There Is Nothing Left to Lose

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There Is Nothing Left to Lose
Black and white photograph of the back of Dave Grohl's head. A tattoo of the Foo Fighters logo is seen on his neck.
Studio album by Foo Fighters
ReleasedNovember 2, 1999
RecordedMarch–June 1999
Studio
Genre
Length46:19
Label
Producer
Foo Fighters chronology
The Colour and the Shape
(1997)
There Is Nothing Left to Lose
(1999)
One by One
(2002)
Singles from There Is Nothing Left to Lose
  1. "Learn to Fly"
    Released: 1999
  2. "Stacked Actors"
    Released: January 17, 2000
  3. "Generator"
    Released: March 6, 2000 (Europe)
    April 24, 2000 (Australia)
  4. "Breakout"
    Released: September 18, 2000
  5. "Next Year"
    Released: December 4, 2000

There Is Nothing Left to Lose is the third studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on November 2, 1999 by Roswell and RCA Records. It marks the first appearance of drummer Taylor Hawkins, and is often seen as a departure from the band's previous work, showcasing a softer, more experimental sound. In a 2006 interview, Dave Grohl stated that the album was "totally based on melody" and that it "might be his favorite album that [they've] ever done."[1]

There Is Nothing Left to Lose won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2001, marking the band's first ever Grammy Award. The band would go on to win the Grammy for Best Rock Album for three of their next four studio releases (One by One, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, and Wasting Light).

Background[edit]

Prior to recording, guitarist Franz Stahl was fired from the band, as frontman Dave Grohl felt the guitarist had not found his place in the band. At that point, Grohl decided that the band would just be a three piece for the record, along with bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins. Having just slaved themselves in the studio making the last record The Colour and the Shape and losing two band members in the process, he decided to buy a house in Alexandria, Virginia and make the record in its basement without any record company presence during production.[2] This was helped by the Foo Fighters' leaving Capitol Records after president Gary Gersh left the label.[3] Grohl named his home facility Studio 606, saying, "It's just one of those numbers that's everywhere. Like when you wake up in the middle of the night and it's 6:06, or you see a license plate that says 606."[4] Grohl set it up with the help of Adam Kasper, who eventually co-produced the album. The biggest challenge, according to Grohl, was making the record sound good without computer programs such as Pro Tools or AutoTune.[5]

Dave Grohl notes that he had:

"[...] been living in Los Angeles for about a year and a half, just being a drunk, getting fucked up every night and doing horrible shit, and I'd finally gotten sick of that new car smell. So I bought this great house in Virginia and told everyone I was building a studio in the basement. It was literally a basement with sleeping bags on the walls!"[1]

In 2006, Grohl stated that:

"It was all about just settling into the next phase of your life, that place where you can sit back and relax because there had been so much crazy shit in the past three years. At that point it was me, Taylor and Nate and we were best friends. It was one of the most relaxing times of my whole life. All we did was eat chili, drink beer and whiskey and record whenever we felt like it. When I listen to that record it totally brings me back to that basement. I remember how it smelled and how it was in the Spring so the windows were open and we'd do vocals until you could hear the birds through the microphone. And more than any other record I've ever done, that album does that to me."[1]

Grohl has stated before that the band would have "a barbecue every day after recording."

The title emerged to Grohl as he talked to a friend "about when you experience these emotions after you've been through a long, difficult period and you finally give into this feeling that, quite simply, there is nothing left to lose. It can seem... positive, desperate and reckless."[6] The frontman also said that it represented the band's mood during production: "we just wrote off and played like all bets were off. No one was forcing us to be there, so it had to be fun—and the songs had to be the best we could possibly come up with at the time."[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

After the album was ready, the band signed with RCA Records to distribute the album. For promotion, the label focused on "getting the Foo Fighters brand out there", setting up the band's official website, and arranging appearances on broadcast television and events such as the Gravity Games. There Is Nothing Left to Lose was released in an Enhanced CD featuring the music video for the first single, "Learn to Fly", along with song lyrics and photographs.[7]

While the album was recorded as a three-piece, Grohl decided that he still needed a second guitarist for the live performances. After open auditions in which 35 musicians were tested, the band hired Chris Shiflett, whom Grohl considered the best guitarist and singer who auditioned, and "he fit in with the rest of us so well", particularly for his background in punk rock bands.[2][7] In September 1999, the band performed club dates in New York and Los Angeles, to both showcase the new songs and test Shiflett's performance with the group. The There Is Nothing Left To Lose tour started in 2000.[7] The North American leg was overlapped with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication Tour.[8]

Early pressings of the disc included a temporary tattoo, similar to the one featured on the album cover. The album was also re-released in 2001 in Australia as a two-CD edition which offers a second VCD disc of four videos and one bonus track, "Fraternity."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[9]
Alternative Press4/5[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[11]
The Guardian4/5 stars[12]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[13]
NME7/10[14]
Q4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[17]
USA Today3/4 stars[18]

Reviews for There Is Nothing Left to Lose were generally positive. Rolling Stone's Greg Kot rated the album three-and-a-half out of five stars. He started by explaining that "the first thirty seconds [...] are a bridge to singer Dave Grohl's past." He stated further, comparing the album to the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris", that "[Grohl's] punk background makes him allergic to string sections." However, he said that it "nonetheless marks a departure, with greater emphasis on melody and actual singing."[16] In a retrospective review, Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album four out of five stars, explaining that "it is the first Foo Fighters album that sounds like the work of a unified, muscular band, and the first one that rocks really hard." Furthermore, he stated that it "has a stripped-down sound and an immediate attack that makes even the poppier numbers rock hard." He concluded that "[Foo Fighters] make it sound easy and fun [...] they're getting better as they're losing members and growing older, which is certainly a rarity in rock & roll."[9] In another retrospective review, a reviewer for Sputnikmusic rated it 3.5 out of 5 points. He explained that it was "consistent and includes sufficient highlights" overall. He went on to state that "Stacked Actors" "successfully utilizes some cool guitar effects as well as the quiet/loud formula that the band has become known for." He further stated that "Breakout" "is a really satisfying mix of melody and rock that ends up a genuinely memorable tune." However, he stated that ""Headwires" [...] musically begins like a mediocre mid-80's radio-rock effort and then simply lacks the necessary grunt to salvage it later on." Comparing the album to The Colour and the Shape, he stated that while the newer album is "more consistent", "a number of tracks ... [are] rather straight-forward and lacking that certain memorable factor which so helped its predecessor."[19]

Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category Result
2001 There Is Nothing Left to Lose Best Rock Album Won
2001 "Learn to Fly" Best Short Form Music Video Won

"When we won for best rock album, which we made in my basement, I was so proud – because we made it in my basement in a crappy makeshift studio that we put together ourselves. I stood there looking out at everybody in tuxedos and diamonds and fur coats, and I thought we were probably the only band that won a Grammy for an album made for free in a basement that year." – Dave Grohl, 2012[20]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel and Taylor Hawkins.

No.TitleLength
1."Stacked Actors"4:17
2."Breakout"3:21
3."Learn to Fly"3:58
4."Gimme Stitches"3:42
5."Generator"3:48
6."Aurora"5:49
7."Live-In Skin"3:52
8."Next Year"4:37
9."Headwires"4:37
10."Ain't It the Life"4:15
11."M.I.A."4:03
Total length:46:19

Enhanced portion

  • "Learn to Fly" Official Video.
  • Grohl and Hawkins bonus short clips
  • Photo gallery
  • Album Lyrics

Personnel[edit]

Foo Fighters[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Foo Fighters – producers, art direction
  • Adam Kasper – producer, recording, mixing
  • Andy Wallace – mixing
  • John Nelson – assistant mixing engineer
  • Tod Reiger – assistant mixing engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Henry Marquez – art direction
  • Danny Clinch – photography
  • Management – G.A.S Entertainment Co.

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kerrang! Legends: Foo Fighters pg.115
  2. ^ a b Moll, James (director) (2011). Back and Forth (documentary). RCA.
  3. ^ "Foo Fighters - The Guardian 1999". www.fooarchive.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "Foo Fighters: rock sound June 2005". www.fooarchive.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  6. ^ Apter, Jeff (2006). The Dave Grohl Story. Music Sales Group. p. 325. ISBN 978-0-85712-021-2.
  7. ^ a b c d Flick, Larry (October 16, 1999). "Foo Fighters Had Nothing To Lose". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Chili Peppers/Foo Fighters: On Tour". MTV. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "There Is Nothing Left to Lose – Foo Fighters". AllMusic. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  10. ^ "Foo Fighters: There Is Nothing Left to Lose". Alternative Press (137): 95. December 1999.
  11. ^ Schinder, Scott (November 5, 1999). "There Is Nothing Left to Lose". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Sweeting, Adam (October 29, 1999). "The Foo on the hill". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Appleford, Steve (October 30, 1999). "Foo Fighters, 'There Is Nothing Left to Lose,' Roswell/RCA". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  14. ^ Cigarettes, Johnny (November 1, 1999). "Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left To Lose". NME. Archived from the original on November 28, 1999. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Foo Fighters: There Is Nothing Left to Lose". Q (159): 131–32. December 1999.
  16. ^ a b Kot, Greg (November 11, 1999). "There Is Nothing Left to Lose". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 22, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "Foo Fighters". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 306–07. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  18. ^ Gundersen, Edna (November 2, 1999). "Foo Fighters have plenty left; Lil' Wayne makes hot debut". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  19. ^ Davey Boy (June 2, 2008). "Review: Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left To Lose". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
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  54. ^ "British album certifications – Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left to Lose". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 28, 2011. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type There Is Nothing Left to Lose in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
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