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Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

I saw the DVD of this (thanks heaps, James!), and I remember liking the show part of it, the concept was cool. But I vaguely recall thinking the final songs were OK but that, after all the work they did, maybe they coulda been stronger. Or something like that. Like I said, my memory of it has faded pretty well.

So. I grabbed this CD at work for cheap because why not, it’ll complete the set with the DVDs! And you know something, with this much separation from watching the show, these songs are strong and my vague memory of my impression of it is just silly. This is a varied work, from full-on rockin’ to beautiful acoustic parts, to solid middle pop like the Foos do it so well… Loved it.

Crank it!

Foo Fighters – Skin And Bones

Rather than me type it all out, here’s the relevant info:

Skin and Bones is a live acoustic album by Foo Fighters released on November 7, 2006. The 15-track set was recorded on August 29, 30 and 31, 2006 at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles and spotlights an expanded eight-piece lineup featuring violinist/singer Petra Haden, former Germs/Nirvana/Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear, Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee, and percussionist Drew Hester. Haden and Jaffee had appeared as guest musicians on the band’s previous studio album, In Your Honor. A three-song encore consists of Grohl’s solo performances of “Friend of a Friend”, “Best of You”, and “Everlong”. The album debuted at number 21 on the Billboard 200, selling about 49,000 copies in its first week. This was also the album’s peak position on the chart.

Excellent, with that out of the way, it frees me up to write about my gut reaction to the album!

I got this for cheap, at work, and I quite enjoyed it. I’m not the hugest Foos fan, though I own a couple of their records. That said, I do generally like when their songs come on, and then I think I oughta own more, then I wonder why I don’t…

This is a cool set, some hits, and songs you oughta know. Like the Nirvana MTV Unplugged set, songs get reworkings and become new beasts. Honestly, I like some of these versions better, especially the ones that were originally big rockers now turned to strong stripped back tunes.

I’d be interested to see the DVD, and not just for the extra tracks. I get the feeling the power of the show, which comes through well on the CD, would be even more enhanced by seeing them in action.

In Sum:

Right on. Bought on a whim, this was a mighty damn good set.

 

***

The Tracks: Razor / Over And Out / Walking After You / Marigold / My Hero / Next Year / Another Round / Big Me / Cold Day In The Sun / Skin And Bones / February Stars / Times Like These / Friend Of A Friend / Best Of You / Everlong

The DVD has a slightly different track order, and several extra tracks: Intro, On The Mend, Still, See You, What If I Do, and Ain’t It The Life.

The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt.2: Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia EP

Hey folks! It’s The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt. 2! Just like last time, Mike and Aaron will be doing simultaneous daily reviews of albums. This time, they’re covering stuff these two intrepid music reporters have sent to each other. Buckle up, buttercups, it’s gonna be a blast!

Mike knows way more about the Foos’ career than I do. You’ve gotta go read Mike’s post about this. Go! Go! GO!

This EP arrived at my house courtesy of Mike (see KMA Sunday Service Week 26). If I have the story correct, he’d ordered one and received two, but was only billed for one? So the AAAA got the freebie copy? I’m sure his post today will tell us more about that, because my memory of it may be faulty. Anyway, it’s here, and it’s lovely. I don’t own too many vinyl EPs, so it’s kind of a neat addition to my collection in that way, too.

Now, the Foos. Last time I was hugely into them would have been The Colour And The Shape. Looking that up now, I realize that that was a lot longer ago than I should probably be admitting (1997), but I’ve typed it now and I can’t be arsed to delete it. Don’t get me wrong, I like this band. I just never bought their stuff along the way. But I did see the Sonic Highways DVD set (thanks heaps, James!) so I feel like I kinda know where they’re at recently? Maybe a little? Or maybe not at all, what do I know.

The internet tells me that this EP was named after the hotel in Austin in which it was recorded. Apparently they blew the dust off a bunch of old ideas from years past, and the end result is this EP.

Saint Cecilia heavy rocks along poppily, full of hooks and sounding like so many other great Foos songs I’ve ever heard before. Ben Kweller sang backing vocals on this one. Sean is a strong power pop punk happy bouncy fun way to spend 2:11. I like the guitar breakdowns (with cowbell)! And then we have Saviour Breath, which goes full on Motörhead fuckin’ rock freak out. Now THIS is more like it! Hells yes, this is my fave track here so far! Go go go!! Goddamn that’s the best song I’ve heard by these guys in forever.

Iron Rooster sucks away all of Saviour Breath’s energy as it prettily plods along. I probably would’ve liked this song so much better if it was placed differently in another mix, but as I was set to destroy by the last track (hell, the last three), this one made me stop mid-stomp and go whuh? Talk about shifting gears without a clutch! And finally, The Neverending Sigh would’ve been a better title for Iron Rooster. Anyway, thankfully it builds into another bread and butter Foos rocker, packed to the gills with great lines and hooks and heavy playing that is ultimately satisfying.

IN SUM:

If this short (18 minute) EP had been released in the mid-90s, it would’ve been huge. Honestly, if they had left out Iron Rooster for another time and another project, and replaced it with some other Foos rocker instead, this thing would have hit hard top to bottom and been pure killer. Don’t get me wrong, Iron Rooster is an OK song, it just doesn’t fit here. But the rest of this project was really well done. Especially Saviour Breath. I’m gonna go crank that track again!

Thanks heaps, Mike!

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