Drummer, frontman, actor, nicest guy in rock, Dave Grohl is all these things and more. Here are ten tracks which would be nothing without Virginia’s most famous son, both in front of the mic and behind the kit…
Foo Fighters – Darling Nikki
This brooding version of Prince’s sex funk classic is a killer cover version, which still remains a favourite of many Foos fans. They’ve done the track as a duet too, with Cee Lo Green no less.
Foo Fighters – Baker Street
Originally appearing as the B-side to the Foos’ 1998 single ‘My Hero’, this cover of the Gerry Rafferty classic has been a live favourite for years. The Foos took the insanely catchy sax riff and huge chorus and turned it into a fuzzy, downtuned beast of a rock song.
Foo Fighters – Up In Arms
Many regard 1997’s ‘The Colour And The Shape’ as the Foos’ best record and it’s tracks like this that make you think they aren’t far wrong. One of the best tracks from a pretty flawless album. Grohl both sings and plays drums.
Foo Fighters – Tired Of You
2004’s ‘One By One’ is far and away the band’s ropiest record, but this slow-burning love song is one of the rare bits of brilliance on it.
Foo Fighters – Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners
In May 2006, tragedy struck the town of Beaconsfield in Australia after two miners got trapped down a mine shaft. They were both eventually freed, but one Brant Webb asked for an iPod to be given to him featuring some Foo Fighters songs. On hearing this Dave Grohl sent the men a message in which he said “Though I’m halfway around the world right now, my heart is with you both, and I want you to know that when you come home, there’s two tickets to any Foos show, anywhere, and two cold beers waiting for you. Deal?” Webb took up his offer in October that year and the meeting in turned inspired Grohl to write this acoustic instrumental, which appeared on 2007’s ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace’.
Nine Inch Nails – You Know What You Are?
During the recording of Nine Inch Nails fourth album ‘With Teeth’, Trent Reznor spent two weeks trying to get then drummer Jerome Dillon to play ‘like Dave Grohl’ on the album’s bile fuelled track ‘You Know What You Are?’ Eventually Dillon gave up the ghost and Reznor called the only man who can sound like Dave Grohl, the man himself. He duly offered Reznor his services and powers his way through this track with trademark ferocity.
The Prodigy – Run With The Wolves
Much the same thing happened here, except this time Grohl offered his thunderous mitts to Liam Howlett this time. One of the highlights from the Essex dance kings’ return to form ‘Invaders Must Die’, Grohl’s enormous fills underpin the track to great effect.
Probot feat. Jack Black – I Am The Warlock
Ever heard Jack Black sing a doom metal song? Well on Grohl’s 2004 metal project he coaxed the Hollywood star to do just that. Black held his own on an album that featured Lemmy and Soulfly’s Max Cavalera, which Grohl channelled his inner Lars Ulrich on the drums.
Cat Power – He War
Let it never be said that Grohl doesn’t like a bit of variety, as in the same year as Probot he added percussion to Cat Power’s brilliant album ‘You Are Free.’ Normally known for brutally underpinning a track, here he proves he can do subtlety too by gently keeping time for Chan Marshall.
Killing Joke – Loose Cannon
Killing Joke front man Jaz Coleman had joked for years that Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ had been built around a riff they’d nicked from his band’s track ‘Eighties’, so when he asked Dave Grohl to play on the band’s self titled 2003 album, he agreed to settle the debt. He slotted in to the band’s brooding, tribal playing perfectly.