Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape
Let's say... you will not find here a story about the recording of a "Masterpiece", about the creation of "innovative" and "groundbreaking" music, or about a bunch of "multi-talents", "virtuosos" who created a masterpiece in a single moment of "enlightenment", no you will not!!
This is a simple story about a guy...
A guy who lost a close friend and a groundbreaking band in its heyday,
A guy trying to find his identity and musical future.
A guy who recorded an entire album on his own (so maybe he's actually a multi-instrumentalist?),
An album that, contrary to all expectations, was very successful.
A guy going through a difficult divorce...
And especially a guy who tries to form a band and do what he loves most, music !!!
So, listening to this album for us is like riding an electric scooter. Sounds delusional to you???
You will soon realize how much the similarity exists here.
Listening to this album you will find moments when you get up and down the scooter, pushing with your feet instead of using the electric motor and dragging it with your hands from sidewalk to sidewalk. It refers to those moments when you feel like you are carrying the song instead of the song sweeping you away. Songs like "My Poor Brain," "Up In Arms," "February Stars," and "New Way Home" sound like an initial experience of a band looking for its way, a band trying to find its identity.
So if you are a die-hard fan of the band (by the way we are too) or you think what is being said here is "sacrilege", be honest with yourself and admit that in at least two or three of the songs you found yourself concentrating on something else.
On the other hand, there are moments in this album where you cruise on the scooter quickly, effortlessly, with the wind gently blowing your face and you lightly pass the cars and passers-by. This refers to songs like "Monkey Wrench", "Hey, Johnny Park!", "Wind Up", "My Hero" and of course, the phenomenal "Everlong" are indescribable the feeling, power, and experience that the body and mind go through while listening to them. As if something connects you with a virtual navel to them and they now control you, toss you and shake you, without resistance dedicate yourself to feeling, devoting yourself to melody, lyrics, and sound.
And of course, there are also special moments in this album "Metal Melters", "Heartbreakers" and "Tear Squeezers" you probably know what it means: "See You" and "Walking after you" which are simple, direct, and exciting pieces that feel like a "kick in the stomach".
So how did all this magic come about?
After his first album was a success, Dave decided he was going all in, he declined an offer to join as a drummer in Tom Petty's band and formed a rock band. He added guitarist Pat Smear who played with him on Nirvana, Nate Mendel on bass, and William Goldsmith as a drummer. They went on an intense tour with their red VAN, performing with songs from Dave's first album and writing while making what would later become the album "The Color and the Shape".
At the end of 1996, with several songs composed during the tour, they entered a shabby studio on a farm in Washington, D.C., and think they were ready to record. But not! Producer Gil Norton whom Dave hired mostly in light of the production he did for the Pixies, puts the band to the test and makes them record the songs dozens of times because they sound really "bad"!
After the recordings are mostly done, they take a vacation for the holidays, but the troubled Dave records two new songs during the vacation, (one of which is an acoustic version of Everlong) and decides to bring the whole band, minus the drummer to a recording studio in Hollywood, to fix some songs from the farm recordings. What started as a two-song patch and a recording of two new songs became very quickly a re-recording of the entire album, with Dave besides the guitar and vocals sitting behind the drums and dispossessing William of the drummer role.
In all those sessions the band members do not understand why Dave does not invite William to the recordings but do not get into a confrontation with him, still, this is his baby. William who discovers the thing from Nate and not Dave, is badly hurt to the depths of his soul, decides not to be a "puppet on a string" and leaves the band. In the end, only two songs from the album are the fruit of William's sticks: "Doll" and "Up in Arms".
After finishing the recordings and editing the album, Dave suddenly realizes that this album was a form of therapy, psychological treatment for a person who has lost his best friend and loved one. A treatment that begins with fear and anxiety, continues with self-calming, ends with hope, and embarks on a new path. This enlightenment that came at the end of the recordings and the editing stages of the album left such a big mark on Dave that he thought of "decorating" the album cover with a picture of a psychologist!
Correct, the album is not a "masterpiece", but it aspires to be there. Is undoubtedly a milestone, the beginning of one of the greatest rock bands of the modern age. The creation of a band that has left its mark on the music map of today and over the years will bring to the mainstream kicking songs, sawing guitars, aggressive drums, and amazing performances.
So it was a simple story, about a pretty simple guy, who formed a rather modest rock band, which was haunted at the beginning by "The Grunge Spirits" and the character of Kurt Cobain, and today became in its own right and against all odds, a legend that is the epitome of modern rock!
It turned out that the album survived countless upheavals, went through two divorce proceedings (the divorce of Dave and the band from the drummer William), two recordings, countless rehearsals, cost a lot of money, and in the end was also named after a bowl with red and white stripes.
Is the most successful album of the band to date !!
And even though we're sure you've heard it a million times already, you must listen to it again, just must.
Listen on Spotify, Apple Music