What Went Down

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
What Went Down
What went down cover.jpg
Studio album by Foals
Released 28 August 2015
Recorded 2014–2015
Studio La Fabrique
(Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France)
Length 48:21
Producer James Ford
Foals chronology
Holy Fire
(2013)Holy Fire2013
What Went Down
Singles from What Went Down
  1. "What Went Down"
    Released: 16 June 2015
  2. "Mountain at My Gates"
    Released: 21 July 2015
  3. "Give It All"
    Released: 25 December 2015

What Went Down is the fourth studio album by British rock band Foals, released on 28 August 2015 via Transgressive Records in the United Kingdom.[1] The album is produced by James Ford, known for his work with Simian Mobile Disco, The Last Shadow Puppets and Arctic Monkeys amongst others. According to frontman Yannis Philippakis, it is slated to be their loudest and heaviest record to date.[2] What Went Down debuted at #3 on the UK Albums Chart and at #58 on the Billboard 200, making it their highest charting album in the United States to date. With the departure of bassist Walter Gervers on 05 January 2018, this album marked the last album to feature him on bass.

Promotion and release[edit]

On 9 June 2015, a 12-second clip teaser of the band performing aggressively in an empty warehouse entitled "FOALS // 2015" was released through their social media.[3] Two days later, it was announced that What Went Down was to be released 28 August 2015 via Transgressive Records with a slightly longer trailer in lieu.[4]

On 16 June, the album's self-titled debut single was debuted on DJ Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show,[5] along with the premiere of the music video (directed by Niall O'Brien) via YouTube.[6]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[9]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[10]
The Guardian3/5 stars[11]
Mojo4/5 stars[12]
Q4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[16]

What Went Down received largely positive reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 77, based on 23 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Mark Beaumont of NME praised the album saying, "For ‘What Went Down’, written in their Oxford “stinkbox”, they have found their fulcrum. Riffs. Massive, fucking heavy cavern rock riffs, the size of cathedrals and the weight of God’s balls. They slammed into your eardrums like wrecking balls the first time you heard the compulsive title-track, aghast that these desert rock goliaths could be the same band that sounded like frivolous disco pixies just two years ago. Opening their fourth album, Yannis roaring “When I see a man I see a lion!” over its Stooges-meets-Queens fuzz throttle, it sounds like a defining statement, an arrival. They’ve mastered math rock, destroyed disco and flattened funk, now they measure hard rock in their hands like a medicine ball, and find it a comfortable weight."[13]

Ian Cohen of Pitchfork gave the album a generally positive review noting that, "What Went Down is the latest example of Foals’ uncanny ability to make records whose basic musical trajectory and quality are nearly equal regardless of the band's intentions going in. And What Went Down is their most consistent, steady-handed work yet—the distance between their purest pop moments ("Miami", "My Number") and their opulent ballads ("Spanish Sahara") has virtually disappeared. It's also significantly less exciting than Total Life Forever and Holy Fire, dynamic records because of their unevenness and ambitious strain—while Foals have realized a sound that's truly their own, they sound far too comfortable in it."[14]


Publication Accolade Year Rank
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2015 2015

Track listing[edit]

1."What Went Down"5:00
2."Mountain at My Gates"4:02
3."Birch Tree"4:21
4."Give It All"4:47
6."Snake Oil"4:21
7."Night Swimmers"4:44
8."London Thunder"4:14
9."Lonely Hunter"4:37
10."A Knife in the Ocean"6:52


  • Yannis Philippakis – vocals, guitar, art direction
  • Jack Bevan – drums
  • Jimmy Smith – guitar, keyboards
  • Walter Gervers – bass, backing vocals
  • Edwin Congreave – keyboards, backing vocals
  • James Ford – additional keyboards, guitar & percussion
Technical personnel
  • James Ford – producer
  • Jimmy Robertson – engineer
  • Damien Arlot – studio assistant
  • Alan Moulder – mixing at Assault & Battery Studios, London
  • Caesar Edmunds – mix assistant
  • John Davis – mastering at Metropolis Studios, London
  • Foals – studio photography
  • Daisuke Yokota – artwork and additional photography
  • Neil Krug – additional photography
  • Mike Lythgoe – design
DVD personnel
  • Kit Monteith & Foals – filming and editing of "Crème anglaise" and the Poolside Sessions
  • Niall O'Brien – director of "What Went Down"
  • Liz Kessler – producer of "What Went Down"


Chart (2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[19] 3
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[20] 36
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[21] 17
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[22] 14
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[23] 4
French Albums (SNEP)[24] 14
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[25] 26
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[26] 15
Irish Albums (IRMA)[27] 5
Italian Albums (FIMI)[28] 86
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[29] 5
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 9
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 3
US Billboard 200[32] 58


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Kimberley-Marie Sklinar Green. "Foals share new material: all 12 seconds of it". Never Enough Notes.
  2. ^ NME.COM. "Foals Interview: Yannis Philippakis On Their Most Volatile, Intense Album Yet". NME.COM.
  3. ^ FOALS // 2015. YouTube. 9 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Foals". Pitchfork.
  5. ^ "Foals". Pitchfork.
  6. ^ FOALS - What Went Down [Official Music Video]. YouTube. 16 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for What Went Down by Foals". Metacritic. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  8. ^ Donelson, Marcy. "What Went Down – Foals". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  9. ^ McCormick, Neil (25 August 2015). "Foals, What Went Down, review: 'brutally imposing'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  10. ^ Anderson, Kyle (28 August 2015). "What Went Down". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  11. ^ Mokoena, Tshepo (27 August 2015). "Foals: What Went Down review – bulked-up indie with a hypermasculine snarl". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  12. ^ Doyle, Tom (24 August 2015). "Foals – What Went Down". Mojo. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  13. ^ a b Beaumont, Mark (25 August 2015). "Foals – 'What Went Down'". NME. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  14. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (2 September 2015). "Foals: What Went Down". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Foals: What Went Down". Q (351): 100. October 2015.
  16. ^ Dolan, Jon (28 August 2015). "What Went Down". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Foals: What Went Down". Uncut (221): 75. October 2015.
  18. ^ "NME'S Albums of the Year 2015". nme.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  19. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Foals – What Went Down". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Foals – What Went Down" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Foals – What Went Down" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Foals – What Went Down" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Foals – What Went Down" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Lescharts.com – Foals – What Went Down". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  25. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2015. 38. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 36, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  28. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Foals – What Went Down". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  29. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. September 7, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Foals – What Went Down". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  32. ^ "Foals Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  33. ^ "British album certifications – Foals – What Went Down". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type What Went Down in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.