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May 19, 2012 / jhsaeger

The Colour And The Shape, 15 Years Later

    On Sunday the Foo Fighters’ definitive second album, The Colour And The Shape, turns 15 years old. Originally released on May 20, 1997, the record remains the most important album in the band’s career and one of the best rock LP’s released in the 1990’s.
    Unlike the band’s eponymous debut record, The Colour And The Shape was the first time the Foo Fighters entered the studio as a band, as Dave Grohl had recorded Foo Fighters by himself in 1994 before he recruited the original lineup of Pat Smear, William Goldsmith, and Nate Mendel. Fifteen years later, the record has retained incredible longevity. One can’t go to a Foo Fighters show without hearing “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” or the timeless “Everlong.” The album was more than just a few radio singles, however, as it never really lets up at any time. The tracks “My Poor Brain,” “Hey Johnny Park,” and “Enough Space” filled the album with fantastic head bangers to balance quieter songs like, “Walking After You.”
   The record also spawned a fantastic cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street,” which has been released as a B-side to “My Hero” and in the band’s 2011 cover album Medium Rare. The Colour And The Shape’s final song, “Walking After You,” appeared in the soundtrack for 1998 film The X-Files, which I admit to seeing in theaters without ever having seen an episode of the television show before or since.
     For Long After Dark, The Colour And The Shape is one of those special albums which will never be in danger of feeling overplayed, even if by most standards three straight days of listening to nothing but that record during my commute would be excessive.
     A snippet of the band’s show at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory in July of 1997:

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