|Single by Foo Fighters|
|from the album The Colour and the Shape|
|Released||August 18, 1997|
|Format||CD, vinyl (7")|
|Studio||Grandmaster Recorders, Hollywood, CA|
|Length||4:10 (video version 4:49)|
|Foo Fighters singles chronology|
Australian Limited Edition
"Everlong" is a song by American rock group Foo Fighters. It was released in August 1997 as the second single from their second studio album, The Colour and the Shape (1997). The song reached number 3 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart and the Canadian (RPM) Rock/Alternative chart.
In late 1996, Dave Grohl was lodging at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, Washington, recording what was to be the second Foo Fighters album. While playing around with his guitar during downtime between takes of the song "Monkey Wrench" (which is in drop D tuning), he stumbled on a "Sonic Youth rip off" riff, which he felt had the same vibe as one of that band's songs, "Schizophrenia". He took a liking to it and decided to develop it into a song, the band jamming on what became the verse; by the end of those sessions, the song had not progressed beyond this rudimentary draft.
Around Christmastime, Grohl returned to his native Virginia shortly thereafter, homeless due to his ongoing divorce; on a sleeping bag on the floor of a friend's house, he wrote it into a song proper in 45 minutes. The lyrics were inspired by ongoing romance with Louise Post of the band Veruca Salt: "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 harmonize perfectly". Not long after, during a visit to a friend's studio in nearby Washington, D.C., he recorded a demo of the song playing all instruments on his own, which he describes as "honestly its just the same thing [as the version on The Colour and The Shape], but super raw".
Grohl returned to the west coast to continue work on the album, reconvening with producer Gil Norton at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood to show him the song, which Norton approved of. Not long after, most of the band joined them and they proceeded to record the song. The solo guitar intro was recorded through an Astatic JT40 microphone, which outputs "dull" recordings with "no clarity". Grohl wanted Post to provide vocals, but as she was in Chicago at the time, her parts ("doo doo doo"s alongside the lead guitar riff and harmonizing on the chorus) were achieved through 2 different telephone lines in the studio calling her: one connected as her monitor, the other for recording; Grohl recorded his chorus harmonies through the JT40, providing vocals at a similar level of fidelity as Post's. For the breakdown, Grohl recited 3 spoken word takes: one retells a childhood story from assistant engineer Ryan Boesch of being punished for disturbing his father's sleep and 2 reading random passages from a book in the studio; all 3 were meant to be blended together in the final mix, but the book takes went unused.
The surreal, satirical video for the song was directed by Michel Gondry. The running time of the video exceeds that of the original version of the song; this version is used only for the video. Although Taylor Hawkins appears in the video as the drummer, Dave Grohl actually plays the drum track on the original album recording, as Hawkins had not yet joined the band. The music video is, in part, a parody of the film The Evil Dead.
The video starts with a black and white shot of Smear and Mendel (dressed as Teddy Boys) outside of a house where Grohl and Hawkins (playing his wife) supposedly live. The video then transitions to Grohl's dream, in which he is Sid Vicious at a party that Hawkins' character (playing Nancy Spungen) is getting harassed by Mendel and Smear. The video transitions to Hawkins' dream, in which his character is reading a book, when, all of a sudden, a supposedly undead being creeps up from the floorboard (parodying Evil Dead.) The video transitions back to Grohl's dream, when his hand enlarges and begins to attack Smear and Mendel, after which they vaporise, and wake up in Hawkins' dream. Grohl wakes up after he hears his phone ring. Meanwhile, in Hawkins' dream, Hawkins' character tries to fend off the zombies, while Grohl gets firewood. Hawkins' then attempts to call Grohl, to which point he wakes up. Grohl realizes Hawkins' plight, and tries to wake his character up, to no avail. Grohl goes back to sleep, only to reappear in Hawkins' dream. Grohl then proceeds to save Hawkins and throw the zombies in the lake. The video transitions back to real life to show that Mendel and Smear are in the house. The video takes a surreal twist as real-life Mendel and Smear pop out of the characters' heads. Grohl and Hawkins wake up, and the band finishes the video by playing out the rest of the song.
A live version filmed at Hyde Park on June 17, 2006 was released on Live at Hyde Park DVD.
A live version appears on the Live at Wembley Stadium DVD which was released in 2008.
Although the song is normally performed with electric guitars, vocalist/guitarist Dave Grohl's solo acoustic variation gained popularity after an impromptu rendition on Howard Stern's radio show in 1998. The band has performed it acoustically since then and an acoustic performance concludes their 2006 live CD and DVD Skin and Bones. Additionally, an acoustic version of Everlong was released on Foo Fighters' 2009 Greatest Hits album.
A more upbeat, uptempo elevator music-esque version of the song can be heard at the beginning of the music video for the Foo Fighters song "Learn to Fly" when Jack Black puts the drug in the coffee maker. This version of the song is much like the version of "Big Me" that can be heard in the beginning of their "Monkey Wrench" video.
Usage in media
"Everlong" has been featured in the music video games Rock Band 2, Rock Band Unplugged, Guitar Hero World Tour (which is exportable to other games) and Rocksmith 2014. It is also included in Rock Band for iOS.
An arrangement of the song for string quartet was used in the Friends episode "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding", during the titular event, and in the Daria episode "Lane Miserables", while Daria watches from a window as Trent and Monique are walking away. It was also used in a 1998 episode of the US daytime soap opera All My Children. The original version of the song was used in Martin Scorsese's 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street. The song was also used briefly in the movie Little Nicky while Nicky is ascending his girlfriend's apartment building.
Comedian and late night talk show host David Letterman has called "Everlong" his favorite song, citing it as having helped him through his recovery from heart surgery in 2000. Foo Fighters were invited to serve as the musical act on the February 21, 2000 episode of Late Show with David Letterman, the first since his surgery, to perform "Everlong." Grohl stated that he was "blown away" after learning that Letterman was a fan of their music. The band went as far as cancelling a stop on a tour in South America so they could perform, explaining that "We just felt like we had to be there. Not only was it an honor to be asked, but it felt like something we had to do – because he had always meant so much to us. And that started this connection that we've had for years. It's fucking cool, you know?" On May 20, 2015, the band returned to perform "Everlong" again, the night of Letterman's final episode. The six-minute-long performance was set to a montage of footage spanning Letterman's career.
- UK CD1 (blue cover)
- UK CD2 (grey cover)
- Australian CD single, Australian limited edition maxi-single digipack with bonus poster and Netherlands slimbox CD single
- Netherlands card sleeve CD single
- "Down in the Park" (Gary Numan cover)
- Promo (black cover)
- UK Limited Blue Vinyl Edition (blue cover)
- "Drive Me Wild" (Vanity 6 cover)
Charts and certifications
- Ranked #45 in Kerrang! magazine's "100 Greatest Rock Tracks Ever" (1999)
- Ranked #39 in Kerrang! magazine's "100 Greatest Singles of All Time" (2002)
- Ranked #22 in Stylus magazine's "100 Music Videos of All Time" (2006)
- Ranked #28 in VH1's "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs"
- Ranked #9 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of All Time (2009)
- Ranked #48 in NME's "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years" (2011)
- Ranked #1 in Triple M's Modern Rock 500 (2014), which charted listeners' most popular rock songs since the 1980s. "Everlong" scored twice as many votes as the #2 song, "Black" by Pearl Jam.
- Ranked #6 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years (2013)
- Ranked as one of Dave Grohl's Landmark Songs by The Guardian (2019)
- Dave Grohl – vocals, rhythm guitar, drums
- Pat Smear – lead guitar
- Nate Mendel – bass guitar
- Louise Post - backing vocals
- Thomas, Jeremy (November 15, 2014). "The 8 Ball: Top 8 Post-Grunge Bands". 411MANIA. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
Songs like "Everlong," "All My Life" and "I’ll Stick Around" are landmark post-grunge tracks
- Richin, Leslie (January 12, 2017). "20 Alternative Rock Hits Turning 20 in 2017". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- George, Richard (November 11, 2009). "Foo Fighters Greatest Hits Review". IGN. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
Most, like I once did, would try to define Grohl and his Foo companions (Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Chris Shiflett) as strictly being hard rock. And with hits like "Pretender", "All My Life" and "Everlong", it's tough to argue that point.
- Morat (June 2006). "How Dave Grohl Will Light Up Your Summer - How To Write A Rock Anthem". Kerrang!. EMAP – via FooArchive.
- "Foo Fighters - 'Everlong'". Song Stories. NME. July 17, 2015 – via YouTube.
- Paul Brannigan (November 2009). "Dave looks back in a career retrospective - "I was heartbroken, frightened and confused."". Mojo. EMAP – via FooArchive.
- "Dave Grohl session at WGNS Studios, Dec, 1996". FooFightersLive.
- "Foo Fighters session at Grandmaster Recorders, Jan - Feb, 1997". FooFightersLive.
- Warren Huart (March 20, 2019). "Foo Fighters Everlong". Inside the song. Produce Like A Pro – via YouTube.
- Dave Grohl And Taylor Hawkins From Foo Fighters Visit. 03/18/1998. 8:00am Marks Friggin.com. Retrieved 2 February, 2015.
- "David Letterman: Famous Fans say Goodbye". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- Kreps, Daniel. "Watch Foo Fighters Score David Letterman's Career-Spanning Montage". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- Millman, Joyce (March 20, 2000). "The top 10 reasons David Letterman's heart bypass operation was a good thing". Salon. Archived from the original on February 11, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "David Letterman's last musical guest on 'Late Show' will be Foo Fighters". New York Daily News. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
- "David Letterman signs off from 'Late Show'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
- "Australian-charts.com – Foo Fighters – Everlong". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3375." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. September 6, 1997. p. 12. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- "Charts.nz – Foo Fighters – Everlong". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Foo Fighters: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- "Foo Fighters Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Foo Fighters Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Foo Fighters Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Irish-charts.com – Discography Foo Fighters". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
- Foo Fighters - Rock Digital Songs Chart history billboard.com. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- "Italian single certifications – Foo Fighters – Everlong" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved November 25, 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Everlong" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
- "British single certifications – Foo Fighters – Everlong". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- "American single certifications – Foo Fighters – Everlong". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 8, 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.
- "100 Greatest Rock Tracks Ever". Kerrang!. No. 746. April 17, 1999. p. 29. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
As voted for by readers
- "spreadit.org music". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time 2009
- "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". Nme.Com. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Triple M Modern Rock 500
- Triple J Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years, 2013
- Barlow, Eve (August 16, 2019). "Dave Grohl: 'I never imagined myself to be Freddie Mercury'". The Guardian. Retrieved August 22, 2019.