Rope

Album: Wasting Light (2011)
Charted: 22 68

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

Comments: 3

  • Layton from Paris, TxThe middle of the song where they stop and go and Taylor has his badass tiny solo...ahh I love it xD
  • Drew from Bateville, InI have been humming this song all day... Great Song by a Great band
  • Mathijs from Houten, NetherlandsGreat rocking tune, liked it from the very start. The solo is awesome!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.