Fun Cards: Foo Fighters! 1995 Topps Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel; 1997 Score Taylor Hawkins; 1999 Topps Chris Shiflett
Foo Fighters‘ 1995 debut album was groundbreaking. Not because it was radically sonically different; it was a rather straight-forward rock album. But the fact that Dave Grohl recorded the entire thing by himself for the most part, and so soon after the disbandment of Nirvana the year prior…honestly, Grohl is a musical genius. Nirvana didn’t deserve this man.
He is being inducted into the Rock Hall for the second time along with Foo-mates Pat Smear and Nate Mendel (who joined the band after the recording of the debut; both made their debut on 1997’s The Colour and the Shape), Taylor Hawkins (who sat down behind the skins in 1997, first appearing on 1999’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose), Chris Shiflett (additional guitarist since 1999, making his recording debut on 2002’s One By One), and Rami Jaffee (who came into the fold in 2017 on the Concrete and Gold album but won’t get a card because I’m not going to attempt a custom 2017 card).
There aren’t a lot of early photos of the Doobies out there. These pictures are actually from 1973, and I’m not even positive the top image is Tom Johnston.
Will you hate me if I say that Faith No More is epically overrated? “Epic” was a pretty good (and pretty overplayed) song from the band’s third album, The Real Thing. I love the piano outro, but the rest of the song (and album) never truly resonated with me. The album, released June 20, 1989, was certified Platinum in September 1990 and peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 in October 1990.
The Real Thing was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1990, but lost to Metallica’s “One” (both albums and songs are eligible for such nominations in pop categories). “Epic” was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1991, but lost to Living Colour’s album Time’s Up. Another song from FNM’s album, “Falling To Pieces,” won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Visual Effects in a Video in 1991.
I have never liked Nirvana. The simplistic songs and nonsensical lyrics make a mockery of actual talent. The band was awful from the start, and Bleach serves as Exhibit A.
Nirvana was not the greatest “grunge” band. Nirvana was not a good band period.
I will not apologize for this opinion. I question the sanity of those who gave the release positive reviews, both at the time and in the years since.
“About A Girl” is perhaps the most tolerable song on the album. If you want to torture your eardrums, click play:
After the success of Core in 1992, grunge rockers Stone Temple Pilots upped their game in 1994 with Purple, released on June 7, hitting #1 just 18 days later. The English word of the title is nowhere found on the US version of the album; only the Chinese character 紫 appears on the cover with a picture of a child riding a qilin.
Several singles received airplay on alternative and modern rock radio stations and fared well on corresponding Billboard charts. “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song” both hit #1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart and #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart; “Big Empty” hit #3 and #7 on those same charts, while “Unglued” went to #8 and #16.
The album was released just a few days after I graduated high school and I remember listening to it with a friend who had received it as a graduation present. It didn’t have quite the impact on me that Core had, but I still enjoyed Dean DeLeo’s guitar playing and Scott Weiland’s voice.
The band is preparing an “Expanded Deluxe” double-disc release to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Purple. It will be released in September; you can pre-order it here. Of course, if you can’t wait, pick up the standard release here. One of the new tracks will be a previously unreleased acoustic rendition of “Big Empty” and the group uploaded the audio yesterday to YouTube. Listen to it below:
The alternative rock scene was in full swing when Rivers Cuomo’s Weezer arrived in 1994. Produced by Ric Ocasek, the “Blue Album” is one of the strongest debut albums ever. The record features alternative rock staples “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “Say It Ain’t So,” and “Buddy Holly.”
The latter’s video, directed by Spike Jonze, was a personal favorite as it referenced Happy Days, one of the greatest TV shows ever made. “Buddy Holly” was honored at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards as Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, and Best Editing. It was also nominated for Video of the Year, but was robbed by TLC’s “Waterfalls.”
Growing up in the heyday of MTV videos, I always considered Ric Ocasek as the leader and most important member of The Cars. “You Might Think” was one of my favorite videos, with his goofy mug floating all over the place. I had no idea what an important part all the others played until much later. Still today, though, I can’t help but think of Ocasek more than any other member when I think of the band.
The Cars’ self-titled debut album dropped in 1978 and charted the hits “Just What I Need,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll.” Also appearing on the album are “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “Moving In Stereo.” For a debut album especially, it’s pretty fantastic.
The Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Saturday night, an honor that was many years overdue. The surviving members reunited to perform at the ceremony and were joined by Weezer‘s Scott Shriner on bass. The group closed their set with “Just What I Needed,” originally sung by the late Benjamin Orr.