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12 More by Foo Fighters

Sometimes an artist just needs 12 more songs to summarize their career. Case in point...

One of the most consistent and enduring bands of the 1990s, you can count on the Foo Fighters for a sturdy new album every three-to-four years. Their 2021 release, Medicine at Midnight, shows they've still got the ability to surprise us, too.

You might want to check out the 12 by Foo Fighters list to relive the first part of their career.

1. "The Pretender" (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, 2007) 
Nothing like the Jackson Browne song of the same name, and it doesn't sound like The Pretenders, either. It's just a quiet/loud screamer with a great chorus.

2. "But, Honestly" (from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, 2007)
Starts out as a pleasant strummer, then gradually gathers intensity until it becomes a full-on head-banger.

3. "Wheels" (from Greatest Hits, 2009)
So, yeah, I'm not supposed to do "12 by..." features on bands with greatest hits albums, but a) it came out after I made my initial 12 by Foo Fighters list, and b) the Greatest Hits album only covers up to 2009. Anyway, this requisite new-song-on-a-greatest-hits-album was pretty cool, which is no small feat.

4. "Arlandria" (from Wasting Light, 2011)
Arlandria is a portmanteau of the Virginia cities of Arlington and Alexandria. Grohl attended high school in Alexandria, and Grohl's mother is also named Virginia (the lyrics reference "my sweet Virginia"), so make of all of that what you will. 

5. "Bridge Burning" (from Wasting Light, 2011)
Dave is a big Rush fan, and you can really hear that in this song.

6. "Something from Nothing" (from Sonic Highways, 2014)
Sonic Highways featured 8 different songs recorded in 8 different historic studios in 8 different cities. They also featured guests who hail from that area. "Something from Nothing" was recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago, and features guitar by Cheap Trick's Rick Neilsen (Cheap Trick are from Rockford, which is about an hour and a half from Chicago). 

7. "Feast and the Famine" (from Sonic Highways, 2014)
This one was done at Inner Ear Studios. In addition to being located in Dave's onetime hometown of Arlington, Virginia, the studio was the center of the DC hardcore scene of the late 1970s. This song features Peter Stahl of one of Dave's early bands, Scream (Stahl is also the inspiration behind "My Hero")

8. "Dirty Water" (from Concrete and Gold, 2017)
Comes on like Steely Dan with its skipping guitar and cooing female backing vocals, but at the halfway point accelerates into punky thrash. It's like a 5-minute lesson on what happened to music in the late 1970s.

9. "Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)" (from Concrete and Gold, 2017)
A sweet lullaby for the end of times.

10. "The Line" (from Concrete and Gold, 2017)
An epic rocker that looks for hope amid the "dirty black cloud coming out of the blue." Considering the song came out in the aftermath of the 2016 election, it's hard not to see it in that light.

11. "Medicine at Midnight" (from Medicine at Midnight, 2021)
With its percussion borrowed from the Talking Heads and a guitar solo that evokes the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan, this song is easily the most '80s sounding tune the Foo Fighters have ever made. 

12. "Making a Fire" (from Medicine at Midnight, 2021)
Worth it just for the "na-na na-na-na-na na-na"s! 


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