In his now quintessential interview on the YouTube show Hot Ones, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl pontificated on what makes his band great. “I like to hear imperfection,” he proclaimed. “I like to hear an album where you can hear a hand going up and down the strings. That’s the human element of music. There’s rigid mechanical music that I fucking love, but I think we’re kind of best when it sounds like us, and it’s raw.” 

The birth of Grohl’s post-Nirvana passion project was as raw as it gets. He threw himself into the studio for five days in 1994, riddled with sadness following the death of Kurt Cobain, and made almost the entirety of Foo Fighters' self-titled debut album himself. He titled the project Foo Fighters after a World War II term for UFOs and thrust it out into the world. Soon enough, he would be putting a band together and hitting the road off the strength of its reception. One of the most prominent modern bands is a result of a grieving guy, taking it all out on the instruments inside Robert Lang Studios in Shoreline, Washington.

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Many albums later, they are enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and with as many Grammys as they have bodies of work. But most importantly, they have never fully crossed over into a sound that leaves that beautiful messiness behind. We took upon the hefty task of ranking all of Foo Fighters' albums from least good to best to explore how much they’ve elevated rock by grounding it in themselves. Long live Taylor Hawkins.

Every Foo Fighters album ranked

See our ranking of Foo Fighters' entire discography, from classics to more recent releases, below.