After 10 studio albums and a whopping 15 Grammy wins, here are EW's ranking of the best tracks across Foo Fighters' nearly three-decade rock career.
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Foo Fighters are well-known as one of the greater rock bands to arise out of grunge's ashes, though the beating heart of their widespread appeal takes many forms. Maybe it's founder, frontman, and principal songwriter Dave Grohl's durable reputation as one of music's good guys, with a personality on par with a pal who'd help you move a couch if it came right down to it. (After all, this is a famous rock star who once played a series of gigs in fans' garages.) 

Maybe it's the everlasting grin, irrepressible spirit, and frenetic drumming style of late Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins, whose untimely passing in March 2022 marked a reckoning with the band's enduring legacy. Or maybe it's their net total of 15 Grammy Awards, including five trophies for Best Rock Album, and a nearly 30-year career that's included 10 major concert tours

But what's certain is that the group doesn't plan to slow down despite having experienced their most trying and tragic year yet. With 10 studio albums to go with all of that touring, Foo Fighters have put their share of tremendous rock jams into the ether. Here are our picks for their 15 all-time best songs, ranked. 

15. "Best of You" (In Your Honor, 2005)

"I've got another confession to make / I'm your fool." That opening line is proof that a songwriter and vocalist famous for his arena-ready screams can also pen tributes to vulnerability. It's a not-so-delicate balance that's paramount to Foo Fighters' continued vitality through the years. The lead single from In Your Honor, the band's fifth studio album, "Best of You" is widely considered one of their best (it was even covered by Prince during his spectacular Super Bowl XLI performance), and it ably blends Grohl's trademarks stabs of tenderness with the the kind of throat-shredding screams that would certainly alarm all of the otolaryngologists in the audience (if they weren't shouting along themselves). 

14. "My Hero" (The Colour and the Shape, 1997)

Dave Grohl's 1997 ode to the decency of common people is also a tremendous, surging chunk of rock 'n' roll that will never not sound fantastic blasting from a car radio. (Seriously, just wait for the instrumentation to return from the break, and feel your insides tingle.) A hit on MTV, too, with a clip directed by Grohl, "My Hero" has become one of of Foos' longstanding live anthems — and was the emotional grace note of the band's recent London tribute shows to Taylor Hawkins, when the fallen drummer's 16 year old son Shane joined them behind the kit for a poignant and powerful performance.

13. "Big Me" (Foo Fighters, 1996)

Back in 1996,  Foo Fighters existing as a band at all was kind of a novelty in its own right. Dave Grohl was still this guy who had drummed for Nirvana, the iconic trio who'd splintered in the wake of Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide, and his new "band" was assembled to play material he'd originally written, demoed, and performed on his own. But then came the Mentos-indebted "Footos" video for "Big Me," and suddenly this unabashedly campy pop song was a signifier for a whole new side of Grohl's artistry, especially since it sat slightly apart from the more conventionally punk and alternative-influenced numbers on Foo Fighters

12. "Times Like These" (One by One, 2002)

The second single from 2002's One by One — and one that later was later popularized in tender acoustic form — "Times Like These" had a renaissance in 2020 as the centerpiece of a BBC Radio 1 group charity project during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I was so flattered, I almost cried," Dave Grohl told EW. "I mean for them to use a song that I had written on a f---ing napkin at a difficult time in my life, for them to use that song for such a good cause and then to bring together all of these amazing artists, I was f---ing humbled you know? I'm watching these performances come in and these people can f---in' sing — our version is like Motörhead at a dive bar down the street, and this is beautiful."

11. "Monkey Wrench" (The Colour and the Shape, 1997)

"Monkey Wrench," from 1997's The Colour and the Shape, is a completely undeniable drop-D-tuning rocker that, for our money at least, perfectly encapsulates Foo Fighters' sound and vision. And maybe Dave Grohl agrees, because he knows that at the end of the day, these dudes are just rockers. "We were like, 'Let's just try to be as good as we can be,'" Grohl told EW of their emerging ethos in the late 1990s. "And it's raw, it's imperfect. We make mistakes. We stop songs when we f--- them up. It doesn't sound exactly like the record. I think over time that became the allure." 

10. "Run" (Concrete and Gold, 2017)

Over their nearly three decades as a group, Foo Fighters have become experts at applying as much creativity to their music videos as they have explosiveness in their music. And in 2017, they kept their streak alive with a surprise clip directed by occasional helmer Dave Grohl for "Run." At the time, the Foos had been relatively silent for a couple of years, and rumors of breakups and bad blood had begun to swirl. Their response? To exaggerate people's assumptions — and make them laugh — with a video for "Run" that had them dressed as elderly men who blow the doors off a nursing home. "We're not breaking up anytime soon," Grohl said. "That would be like your grandparents getting a divorce. Too weird."

9. "Making a Fire" (Medicine at Midnight, 2021)

What does a band do when they've already been doing the damn thing forever and ever? "Of all of the things we've done before in the timeline of our band — loud, dissonant, noisy punk-rock s---, gentle, beautiful, orchestrated acoustic stuff — I thought the one thing we haven't made is a groove-based rock record," Grohl told EW about the crafting of "Making a Fire" and Medicine at Midnight. "I didn't want to make an EDM album, but I did want to incorporate rhythms that were a bit more groovy than what we had done before." And to that end, how groovy is it to have your own daughter singing backup on the album?

8. "Learn to Fly" (There is Nothing Left to Lose, 1999)

A slice of Foo Fighters' softer side that also straddles the group's signature percussion-forward sound and knack for persuasive guitar melodies, "Learn to Fly" is eminently hummable, quietly philosophical, and seated sonically somewhere between '90s alt-yearn and conventional power ballad. And as it turns out, "Learn to Fly" also sounds great when the Muppets hop on the track. "So, you guys remember how we did it in rehearsal?" Grohl asked the members of Electric Mayhem during a 2015 appearance on The Muppets that featured him sitting in on a performance of their third album's lead single.

7. "All My Life" (One by One, 2002)

Released in September 2002 as the lead single from One by One — an album which logged Foo Fighters a Best Rock Album Grammy — "All My Life" spent 10 weeks on Billboard's alternative songs chart along with a nomination nod for Best Hard Rock Performance. It's got "crunch, power, and a certain gruff wit," wrote EW's Ken Tucker of this fruitful Foos era, when they were already a force but not yet America's biggest rock band. "Sometimes the whisper-to-a-yell song construction gets repetitive, but the near-constant exploration of various relationships — those between lovers, or friends, or Foos-to-their-fans — never does."

6. "The Feast and the Famine" (Sonic Highways, 2014)

By 2014, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters had been working on their sound for two decades. And while it's clear from our nearly three-decade perch that fans will always be satisfied with their well-honed formula, Sonic Highways was an admirable move toward a collaborative flipping of that script. "The Feast and the Famine" is an album standout, recorded in Grohl's hometown of Washington, DC with Peter Stahl and Skeeter Thompson, whose hardcore band Scream once included a pre-Nirvana version of the Foos frontman on drums. But with its "start-stop rhythm and punk-inflected bombast," as EW's Kyle Ryan wrote, "Feast and the Famine" is also a song that looks backward and forward at the same time.   

5. "I'll Stick Around" (Foo Fighters, 1995)

Well, he wasn't wrong… "Most of these songs are so disarmingly hooky, and yet such a raw blast of energy, that it's as if Lennon and McCartney had grown up in Seattle," wrote EW's David Browne of Dave Grohl's debut as Foo Fighters, and nearly 30 years later, "I'll Stick Around" remains a signal event in the band's invasion of Earth. Naked, raw, and reverential of Nirvana, "Stick Around" keens between melodic verses and choruses that absolutely rip — with frenzied drumming, of course, but also the earliest glimmers of Grohl's flair for writing hooks that last. In this case, his musings are a shouted, visceral defense of his right to stand on his own as a musician, apart from the legend and loss of his old band.

4. "Walk" (Wasting Light, 2011)

When it was first released in 2011, "Walk" and Foo Fighters' seventh studio album Wasting Light sold 235,000 copies to beat out Adele's 21 at the top of the Billboard charts, which is certainly a feat.. But what's funny is how Adele remained linked to the Foos' frontman, who in 2018 covered the British superstar's 25 hit "When We Were Young" with his daughter Violet. The hit single "Walk," a sturdy throwback to the first throes of Foo Fighter-dom, is also a highlight of Wasting Light, which EW's critic called a "muscular rock & roll throwdown" and which earned Foo Fighters yet another Best Rock Album Grammy.

3. "The Pretender" (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, 2007)

The Foos' first single from their 2007 record is another lasting example of the band's aptitude for rockers that split the difference between relatable emotional heft and the thrum of a coming storm. "Are you ready?"Grohl asks in the first verse, his voice seemingly waiting to shift from whisper-shout to nitro-burning scream. But it doesn't happen quite yet, the song instead pulling into one of those shifty time signatures the Foos do so well before hitting you with the actual shouted chorus. "The Pretender" was, not surprisingly, another huge hit for the group. "At first listen, it seems Dave Grohl & Co. aren't doing anything radically new," EW's critic wrote of Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. "Yet it isn't long before you realize how frickin' right it all sounds, how damn near flawless the tone of the whole set feels." 

2. "Aurora" (There Is Nothing Left To Lose, 1999)

A beautiful, soulful, almost diaphanous departure for Foo Fighters, "Aurora" found an elegiac motor that the band hadn't yet explored with the fullness that the song embodies. As EW's critic noted, it's an example of the "sensitive streak" that up to this point had been apparent in the margins of Dave Grohl's songwriting but wasn't fully formed. "Aurora," like There Is Nothing Left To Lose as a whole, reveals a band that sounds entirely cohesive, and as confident in their soft side as they were with the meaty palm-muted rock songs that had already become their bread and butter. It's that dichotomy between honesty and outright volatility that's become Foo Fighters' stock in trade, as the candor of their open letter to fans in the wake of Taylor Hawkins' passing proved. 

"Everlong" (The Colour and the Shape, 1997)

"Everlong." It's the kind of song you put in a time capsule for our future alien overlords to discover, at once a summation of Foo Fighters' sound and an anthem for a generation. Whether it's "the most badass drummer in the world" (according to adolescent drummer Nandi Bushell who joined the Foos onstage to play it), or Dave Grohl and the band closing out David Letterman's late night run with an emotional run through it, "Everlong" is the kind of song that will stay in jukebox sets and Spotify mixes for time immemorial. EW's critic called Colour and the Shape "brawny, metallic, able to shift gears and tempos on a dime," and that goes for "Everlong," too, which in 1997 was the klaxon blare of a band that wasn't going anywhere quietly. And they still haven't. 

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