Song of the Day 9/28

Posted: September 28, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

The song of the day has a tie-in with the twentieth anniversary of an album that arguably changed music (for the good or bad, that’s entirely opinion). Nirvana’s Nevermind was released September 24, 1991 and was eventually certified diamond, which means over 10 million copies, shipped. After the death of grunge god Kurt Cobain on April 5th, 1994, two great musicians were left without a band. Krist Novoselic went on to form some non-successful bands and eventually landed with punk band Flipper. Dave Grohl nearly accepted a position with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, thankfully, he declined and went on to record some of the songs he had written as a member of Nirvana but was too embarrassed to share with the band. Grohl called his one-man project Foo Fighters after a term for UFOs reported by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II.

Grohl entered the studio to record a demo on which he played every instrument and sang every vocal. He recorded what amounts to an album within five days and gave out copies of these cassettes to his friends for feedback. Grohl hoped to remain anonymous and release Foo Fighters music in a limited run, but the music created a lot of buzz among record executives. Grohl formed a band around the material, drafting two former members of Sunny Day Real Estate, choosing against working with Novoselic again because “It would have been weird for everyone else”.

The third single from the Foo Fighters’ second album The Colour and the Shape and is dedicated to ordinary, everyday heroes. The song is My Hero and was released as a single on January 19, 1998. The song did not chart on Billboard’s Hot 100, but it stayed high on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks and U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks, both are rankings of radio airplay.

Lyrically the song is not groundbreaking, but the sentiment is one that many can identify with. The speaker wants to bring attention to his hero, but also highlight that the hero is an ordinary person. In other words, normal people can be heroes; all it takes are actions that are meaningful to another. “There goes my hero, watch him as he goes. There goes my hero, he’s ordinary”, the song tells us that all that is needed to be a hero is to persist.

The music video for this song is a memorable one. Directed by Grohl, the video shows a man running into a burning building to rescue a baby, a dog and a picture. Meanwhile, the Foo Fighters are playing inside the building, oblivious to the fire. Filmed in a “long take” the cuts are camouflaged by smoke to give the video the appearance of realism. The hero’s face is never seen and the eyes of the baby and the dog are blocked out in a humorous take on the protection of the innocent.

The next time you’re feeling hopeless, remember that a hero can be anybody. You may even be a hero to someone, so don’t mess it up.

See ya on the “b” side.

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