Dave Grohl Has 40 Unreleased Songs, Including One About a Hooker

On the latest episode of HBO’s Foo Fighters Sonic Highways, Barrett Jones revealed that Dave Grohl recorded 40 songs at home during his time with Nirvana. One of these tracks was “Hooker On The Street,” there a clip of it here. In the funk tinged rocker Grohl sings, ‘Hooker on the street, open your feet, hooker, yeah yeah yeah,’ then something about going to a clinic for cream. Grohl face palmed while the clip was played. There was also a clip of a song called “Watered It Down,” and a clip of a metal song Grohl recorded. The episode ended with Grohl’s cover of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America.” Grohl said he recorded songs himself since he didn’t want to disrupt the creative flow of Nirvana.

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Below is Alternative Nation’s review of Sonic Highways from earlier this month:

“Something From Nothing” kicks off the album. The track repeats a couple of melodies/riffs from “I Should Have Known,” and has been heavily scrutinized by fans and critics since it was the album’s lead single. The vocals sound great on the song, and there are great riffs, but the flaw of the song is its somewhat disjointed arrangement. Nate Mendel’s bassline though is one of his best on the album, and the last couple of minutes of the song include some great headbanging moments.

“The Feast and the Famine” sounds like a classic Foo Fighters radio song, carried by a hook laden riff like the past hit “Monkey Wrench.” It’s pretty much Foo Fighters by numbers with standard lyrics, but it’s catchy as hell.

“Congregation” has a killer chorus and is the most inspired track on the album 3 songs in. It’s a very tightly structured song, and the lyrics sound more natural and less forced than the first two songs. The instrumental breakdown featuring Zac Brown also adds to the song and doesn’t feel thrown in.

“What Did I Do/God As My Witness” opens up with Dave Grohl singing alone only accompanied by a quiet guitar and piano, ‘There you go again putting words into my mouth/this one’s for you to know/and for me to find out/all that trouble you went about/how you gonna know til you hear it out loud?’ Then the band comes in for a southern tinged verse, with some hints of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” 3:30 in it shifts into “God As My Witness.” Grohl sings, ‘God as my witness/it’s gonna heal my soul tonight.’ “God As My Witness” is definitely better than “What Did I Do,” which leans on the cheesy side at times. “God As My Witness” leaves you wanting more.

“Outside” sounds like it could have fit in on One by One. The song is about Los Angeles, where it was recorded. Grohl sings, ‘There you are dancing at your altar/beautiful earthling/dressed in kashmir/all of your sound echoes in the canyons/down below they’re dreaming/hear the sirens screaming/another time/another world/girls were boys/and boys were girls/find the glitter/in the litter.’ There is a breakdown part where Joe Walsh comes in that definitely has a late 70’s/early 80’s Pink Floyd vibe. “Outside” is one of the weaker tracks on the album, there really aren’t any memorable melodies and the lyrics are generic.

“In The Clear” opens with an upbeat intro with horns that sounds different from anything on the album before going to a verse riff that sounds like “All My Life.” The chorus is pretty poppy, ‘You know I’m not in the clear/you are not in the clear.’ There are some interesting ideas here, including the inclusion of some instruments not usually used on Foo Fighters songs, but it’s a middle of the road song.

“Subterranean” opens with an acoustic guitar and adds in some beautiful electric guitar lines and keys as the track goes on. The sonic landscape of the song is different from the rest of the album, and doesn’t ever devolve into the ‘classic rock’ tribute moments that many of the other tracks do. The song is clearly about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Grohl sings, ‘Nothing left within/I’ve been mined/hell and back again/subterranean/I’ve been digging in down inside/I will start again/subterranean/but the truth is so unkind/what do you know/how low the sky.’

Grohl also sings, ‘You might think you know me/I know damn well you don’t’ followed by a beautiful ‘Oh no/you don’t’ refrain. The songs gets even darker with lines like ‘Buried my heart/cannot go this alone’ and ‘I might think you love me/but I know damn well you don’t/Oh no/you don’t.’

The song reaches a crescendo with, ‘Bring all your lies leave them deep in the dirt/Oh no/you don’t/Pull down my eyes/lay me deep in the earth.’ There’s a beautiful moody guitar lead at the end that sounds a bit like Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins’ Adore. This is definitely the best song on the album, the lyrics are great and personal. It’s not one of those big ‘stadium’ Foo Fighters songs but it’s beautiful, kind of in the vein of “February Stars.”

“Subterranean” seamlessly transitions into “I Am A River.” “I Am A River” is a song that builds up throughout. Early on Grohl sings, ‘I found a reason/beneath the subway floor/I found the water/the devil’s water/and walked along its shore/is that what you want/the channel’s changing/the heart is racing/from voices on the wire/the soul is yearning/the coal is burning/the ember starts a fire/can we recover/love for each other/the measure of your life/is that what you want.’ The song then hits the chorus, one of the most epic ones on the album, ‘I am a river.’

“Subterranean” and “I Am A River” are the best tracks on the album, they’re just beautiful songs and don’t sound like the band retreading past ground. “Congregation” and “God As My Witness” are other album highlights, and while “The Feast and the Famine” has ‘rawkish’ lyrics, it’s an incredibly catchy song. The flaw of the album is that there are some middle of the road songs with generic lyrics and mediocre hooks, and with only 8 songs they stick out more than on a 10-13 track Foo Fighters album. This album isn’t on the same level as 2011’s Wasting Light, as it really lacks that album centerpiece, which that album had with “Walk.” This album definitely has some memorable songs though like “Subterranean” and “I Am A River” and has phenomenal production, but this isn’t one of Foo Fighters’ best albums. Despite this, it is definitely a worthy addition to their stellar catalog.