Learn to Fly

"Learn to Fly" is a song by American rock band Foo Fighters. It was released as the lead single from their third studio album There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999) on October 18, 1999. It was the band's first song to enter the Billboard Hot 100, as well as their second-highest charting song on the Hot 100, peaking at number 19. It also peaked within the top 40 in Australia, Canada, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland and the United Kingdom. The song's music video won Best Short Form Video award at the 43rd Grammy Awards in 2000.

"Learn to Fly"
LearnToFly1.jpg
Single by Foo Fighters
from the album There Is Nothing Left to Lose
B-side
ReleasedOctober 18, 1999 (1999-10-18)
RecordedMarch–June 1999
Studio
Genre
Length3:55
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Foo Fighters singles chronology
"Walking After You"
(1998)
"Learn to Fly"
(1999)
"Stacked Actors"
(2000)
Alternative cover
(CD2)
(CD2)
Music video
"Learn to Fly" on YouTube

Release and receptionEdit

The "Learn to Fly" single was released as a two-disc CD set in the UK and Australia, as well as in Europe, and promotional singles were also released in other countries such as the US for radio play. In the US, it was the band's first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, charting at number 19,[1] and was the band's first number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[2] It is also their highest-charting on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, along with the 1996 hit "Big Me", reaching number 13.[3] The song set the record for most weeks (13) at number one on the Canadian rock radio charts.[4]

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song was directed by Jesse Peretz and won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 2001.[5]

The music video for the song takes place on a commercial airliner, parodying the movie Airplane!, and by extension, the films Airport 1975 and its sequel Airport '77. The background elevator music is The Moog Cookbook's version of "Everlong".[6] Two airline mechanics (played by Jack Black and Kyle Gass from Tenacious D) smuggle and hide their narcotics known as "World Domination brand 'Erotic' Sleeping Powder"[7] in the coffee-maker. This ends up incapacitating everyone who drinks the coffee. The take-off sequence, in addition to the crew members hiding ulterior criminal motives, are a near shot-by-shot homage to the film Airport '77. The band, having avoided the coffee (choosing liquor instead), mirroring Karen Black's role in Airport 1975, find themselves forced to land the plane. For the video, each band member (Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, and Taylor Hawkins) portrays himself as well as several other roles, including Grohl as an FBI agent who arrests the two mechanics when they attempt to smuggle more of their narcotics.

2015 tribute videoEdit

On July 30, 2015, a video was published on YouTube of 1,000 Italian musicians in Cesena, Italy all playing and singing the song in unison, followed by a plea for the Foo Fighters to come play a concert in Cesena.[8][9][10] By August 16, it had gained more than 33 million views.[11]

On July 31, Dave Grohl responded, in Italian, thanking the makers for "the beautiful video" and adding "Thank you so much. We're coming, I swear. We'll see each other soon."[12][13] On November 3, 2015, in response, Foo Fighters performed a twenty-seven-song concert in Cesena for approximately 3,000 people, starting their set with "Learn to Fly".[14]

The group assembled for the stunt have performed subsequently under the name Rockin' 1000, and have been described as the "biggest band in the world."[15]

In August 2015, nearly 16 years after its initial release, the single entered the Austrian Singles Chart at number 69 and the Swiss Singles Chart at number 41.[16]

Other versionsEdit

A live version recorded in Sydney, Australia, on January 24, 2000, was released on the Australian "Generator" single and CD 1 of "Breakout".

In mediaEdit

"Learn to Fly" is a playable track in Rock Band and was released as DLC for Rock Band 4. The song was also featured in the season 4 Scrubs episode "My Unicorn".[17]

The intro to "Learn to Fly" was used as the theme to the "Pyramid Rocks" television pilot for VH1 in 1999.

Track listingEdit

Disc one
  1. "Learn to Fly"
  2. "Iron and Stone" (The Obsessed cover)
  3. "Have a Cigar" (Pink Floyd cover)
Disc two
  1. "Learn to Fly"
  2. "Make a Bet"
  3. "Have a Cigar" (Pink Floyd cover)
Promo
  1. "Learn to Fly"
7-inch vinyl
  1. "Learn to Fly"
  2. "Have a Cigar" (Pink Floyd cover)

PersonnelEdit

Charts and certificationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Foo Fighters - Billboard Hot 100 Chart History billboard.com. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  2. ^ Foo Fighters - Billboard Alternative Songs Chart History billboard.com. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  3. ^ Foo Fighters - Billboard Radio Songs History billboard.com. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Cantin, Paul (January 13, 2000). "Foo Fighters set Cdn. record". Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  5. ^ "Past Winners Search".
  6. ^ "Foo Fighters' Learn To Fly Video Analysed In Really Minute Detail". Kerrang!.
  7. ^ Foo Fighters FAQ. Accessed December 27, 2006[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Rudgard, Olivia. "Video: 1,000 musicians play Foo Fighters song". Telegraph. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  9. ^ Nme.Com. "NME News Foo Fighters to play Italy gig after video of 1,000 fans covering 'Learn To Fly' goes viral". Nme.Com. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  10. ^ "1,000 musicians play Foo Fighters song to persuade concert - Videos". CBS News. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ Dave Grohl. "We've translated Dave Grohl's Italian message to fans in Cesena - BBC Newsbeat". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  14. ^ "Foo Fighters, Recruited by Viral Video, Play Unplanned Concert in Italy". NY Times. November 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "The Biggest Band In The World – Italy's Rockin'1000 Founder Fabio Zaffagnini On Foo Fighters, Viral Success And Their Mad Live Show". NME.COM. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  16. ^ "Ö3 Austria Top40: Single-Charts - Ö3 Charts".
  17. ^ Cite error: The named reference scrubs was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 10026." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9689." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Foo Fighters" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  24. ^ "LEARN TO FLY". Polskie Radio. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  27. ^ "Foo Fighters: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  28. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  29. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  30. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  31. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  32. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  33. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  34. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  35. ^ "Lescharts.com – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  36. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  37. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  38. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  39. ^ Foo Fighters - Rock Digital Songs Chart history billboard.com. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  40. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  41. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  42. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". Music Canada. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  43. ^ "Italian single certifications – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved May 21, 2018. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Learn to Fly" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  44. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 21 July 2020. Type Foo Fighters in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and Learn to Fly in the box under TÍTULO
  45. ^ "British single certifications – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 7, 2015. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Learn to Fly in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  46. ^ "American single certifications – Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 8, 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit