When Foo Fighters released a debut album written and recorded entirely by leader Dave Grohl -- at that point known only as the powerhouse drummer for Nirvana -- in the summer of 1995, few would have guessed that the group would wind up as the one band to survive the '90s alt-rock explosion unscathed. Other bands burned brighter but they flamed out, breaking up after scoring a hit or two, but the Foos steadily racked up success after success, filling up stadiums around the world while staying on top of the charts all the way into the second decade of the new millennium. Once the band's lineup coalesced around the time of its third album in 1999, Foo Fighters' sound also gelled into a recognizable signature built upon the heavy, melodic, loud-quiet-loud template of the Pixies and Nirvana, the modern rock anchored by a love of classic guitar rock. It was commercial without pandering, creatively restless without being alienating, a sound with wide appeal delivered by a band that was happy to tour and record the way bands did back in the '70s. When Wasting Light became their first number one album in America upon its release in the spring of 2011, it was confirmation that Foo Fighters were survivors who had earned a large, devoted audience primarily through hard work.