It is hard to find too many contemporary rock groups whose position as rock acts as well as culturally significant figures is as solid as the Foo Fighters. It seems perfectly appropriate that Dave Grohl, once the drummer for Nirvana, would have been able to have a longer career as the lead for a band that has been able to provide commercially and critically appealing rock music in an age where rock artists have not fared well. There are few who have been able to keep a consistent career of excellent musical material that resonates with the general public the way that the Foo Fighters have, and with an aesthetic that includes some hilarious music videos that regularly lampoon and interact with contemporary culture, the group has managed to more than just make popular rock music but also make music that others are able to relate to and that serve as a critical commentary on certain aspects of our time, such as commercialism (“Big Me”) or revolutionary impulses among artists (“Learn To Fly”) while also including some touching personal messages (“Best Of You,” “Let It Die”). It is not as if the Foo Fighters have been snubbed yet, seeing as they got their start in 1995 and so just became eligible in 2020 for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It is just that sometimes we need to be reminded that there is something worthwhile in contemporary rock that deserves to be celebrated.
The Foo Fighters’ Influence
How does one determine the influence of a contemporary rock band? Most contemporary rock acts are known for their commercial music or struggle to remain relevant by hopping on bad musical trends. The Foo Fighters have been able to avoid this. Their four Grammy awards for rest rock album suggest that their music has resonated with critics, and that should count for something in an age where contemporary rock music is highly reviled. Rather than be content with just their hard-rock sound, they have broadened it to acoustic rock and managed to be what Pitchfork describes as “a consistent hit machine pumping out working-class rock .” And there is nothing wrong with that at all. It is unclear how many bands have claimed to be inspired by the Foo Fighters, but they have certainly interacted with other bands like Hole (with whom there is some bad blood) and they have a fairly close relationship with acts like Tenacious D as well and there is plenty of interest in acts seeking to pretend that they have the same sort of rock sound to appeal to Foo Fighter fans.
Why The Foo Fighters Belong In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
How’s this for longevity: their first seven studio albums as well as their Greatest Hits album have gone platinum, and another album has sold enough to go gold (2014’s Sonic Highways). Every studio album they released for the first twenty years of their career have qualified for some sort of certification, demonstrating a long career of consistency despite the band’s desires to expand their sound and wrestle with different concerns. Their self-titled debut, 1997’s “The Colour And The Shape,” 1999’s “There Is Nothing Left To Lose,” 2002’s “One By One,” 2005’s “In Your Honor,” 2007’s “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace,” and 2011’s “Wasting Light” mark an amazing set of critically and commercially successful albums. And while the group only has 3 top 40’s on the Billboard Hot 100 because their early songs were not released as singles, namely 1999’s “Learn To Fly,” 2005’s “Best Of You” and 2007’s “The Pretender,” the band has been dominant on mainstream rock and alternative as well as the Hot Rock songs since 2009, with 10 #1 hits on the Alternative charts (“Learn To Fly,” “All My Life,” “Best Of You,” “DOA,” “The Pretender,” “Long Road To Ruin,” “Let It Die,” “Rope,” “Walk,” and “Something From Nothing”) as well as eight number #1’s on mainstream rock (including 2017’s “Run” and “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”) and three #1 hits on the Hot Rocks chart (“Wheels,” “Rope,” and “Walk,” from 2009 and 2011). The group has also been immensely successful overseas in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, as well as the UK.
Why The Foo Fighters Aren’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
They just became eligible, so here’s hoping that they are inducted before too long.
Verdict: Put them in. They are among the most obvious induction cases for contemporary rock acts.