The Colour and the Shape is the second studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on May 20, 1997, through Roswell and Capitol Records. It marked the official debut of the Foo Fighters as a band, as their eponymous 1995 debut album was primarily recorded by frontman Dave Grohl and producer Barrett Jones as a demo. After the debut became an international success, Grohl recruited guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Nate Mendel, and drummer William Goldsmith to form the band's full lineup. The group convened in the fall of 1996 for pre-production on a second album, and brought in Gil Norton as producer to establish a pop sensibility for the tracks. The band strived to create a full-fledged rock record, contrary to music press predictions that it would be another grunge offshoot.
Primarily inspired by Grohl's divorce from photographer Jennifer Youngblood in 1996, The Colour and the Shape is more lyrically introspective and musically developed than the Foo Fighters' debut. The album's track listing was designed to resemble a therapy session, splitting the album between uptempo tracks and ballads to reflect conflicting emotions. Early sessions at the Bear Creek studio in Washington went poorly and the band discarded most of those recordings. The band regrouped without Goldsmith in early 1997 to record at Hollywood's Grandmaster Recordings studio, with Grohl sitting in on drums instead. Goldsmith was offended and disgruntled that most of his material had been re-recorded, and he left the band shortly thereafter.
The singles "Monkey Wrench", "Everlong", and "My Hero" peaked within the top ten of US rock radio charts, and the album charted at number ten on the Billboard 200. The album was also a commercial success on an international level, peaking at number three in the United Kingdom. Critics deemed the album a significant American rock release of its era, and in retrospective assessments it continues to be viewed as a seminal modern rock album. It was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Rock Album. The Colour and the Shape remains the Foo Fighters' biggest seller in the U.S., having sold more than two million copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was remastered and reissued in 2007 with several bonus tracks for its tenth anniversary.
The Colour and the Shape was Foo Fighters' last album to be released and marketed by Capitol Records. After the band, along with their label Roswell Records, signed to RCA Records, its distribution, along with their eponymous debut album, has switched to RCA.
Foo Fighters - The Colour And The Shape
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