The Foo Fighters recently released Medicine at Midnight and you can definitely find reviews online about it, ranging from Pitchfork to our buddy White Sox Dave. You should check out the album and you should check out those reviews/interviews, but that’s not what I am here to talk about. Dave Grohl’s career is pretty damn incredible and we’re going to take a look at my 5 favorite Grohl albums that are not Foo Fighters albums. To have a more eclectic mix, I’ll only use each band once. You know, cuz Nirvana.
5. Tenacious D – Tenacious D
Sure, it’s a comedy album, but it’s a little different. Typically comedy albums are fairly straightforward with the music. It’s the lyrical content that’s most important and the music is secondary. This album doesn’t really take that approach, as you might imagine by bringing in Grohl to play drums. It’s a very funny album and musically probably my favorite post-Spinal Tap comedy album, in fact good enough to push off a supergroup with one of my favorite bass players.
4. Killing Joke – Killing Joke
The history of Nirvana and Killing Joke goes back to Nevermind, though they hadn’t yet met. The riff in Come As You Are is pretty much a slowed down version Killing Joke’s Eighties. Killing Joke didn’t go the Rolling Stones route of waiting for it to get big and then suing the shit out of them. Instead they waited about 12 years and then had Dave Grohl play drums on what at the time was called “The Death and Resurrection Show” but would later be released as a self titled album. Similar to what happened to “Smell the Glove.”
I love this album. I remember when it came out in 2003, I was working for Martin Atkins at Invisible records. He was a former Killing Joke drummer, so when I put the disc in I was not expecting him to champion the drums on the album. However, he certainly did. I never really questioned Grohl’s skills, but it doesn’t hurt when a guy with a career like Atkins is saying nice things.
3. Probot – Probot
I promise this is the last self-titled album of the 5. This album is really unique as Grohl plays all of the instruments on this and then has a different singer on each. Kind of like Spinal Tap with drummers, but nobody dies. I talked about this album on the podcast previously if you’re interested in my longer form thoughts. Come for the Lemmy, stay for the Kurt Brecht. The whole album is tremendous.
2. Nirvana – Nevermind
You may be thinking “how the hell is this not #1?” and for that I do not blame you. This is the album that took rock music away from the KenWOs of the world and handed it to the younger, more handsome Chorizy-E’s of the world. And it’s the album that took Nirvana from playing Martyrs to playing the Enormodome or whatever it is. Dave Grohl was the missing piece that engraved Nirvana in rock immortality. I will agree, that it is by far the most important on this list, but it is not my favorite.
1. Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf
I won’t bull shit you and say I saw Nirvana at Martyrs, but I can honestly say that I saw Dave Grohl play with QOTSA at the Metro. I think I was like 21 years old, which feels like a million years ago. But I still remember that show as one of the best I’ve ever seen. Grohl beat the ever living shit out of the drums. It was like watching someone destroy a drum set while keeping perfect time.
This is also the last QOTSA album with Nick, and that rhythm section is just damn incredible on this album. Maybe it’s not quite Derek Smalls and Joe “Mama” Besser, but it is definitely amazing. Dave really spreads out on this album, which he was never quite able to do with Nirvana and that’s probably why it exceeds Nevermind as my favorite. Just listen to Song for the Dead to hear what I’m talking about.
I know I left Them Crooked Vultures off the list. But what can I do? Look at this guy’s career. Thanks to computer magic you can tell me your favorites on the internet, I look forward to it.
Not sure if you have heard but we BROADCAST the podcast LIVE on our YouTube Channel! We even take questions! Make sure you subscribe for alerts when we go live.