Nirvana v. Foo Fighters: A Question of What Could Have Been

Had Kurt Cobain not been tragically crushed by the weight of his own success, would Nirvana go on to be as consistently growing and changing as the Foo Fighters have become in Nirvana’s absence? Or would they follow a course similar to their brothers in grunge, Pearl Jam; being hailed as one of the most influential bands still making music today?

It’s telling that in Nirvana’s all too brief time in the sun, they’re still widely regarded as one of the best bands of all time. But is this a case of the potential outweighing the achievements? Is Nirvana inherently better in theory than practice?

My own opinion is that, were Nirvana to still be recording music today, they would have transcended their grunge beginnings and evolved into an experimental musical force to be reckoned with. Multiple lineup changes, more than likely.

Foo Fighters, as a band, is a prime example of what occurs when a group of musicians blends their passion in a way that makes their sound timeless. You know when a Foo Fighters song is playing. Dave Grohl is one to grab your attention pretty quick. Their catalogue is staggering in scale and diversity, all while maintaining a significant and unique audio profile. Something very few bands have mastered over the years.

It’s obvious that comparing these two bands in a competition of historical value or cultural impact is impossible. I am in no way trying to pit these two powerhouses against one another in a battle for your endearment. Both bands are favorites of mine for a variety of reasons.

But sometimes we must weigh what could have been and contemplate what a sort of miraculous thing music is. How lucky were we to have The Beatles? David Bowie? Prince? Tom Petty? All in the same flashbang stretch of time in the universe we just so happen to be living through. It’s mindboggling.

How do you think Nirvana would have continued had Cobain remained with us? What’s your favorite Foo Fighters song? Sound off in the comments!

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