Greatest-hits compilations seldom make worthy additions to bands’ catalogs, but in some rare cases, they become the only record fans need to own. That’s overstating it in the case of Foo Fighters, but long before the release of the new Greatest Hits, the band had a reputation for filler-heavy albums punctuated by takeoff tracks. Even fans may remember 1997’s The Colour And The Shape mostly as a bunch of other stuff surrounding “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” and “Everlong,” but when Foo Fighters were on their game, they tended to hit it out of the park.
So few bands may be better suited to the greatest-hits treatment, and with the group going on hiatus (following 2007’s middling Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace), now is the time to do it. The standard edition collects 13 of the hits and features two songs, “Wheels” and “Word Forward,” recorded for this compilation, and a previously unreleased acoustic version of “Everlong.” The deluxe edition has all that, plus a 28-page photobook and DVD featuring videos and live performances. Aside from the new tracks, the standard edition offers little in the iTunes age, when casual fans probably have all the hits already. (Tellingly, iTunes only offers Greatest Hits as an entire album, though fans can opt for an “EP” version featuring only the new songs, the video for “Wheels,” and a cover of “Band On The Run,” which isn’t on the discs.) Still, as a collection of songs, Greatest Hits is hard to beat. It’s as if Foo Fighters have been working up to this point all along.