Times Like These (song)

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"Times Like These"
Times like these (Foo Fighters single) coverart.jpg
Single by Foo Fighters
from the album One by One
ReleasedJanuary 14, 2003 (2003-01-14)
  • May 2002
  • November 29, 2002 (BBC sessions)
  • December 4, 2002 (Live at the Spektrum)
  • August 2006 (Acoustic version)
  • 4:26 (Album version)
  • 3:55 (BBC sessions)
  • 4:35 (live at the Spektrum)
Foo Fighters singles chronology
"All My Life"
"Times Like These"
Alternate covers
Music video
"Times Like These" on YouTube

"Times Like These" is a song by American rock band Foo Fighters. It is the fourth track from their fourth album One by One, and was released as its second single on January 14, 2003.


The lyrics discuss how Dave Grohl felt "like I wasn't entirely myself" during the three-month hiatus the Foo Fighters entered following the tense and unsatisfying first recording sessions for One by One, as well as his uncertainty about the future of the band.[1][2] The lyric "I'm a new day rising" is a reference to the album New Day Rising by Hüsker Dü, one of Grohl's favorite groups.

"Times Like These" is in D Mixolydian mode and the section that begins at 0:13 is in 7/4 time. The chorus of the song is also grouped in bars of 3 rather than the regular bars of 4. Somewhat unusually, the song intro starts in 8/4 time for 4 bars, then switches to 7/4 for 8 bars and then 6 bars of 8/4 again before leading into the first verse, which is also in 8/4. It is set at 145 BPM.

After the album version ended its run on the charts, a solo acoustic version of the song performed by Grohl was released and had some success on pop and adult contemporary radio but generally it enjoyed great success on rock and alternative radio just like the original electric version.

Music videos[edit]

Two music videos were made for the studio version of the song and a third music video was made for an acoustic version of the song. All 3 versions were made available via the DVD release "Low/Times Like These"(2003):

Version 1[edit]

Directed by Liam Lynch. The band is shown performing the song against changing backgrounds, consisting mainly of brightly colored kaleidoscopic forms similar to those found in music visualization, giving the video a psychedelic, hopeful, joyful mood. In the end, the backgrounds blink out to reveal that the band are performing against a greenscreen in a studio. This version is often referred to as the "UK version" and received little airplay in the US as the band ultimately opted to film another video shortly afterwards.

Version 2[edit]

Directed by Marc Klasfeld. The video was shot on the Mojave River Bridge in Victorville, CA and shows the band performing the song on location, below and in front of a bridge. A girl wanders onto the bridge and eventually tosses her Game Boy Advance at them. Gradually, more and more people arrive at the bridge and start throwing other inanimate objects (including appliances, instruments, and furniture) behind and around the oblivious band members. The items never hit any of them, though they come close. The actions of the participants would suggest that their motivations and intentions are to cast off the material trappings of society which prohibit them from living freely.

Two cars are then simultaneously dropped off the bridge and behind the band, resulting in clouds of smoke and fire. This is followed by an entire house (only with walls and roof) being dropped onto the band by a crane, and the walls falling onto the ground without anyone getting hurt. A continuity error occurs at the end: when the house falls apart, the roof is missing.

Some of the extras featured in the video were fans selected through the band's official web site.[3]

Acoustic version[edit]

A music video was produced for the acoustic version. It consists solely of clips of Grohl recording the song's vocal, guitar, and piano tracks in the studio. It was co-directed by Grohl and Bill Yukich.

Live performances[edit]

  • An acoustic version recorded on November 29, 2002 at the BBC Radio 1 Studio during The Jo Whiley Show's Live Lounge segment was released on the Radio 1's Live Lounge – Volume 2 compilation.
  • A live version recorded on December 4, 2002 at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway was released on the special Norwegian edition of One by One.
  • The band performed the song with jazz pianist Chick Corea at the 2004 Grammy Awards.
  • A live version filmed at Hyde Park on June 17, 2006 was released on the Live at Hyde Park DVD.
  • An acoustic version recorded in August 2006 at Pantages Theatre was released on Skin and Bones.
  • A live version recorded on July 7, 2007 at Wembley Stadium in London during Live Earth was released on the "Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis" CD.
  • A live version filmed at Wembley Stadium on June 7, 2008 was released on the Live at Wembley Stadium DVD.
  • The band performed the song live at the iPhone 5 launch event on September 21, 2012.
  • After Dave Grohl had broken his leg in 2015, and was unable to perform at Glastonbury Festival, Florence and the Machine stepped in for the Foo Fighters and sang a rendition of the song in Grohl's honor. The Foo Fighters later managed to perform the song at Glastonbury in 2017, opening their set and dedicating it to Florence Welch.
  • Foo Fighters performed the song for their second number during their 2020 appearance on Saturday Night Live.
  • Performed as part of the “Celebrating America” broadcast for President Joe Biden’s inauguration celebration on January 20, 2021.

In media[edit]

The acoustic version of this song was used in episode 20 of season 4 ("The Birth and Death of the Day") of One Tree Hill during the graduation scene, which is also when Haley's water breaks.

This is also used as the theme song for a video montage showing memorable past goals at Turf Moor for all of Burnley FC's home games from 2009 to the present.

It was used by George W. Bush for his 2004 re-election campaign without the band's knowledge. "That was weird," Grohl remarked. "And to me it just seemed like a pretty good example of how completely out of touch he was. You read those lyrics: they're about hope and love and compassion. And look at his administration: war and fear and death. It was laughable. You couldn't have picked a worse song. That's why I jumped on the John Kerry campaign. I thought, 'I guess the right thing to do is to go play the song where it's needed – where it makes sense.'"[4]

The acoustic version was used at the end of episode 21 ("Coalition of the Willing") of the American television series Jericho.

The acoustic version was used by the Calgary Flames during their 2003–04 NHL season cup run, for their opening.

It was released as a Rock Band and Rock Band 2 DLC track on Xbox Live and PSN on December 23, 2008.

It was featured in the 2003 film American Wedding.

The song and the acoustic version were both featured in the 2012 ESPY Awards in a montage to commemorate the past 20 years in sports.

"Times Like These" was featured in the 2007 annual WWE Tribute to the Troops.

The Washington Nationals Radio Network plays part of the track as the bridge to the post-game show after any game the Nationals win.

An acoustic cover version of the song appears in a Sprint/T-Mobile commercial as of March 2020.

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Times Like These"
  2. "A Life of Illusion" (Joe Walsh cover)
  3. "Planet Claire" (The B-52's cover) (Live at New York City, New York, 31 Oct 2002 with Fred Schneider)

Enhanced Section ("Nice Hat")
Enhanced Section ("Back Slapper")

  1. "Times Like These"
  2. "Normal"
  3. "Learn to Fly" (Live in Los Angeles, California, 22 Oct 2002)

Enhanced section ("Japanese Grunge")

Japan EP
  1. "Times Like These"
  2. "A Life of Illusion" (Joe Walsh cover)
  3. "The One"
  4. "Normal"
  5. "Planet Claire" (The B-52's cover) (Live in New York City, New York, 31 Oct 2002 with Fred Schneider)
  6. "Learn to Fly" (Live at Los Angeles 22 Oct 2002)
7" Vinyl
  1. "Times Like These"
  2. "A Life of Illusion" (Joe Walsh cover)


Charts and certifications[edit]

Live Lounge Allstars charity single[edit]

"Times Like These"
Times Like These - Live Lounge Allstars.jpg
Single by Live Lounge Allstars
Released23 April 2020
VenueHouseholds of various artists
Producer(s)Fraser T. Smith (primary)
Chris Price (executive)
Music video
"Times Like These" (BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge) on YouTube

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BBC Radio 1 organised the "biggest ever" Live Lounge cover version as part of their Stay at Home project.[17] The track was produced by Fraser T. Smith and was performed by the charity supergroup Live Lounge Allstars. Each member recorded and filmed their contribution to the song from their respective households in order to encourage social distancing.[18] The song was released on 23 April 2020 and the video premiered as part of The Big Night In telethon.[19] Among various charities worldwide, profits from the single will primarily go to Children in Need and Comic Relief, as well as WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.[20] Within 12 hours of the song's initial release, it gained 43,000 digital downloads and entered the top 5 on the UK Singles Chart.[21] The song reached number 1 on its second week, earning 66,000 chart sales (78% of which were downloads).[22] This song also became the first song produced by BBC Radio 1 to top the chart, and the first BBC release to reach number one since "Perfect Day" in 1997.[22] A lyric video of the cover version was released on 29 April 2020.[23]


The song was performed by the following artists (in alphabetical order):[24][25][26][27]



  • Ben Johnston (of Biffy Clyro) – percussion
  • Ben Thatcher (of Royal Blood) – percussion
  • Chris Martin (of Coldplay) – piano
  • Chris Wood (of Bastille) – glockenspiel
  • Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters) – drums
  • Ellie Goulding – acoustic guitar
  • Fraser T. Smith – guitar, percussion, piano
  • James Johnston (of Biffy Clyro) – bass
  • Luke Hemmings (of 5 Seconds of Summer) – acoustic guitar
  • Sigrid – piano
  • Simon Neil (of Biffy Clyro) – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, violin
  • Taylor Hawkins (of Foo Fighters) – drums, percussion
  • Yungblud – acoustic guitar


Chart (2020) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[28] 39
Canada (Hot Canadian Digital Songs)[29] 8
Euro Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[30] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[31] 64
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40 Tipparade)[32] 15
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[33] 5
Scotland (OCC)[34] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[35] 1
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[36] 12
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[37] 18
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[38] 31


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 200,000double-dagger

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Other notable covers[edit]

  • Glen Campbell recorded the song for his 2008 album Meet Glen Campbell.
  • Ryan Adams performed acoustic covers of the song during a 2008 tour of Europe, and has continued to occasionally cover it live both with a backing band and solo since.
  • R&B singer JoJo performed an acoustic cover on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, playing the verses and chorus without the sections in 7/4 time.
  • American band Shinedown covered the song on their 2011 live album Somewhere in the Stratosphere.
  • Florence and the Machine performed a cover during Glastonbury 2015 as a tribute to the Foo Fighters, whom they'd replaced as headliners after Dave Grohl broke his leg.
  • Trance DJ and producer Ciaran McAuley recorded the song in collaboration with vocalist Roxanne Emery under their HØLY WATERS alias.


  1. ^ Moll, James (2011). Back and Forth.
  2. ^ Apter, Jeff (2008). The Dave Grohl Story. Music Sales Group. ISBN 978-0-85712-021-2.
  3. ^ "Official FooFighters.com news headline, "Wanna be in a Foo video?" (bottom of page)". Archived from the original on October 17, 2003. Retrieved 2017-09-14.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Doyle, Tom: "I wanted to take acid and smash stuff," Q #253, August 2007, p80
  5. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Foo Fighters – Times Like These". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Times Like These". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Foo Fighters – Times Like These" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Foo Fighters: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  12. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  15. ^ "British single certifications – Foo Fighters – Times Like These". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 May 2020. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Times Like These in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  16. ^ "American single certifications – Foo Fighters – Times Like These". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 10 April 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ Carr, Flora (21 April 2020). "BBC Radio 1 to record "biggest ever" Live Lounge for charity". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  18. ^ "BBC - BBC Radio 1 to record biggest ever Live Lounge for charity amid Coronavirus crisis, featuring Dua Lipa, Chris Martin of Coldplay, AJ Tracey, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding, YUNGBLUD and more". BBC. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Music artists unite for Live Lounge charity single". BBC News. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  20. ^ Rowley, Glen (20 April 2020). "Dua Lipa, Chris Martin to Cover Foo Fighters' 'Times Like These' for Charity". Billboard. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  21. ^ Ainsley, Helen (24 April 2020). "Live Lounge Allstars charity single enters Top 5 just hours after release". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  22. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (1 May 2020). "Radio 1's Stay Home Live Lounge single claims Number 1". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Live Lounge Allstars – Times Like These (Lyric Video – BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge)". YouTube. BBC Radio 1. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  24. ^ Copsey, Rob (23 April 2020). "Radio 1 unveil all-star Live Lounge charity single: Listen". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Times Like These (BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge) on Tidal". Tidal. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  26. ^ Reilly, Nick (23 April 2020). "Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins to join huge 'Times Like These' cover". NME. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Live Lounge Allstars - Times Like These (BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge)". BBC Radio 1. YouTube. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Live Lounge Allstars – Times Like These (BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge)" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  29. ^ "Hot Canadian Digital Song Sales: May 9, 2020". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  30. ^ "Live Lounge Allstars Chart History (Euro Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  31. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  32. ^ "Tipparade-lijst van week 18, 2020" [Tip parade list from week 19, 2020] (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  33. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Times Like These | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Live Lounge Allstars Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  37. ^ "Live Lounge Allstars Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  38. ^ "Live Lounge Allstars Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  39. ^ "British single certifications – Live Lounge Allstars – Times Like These". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2 September 2020. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Times Like These in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]