The holidays are fast approaching (department stores would say they're already here), and that means it's Greatest Hits season. But while many best-of compilations are premature and obvious cash grabs, the Foo Fighters, believe it or not, have become quite deserving of one. That makes this child of the '90s depressed (was it really 14 years ago I sat watching the "Big Me" video on MTV?) but it must surely make Dave Grohl happy all the way to the bank. It must also make him happy to have been a part of two critically and commercially successful bands, and while the Foo Fighters will never touch Nirvana's legacy, Greatest Hits should serve as a reminder that they've consistently been one of the best "mainstream" bands of the past 15 years.
Judged as a package, Greatest Hits presents just what you'd expect - a long string of singles, followed by two obligatory new songs to hopefully reel in those who already have the rest of the albums. It gets a few things right: the tracklist is mixed (instead of a predictable and boring chronological order), and the two new tracks, while far from spectacular, are catchy enough to justify their presence. But it also stumbles in places. I suppose the second, acoustic version of "Everlong" that closes the set is to be expected; it will probably always be Grohl's most-recognized and best-loved song. However there are some curious omissions, in particular "I'll Stick Around", the band's first single. And why not use this opportunity to resurrect "The One" (from the Orange County soundtrack) or the band's excellent cover of "Baker Street" - all minor hits in their day? While their absence doesn't exactly leave gaping holes among the collection of towering hits here, they would have made for a more complete retrospective.
Diehards are likely to download the two new tracks, but for those who are just thinking about jumping on board, the Foo Fighters (or at least their record label) have put together a respectable collection here. Modern rock radio still needs them, so hopefully the Foos make it to Volume Two someday.