Foo Fighters Are Officially More Successful Than Pearl Jam


Billboard have up a new article detailing why Foo Fighters have been the most successful artist in the history of their Alternative Songs radio chart, and how they beat out Pearl Jam.

“But to highlight Foo Fighters’ steadfast competence is not to detract from them. This is, first of all, because just showing up is tougher than it seems. One of Grohl’s Seattle contemporaries, Pearl Jam, has sold 32 million albums in the United States, and their debut Ten has been certified Diamond by the RIAA. At Pearl Jam’s 1990s peak, they were a much more powerful, more thrilling band than Foo Fighters, pushing their arena-ready sound into stranger and more varied territory on albums like Vitalogy and No Code. For the past two decades, Pearl Jam has followed a similar path to Foo Fighters, reliably releasing proficient yet unflashy variations on a solid formula of guitar, bass, and drums — yet with far more modest results, particularly on alternative radio, where they’ve only scored one top five hit this decade. Pearl Jam’s stoic approach to its career seems tumultuous alongside the Foo consistency.

And second, Foo Fighters steadiness is laudable because, even long past the band’s peak, they remain capable of sudden, clarifying pleasure: songs that burst out of the speakers with the vibrant, canny precision upon which the band made its name. It is a name built on songs, and on radio hits particularly. Unlike best-selling fellow chart heavy-hitters Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day, Foo Fighters have never even had a multi-Platinum-certified album — but they have had ten Alternative Songs number ones across fifteen years, and eight more that reached the top five. It is no surprise then that they have claimed seven spots to themselves in Billboard’s Top 300 Alternative Songs of all time list. Listeners didn’t have to have bought a single Foo Fighters record to have heard the band again and again, year after year.”

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins recently interviewed ex-Oasis singer Liam Gallagher for Magnet Magazine. In the interview, Hawkins criticized the idea of there being a Grunge genre, as he said he doesn’t believe Pearl Jam and Nirvana sound like they’re part of the same thing. The conversation started when Hawkins asked Gallagher about Britpop.

Gallagher: I fucking hate that word, mate. We weren’t fucking pop. To me, I felt it was us and the Verve. We were different scenes, were like a classic rock ’n’ roll band. Britpop to me was Pulp, Menswear, Blur, all these stupid little Camden bands that were all jolly as fuck, you know what I mean? We wanted to play, man. I personally always found that word fucking insulting.

Hawkins: I think it is, too.

Gallagher: The Verve and Oasis—we were thinking way bigger than Britpop. We were a classic rock ’n’ roll band.
Hawkins: I see that. And also, it’s the same thing with grunge. You can’t say Nirvana and Pearl Jam sound anything alike—they’re not the same kind of fucking music, really. Just ’cause of an era. They have to simplify shit.

Gallagher: It’s just fucking journalists, isn’t it? Lazy cunts. I felt like Blur and all that—they were doing like just jolly kind of weird, fucking stupid music. “Champagne Supernova” is a boss fucking tune. They were all jumping about it with their fingers in their ears.