18 Years Ago: Foo Fighters Follow Their Debut With Their Best LP, ‘The Colour and the Shape’
Earlier this year, we ranked Foo Fighters' entire discography as part of our ongoing Worst to First series. Today, May 20, we look back on the legacy of the band's sophomore effort, The Colour and the Shape, by revisiting Diffuser Senior Editor Tim Karan's defense of ranking the album as Foo Fighters absolute best of their career. You can see our complete Worst to First ranking for the Foos' discography at the bottom of this story.
If you only know one Foo Fighters song, it almost certainly comes from The Colour and the Shape -- the first album from the band as a collective unit and their undeniable masterpiece.
While the death of Kurt Cobain influenced much of Foo Fighters' debut, Dave Grohl's divorce was the driving creative factor behind The Colour and the Shape and it led to the most honest, intense and cohesive record of the band's career.
From the hot-rodding "Monkeywrench" to the ethereal "Walking After You," every note and lyric on the album feels purposeful and poignant -- more like an expertly crafted novel than a post-grunge album but with Grohl finally focusing his voice into the gravely screams and saccharine melodies he'd previously only hinted at.
While Foo Fighters created the prototype for all future Foo Fighters albums, The Colour and Shape built the hit factory. Tracks like "Everlong" and "My Hero" were engineered to be anthemic from the start, but they became instant classics once unleashed upon the public. In fact, the album isn't only just the best from Foo Fighters, it still resides firmly in the upper echelon of all '90s releases.
It not only established Grohl as a full-on rock god on his own terms, but it also inevitably influenced the tone of all modern rock to follow.