‘If everything could ever feel this real forever’: Foo Fighters’ ’The Colour and the Shape’ turns 25

Foo Fighters in 1997; Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The Foo Fighters album The Colour and the Shape is now 25.

Released May 20, 1997, The Colour and the Shape arrived two years after Dave Grohl dropped the debut, self-titled Foo Fighters record in 1995. While technically the sophomore Foo Fighters effort, The Colour and the Shape marked their studio debut as a full band.

Grohl, who played drums in Nirvana, initially founded Foo Fighters as a solo project following the death of Kurt Cobain and recorded that first Foos album almost entirely by himself. When it came time for a Foo Fighters tour, Grohl put together a live band featuring bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith of Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as touring Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear.

That lineup then went into the studio to record The Colour and the Shape, though it didn’t come out the same way. As the story goes, Grohl was not satisfied with Goldsmith’s drum tracks and decided to rerecord them himself. Upon learning this, Goldsmith left the band.

Beyond the personnel issues, recording The Colour and the Shape was a difficult — and unexpectedly expensive — process for Grohl and company. Still, the Foos powered through and delivered what’s considered to be among their best albums, thanks in part to now-classic songs including “Everlong,” “My Hero” and “Monkey Wrench.” Additionally, Goldsmith’s departure led to drummer Taylor Hawkins joining the band shortly after the album was recorded.

Speaking with ABC Audio earlier this year, Grohl shared that the Foos didn’t have any plans to mark The Colour and the Shape‘s milestone anniversary. Any plans that they may have had, however, are now undoubtedly canceled, given the unexpected death of Hawkins last March. Following the news of Hawkins’ passing, Foo Fighters canceled all of their tour dates.

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