This is the first single by the American rock band Foo Fighters, from their seventh studio album Wasting Light. The single premiered on radio on February 23, 2011 and was officially released on March 1, 2011.
"Rope," along with the rest of the album, was helmed by Nevermind producer Butch Vig. "This whole project has been really cool," Grohl told the BBC. "I haven't made a record with Butch for 20 years."
Wasting Light was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage using only analog equipment. Grohl explained why the Foos became a garage band in an interview with Q magazine: "In my hotel room in Perth, Australia, on a Them Crooked Vultures tour, it all came to me. I was sitting writing a new song and I thought, 'OK, we should make a documentary about the recording of this new album and make it a history of the band too. Rather than just record the album in the most expensive studio with the most state-of-the-art equipment, what if Butch and I were to get back together after 20 years and dust off the tape machines and put them in my garage?' I literally backed the minivan out of the garage, pulled the lawnmower out, put a drum set in it and set up mics. We soundproofed the garage door so that my neighbors wouldn't call the f--king cops."
The song is only the second in history to debut at #1 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart, after Linkin Park's "The Catalyst
" in 2010.
Grohl explained the band's name to English magazine NME: "I was reading a book about UFOs at the time, it was all about military WW2 sightings. And I learned that Foo Fighters was a nickname for UFOs during the war, and at the time, when I was recording this tape by myself, I didn't want people to think that it was just me, I wanted people to think it was a band. So I just called it Foo Fighters because it was…. plural! (laughs) That's It!"
The song's music video was directed by Dave Grohl and is performance-based, with a feeling of creeping claustrophobia. The Foo frontman told MTV News: "The video for 'Rope' was meant to really just look like the band performing the song in a really tight, claustrophobic space, not unlike our rehearsal space. I think practicing in this little rehearsal space that we have really influenced that idea, and we actually set up just as we do in rehearsal for the video."
Grohl told MTV News about the video's key scene, which further illustrates its creeping, claustrophobic feel. "We shot the video... in a big soundstage in Los Angeles. And we had to build this cube out of fabric and wood for the band to play within, and it's lit from outside," he explained. "And then, there's a part in the video where it's actually revealed that we're inside this weird white cube. At first it just seems like we're in this glowing white room from within, and then towards the end, the big reveal is we're in this room, which is within a massive room."
Wasting Light was Foo Fighters first #1 album in the United States. The 235,000 copies sold in the record's first week was eclipsed only by the 311,000 that In Your Honor debuted with in 2005.