Our favorite songs are timeless. Even with years separating us from the last time we heard them, these songs call us back to bygone eras of our lives. Some of them helped us through heart wrenching breakups while others remind us of late nights spent with best friends. In this feature I reflect on the tracks that I’ve obsessed over in the past and always welcome back to my headphones in the present.
Once someone asked me what my favorite song was. I thought it over before answering “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters. This was about fifteen years ago, and although I don’t have a single favorite song now (more like dozens or hundreds of them), I still like that answer.
The dreamy guitar riff that introduces “Everlong” is simple and unforgettable. It’s so simple a novice guitarist can learn it and play it back within minutes, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. Likewise, the introductory lyrics are not complex, but Dave Grohl delivers them with a smooth kind of conviction: “Hello. / I’ve waited here for you… / Everlong.” By this point in the song the dreamy guitar has been met by a second distorted guitar that somehow doesn’t sound dated (with “Everlong” being released in 1997) and drumming that’s never too far away from excitable drumrolls. I suspect “Everlong” wouldn’t be half as good as it is if not for the bridge which abruptly reintroduces the opening riff backed by Grohl’s mysterious whisperings.
I was surprised to find the song’s runtime is over four minutes. Really, “Everlong” is so good it always seems like it ends too soon. It wouldn’t feel right to call “Everlong” a love song, but it’s passionate and sincere, and it still rocks. Grohl didn’t have to pen a soft ballad to work through his emotions; that being said I’ve always preferred the full band version to acoustic renditions. “Everlong” is best when washing over you with full force.
Side note: I liked watching AMV videos years back (they’re anime clips spliced together with popular music), and the Tenchi “Everlong” video is one of the best. It inspired me to watch the Tenchi anime recently – I recommend doing the same if you like weird, funny anime.