It's an absolute beauty for sure. Taylor is just beast mode on it (or is it Dave?)Not only is everlong my favorite song by them... its the best rock song of all time
Everlong is the second song I chose from The Colour And The Shape, the Foos' 2nd studio album. The song peaked at #3 on the Billboard US Alternative Rock chart and #4 on the US Mainstream Rock chart... kind of surprising it didn't reach #1.
This is the band's signature song. It has been performed live in all but 4 of their full-length concerts since it was released in 1997, and they usually close their concerts with it. (Kind of surprised at that... I would be pretty disappointed to go to a Foos concert and not hear it.) It was the last song Taylor Hawkins played in concert before his death.
Dave has said this about the song:
"I knew it was a cool song, but I didn't think it would be the one song by which most people recognise the band. And I think it was the first time people had ever quoted lyrics to me, like, 'That song is beautiful! That line where you say 'Breath out so I can breath you in .. .'' Chicks would come up and recite that to me. That song's about a girl that I'd fallen in love with and it was basically about being connected to someone so much, that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonise perfectly."
Here are a bunch of videos:
In 2020, Kerrang ranked the top 20 all-time Foo Fighters songs and ranked Everlong #1. This is their writeup:
- This is the official video.
- This is the official acoustic version released on their Greatest Hits album in 2009.
- This is the first time Dave ever played it as an acoustic song, on the Howard Stern Show. Hawkins said in an interview that it was this acoustic version that really helped it to become a huge hit.
- This is a video of Dave telling the story of the making of the song, then playing an acoustic version. He mentions during the story that he is not a trained musician and doesn't know how to read music. Pretty amazing to have the career he has had given that.
- This is a video of the performance in LA at the 2006 concert that was the basis for their Skin And Bones live album. What a contrast to the solo acoustic, with 8 musicians playing.
- I posted this in my Foos intro post as an example of how much the Foos seem to really enjoy playing and interacting with their fans. This is a video of them inviting an 11 year old girl to play drums on the song in a live concert. She killed it.
- Here is a video from Rick Beato's "What Makes This Song Great?" series about Everlong.
It might be a predictable choice, but with Foo Fighters there really can only be one number one. Penned over one of the lowest periods in Dave Grohl’s life – Christmas 1996, when he had just divorced photographer Jennifer Youngblood, was crashing on a friend’s couch and faced an uncertain future with the Foos – Everlong is an irresistible, reminiscent testament to the power of love (even when just remembered) in lighting the darkness. Accompanied initially by an excellent Evil Dead-aping music video, the track has grown into a massive live favourite over the years, whether performed with the full band or by Dave solo. Legendary Late Show host David Letterman considered it his favourite song, and had the band on to perform it at several pivotal moments towards the end of his career. Even better, the mighty Bob Dylan once complimented Dave on its brilliance, suggesting that he might even learn Everlong himself. Praise doesn’t come much higher than that.
In 2023, Consequence of Sound ranked what they characterized as all 156 Foo Fighters songs up to that point, ranking Everlong #1. Here is an excerpt from their writeup:
Dave Grohl wrote the song’s lyrics while his marriage crumbled around him and he fell in love with another woman. He had both nothing and everything to lose. His (and later Taylor Hawkins’) hissing ride on the hi-hit adds further urgency, and by the end, the risk could apply to anything: divorce, forming a band, heart surgery.
“Everlong” will always be universal. It will always be about risk, about holding your breath and leaping into the unknown. Everyone loves it, and, for once, everyone is right.
Earlier this year (2014 article was updated "4 years ago" but includes songs from their album released this year), Spin ranked what they characterized as all 152 Foo Fighters songs up to that point, ranking Everlong #1. Here is their writeup:
“Everlong” is the all-time greatest Foo Fighters song the way that Michael Jordan is the all-time greatest Chicago Bull — maybe it’s not impossible that you could try to argue otherwise, but dude, c’mon. Of all the grunge-derived bands to light the way for the alt-rock ’90s, Dave’s other band is maybe the only one who wouldn’t swap their best song for “Everlong” in a heartbeat — four minutes of untold amounts of mystery, romance, fear and amazement in one tightly coiled pop song.
The wonder of “Everlong” is that it simultaneously functions as both a song about exciting new love and persisting romantic disillusionment. Written for a new girlfriend after Grohl’s first marriage ended in divorce, the song has the rapid heartbeat and tangible emotional rush of a just-burgeoning romance, but is still cloaked in dread and doubt thanks to the previous relationship’s fallout. The crush of “Everlong” is in the battle between the two sensations, the new love ultimately (maybe? hopefully?) triumphing at song’s end with the piercing drum-and-guitar breakout of the final “ANNNND IIIII WOOONDERRR…..” It’s moving, it’s adrenaline-raising, it’s huge-sounding, it’s incredibly intimate, and it’s all-around awe-inspiring. It’s the band’s best riff — best couple of riffs — their best crashing drum part, their best verse, their best chorus, their best pre-chorus, their best climactic build, their best production, their best best BEST music video, their best intro, their best final sustain, their best incomprehensible bridge murmuring.
I love this song!