences that circumvent their own sonic structures. Below, we’ve got the full list as well as a perfect playlist that may push you into your own alt-rock anthem-creating band.

Foo Fighters favourite albums:

  • Paris, Texas: Motion Picture Soundtrack – Ry Cooder
  • Into The Labyrinth – Dead Can Dance
  • Odyssey and Oracle – The Zombies
  • At Dawn – My Morning Jacket
  • 24 Hour Revenge Therapy – Jawbreaker
  • Supergrass – Supergrass
  • Reign in Blood – Slayer
  • Queen – Queen
  • Summerteeth – Wilco
  • The B-52s – The B-52s
  • Get The Knack – The Knack