Foo Fighters Albums Ranked from Best to Worst

2023-06-07

Foo Fighters press image.

Foo Fighters albums ranked, from worst to best – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Foo Fighters albums ranked: From worst to best, here are the Dave Grohl-fronted band’s greatest records

Following the devastating loss of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl found himself in a difficult position. Should the Nirvana drummer take up gigs with some of music’s biggest names, including his idol Tom Petty, and become a touring drummer? Or, should he follow his heart and start a band where he’s the lead vocalist and calls the shots?

Of course, Grohl chose the latter, and created Foo Fighters in Seattle, Washington, in 1994. While Grohl started the group as a one-man project, pretty soon, it became a full-fledged band, and one of the biggest in the world, to boot.

Now, Foo Fighters are coming up on the release of their 11th studio album, “But Here We Are.” Sadly, it’s the band’s first without drummer Taylor Hawkins, who passed away last year. In honor of the new music, we’ve ranked every Foo Fighters album from worst to best, including the newest one.

Foo Fighters Albums Ranked:

12. “Dream Widow” (2022)

Some people might not really count this as a Foo Fighters album. Yes, it’s a metal album, and it’s not really your traditional Foo Fighters fare. But, it’s a really cool, wacky collection of metal songs played by a fictional metal band. It’s not their best work, but it’s fun and furious, so it’s worth a listen.

11. “Medicine at Midnight” (2021)

When Foo Fighters released “Medicine at Midnight,” it was obvious they were trying new things. The album features some cool funk and disco beats and sounds, and it’s a true mix of genres. However, the Foos shine best when they are playing straight-ahead rock, and this release left us a little bit cold.

10. “Concrete and Gold” (2017)

“Concrete and Gold” came right after Grohl released his popular 2014 HBO documentary series, “Sonic Highways,” so the album arrived with much anticipation. It’s a solid record from front to back, but none of the songs are real stand-outs. That’s probably why this record got less airplay than other Foo Fighters releases. It’s still a solid set, though.

9. “Sonic Highways” (2014)

“Sonic Highways” was a great concept for a record, as Foo Fighters recorded each song in a different city. As the locations changed, the band drew inspiration from all the different places in which they recorded. The band even used local engineers and musicians in each city, but stuck with their longtime producer Butch Vig to keep the album consistent.

8. “But Here We Are” (2023)

“But Here We Are” is one of Foo Fighters’ darkest albums, if not the darkest, as its subject matter heavily revolves around the losses of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and frontman Dave Grohl’s mom, Virginia. Aside from its dark themes, though, the album still has the bread-and-butter Foo Fighters sound of cheerful, upbeat melodies, rugged guitars and soaring vocals. It’s a conquering release that shows the band is moving forward, even after losing one of its own.

7. “There Is Nothing Left to Lose” (1999)

“There Is Nothing Left to Lose” marked a turning point for Foo Fighters. The record was the first with Taylor Hawkins on drums. It was also their first album to score a Grammy, in the 2001 trophy for Best Rock Album. “There Is Nothing Left to Lose” also shifted Foo Fighters to a more melodic sound, which is what would remain with them for the rest of their career.

6. “Wasting Light” (2010)

“Wasting Light” was certainly an anomaly of its time. Just when everything was going digital in music recording, Grohl decided to record Foo Fighters’ next album using only analog equipment. The guys recorded the sessions with Butch Vig. They rehearsed the songs for weeks before recording took place, since there wasn’t room for digital magic. The result is a very live-sounding album, and a charming one.

5. “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” (2007)

Of all the Foo Fighters records, this one has the most variety. The set offers everything from hard-rocking anthems to laid-back, mellow numbers, making it a roller coaster of a ride from beginning to end. Stand outs include the explosive “Let It Die,” which was a successful rock single, and the delicate, acoustic “Stranger Things Have Happened.”

4. “In Your Honor” (2005)

Foo Fighters went for a double album with 2005’s “In Your Honor.” It was a risk, but it turned out to be worth that chance. One of the band’s most popular songs, “Best of You,” hails from this record. While this record’s album cuts didn’t quite gain the attention and admiration as “Best of You,” this set is still filled with rock gems.

3. “One by One” (2002)

“One by One” kicks off with a bang with “All My Life,” an aggressive rock track that topped the charts upon release. While this album got off to a rocky start, with early sessions not pleasing to Grohl and causing tensions between band members, the result is stellar. Not only did Foo Fighters strike gold with “All My Life,” but another song off his album, “Time Like These,” is one of the band’s most longstanding hits.

2. “The Colour and The Shape” (1997)

Here, on Foo Fighters’ second studio album, Grohl first showed his penchant for writing melodic rock songs that appeal to the masses. “Everlong,” which is arguably the greatest Foo Fighters song of all time, lives on this set. Other perennial hits from “”The Colour and The Shape” include “My Hero” and “Monkey Wrench.” This will forever be one of the greatest sophomore albums of any band, topped perhaps only by Nirvana’s sophomore opus, “Nevermind.”

1. “Foo Fighters” (1995)

Rarely does a band’s debut album warrant a No. 1 spot on that band’s best-of list, but “Foo Fighters” is the exception. The debut release came at a time when the world was still mourning the loss of grunge icon Kurt Cobain. There was a hole deep in the hearts of Nirvana fans, and while nothing could really fill it, “Foo Fighters” certainly helped. Grohl wrote and recorded almost every single part of this record, making it a complete delivery of his initial vision for Foo Fighters. Thanks to its emotive songwriting and statement to the rock world that, yes, Grohl was back for good, we’re ranking “Foo Fighters” as the greatest Foo Fighters record of all time.

Read Audio Ink Radio’s feature on the best grunge albums of all time here.

Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Grunge, Music, Rock

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