March 2000 saw Foo Fighters once again in a recording studio, this time tasked with recording a song for the soundtrack of Mission: Impossible 2, the first sequel in the popular movie franchise. Despite having a half-dozen or more unreleased songs left over from the recent recording sessions for ‘There Is Nothing Left To Lose’, the band elected to instead do over a finished track from those sessions, their cover of the Pink Floyd track ‘Have A Cigar’. That first version, recorded at Studio 606 in Virginia, was featured as a B-Side to the ‘Learn To Fly’ single, released in October 1999.
Rather than re-record the track as just a four-piece including newly installed Guitarist Chris Shiflett, the band also enlisted the services of Queen guitarist Brian May, or rather Taylor Hawkins did. “Taylor rings me up and leaves me a message on my answering machine every week,” May explained. “We wanna do this thing, and you've heard the B-side. Let's do another version. We want you to be on it and its gonna be incredible,” exclaimed an excitable Hawkins to May.
The recording session took place at Allerton Hill, the home recording studio located on the second floor of May’s house in Surrey, United Kingdom. Foo Fighters were in Europe to play a handful of shows to promote their new album, including one at the Scala nightclub in London on March 4th. Recording in Surrey took place the next day – “They came down my house, which was great, I have my studio down there. Normally its fairly quiet down there but they came down and invaded” May explained. “We had a brilliant weekend just kicking stuff around and doing this track which was really no effort whatsoever, it just happened.”
As with their original recording, Grohl and Hawkins switched roles for the Floyd cover, with Taylor on lead vocals and Dave behind the drum kit, a scenario which Brian greatly enjoyed - “ I got to have Dave Grohl playing drums in my studio, which was a big thrill for me I have to tell you. I've recorded Cozy [Powell, drummer for various bands including the Brian May Band and Whitesnake] in there and I've recorded Roger [Taylor, Queen drummer] and a few damn good drummers, but God, the guy's unbelievable.” May also had heaps of praise for Taylor’s vocal performance - “He is a very good singer, isn't he? Yeah. Damned good as far as I'm concerned.”
The track was produced collaboratively by the five performers as well as longtime Queen producer Justin Shirley-Smith, who also recorded the song. Despite being unsure about his own guitar part, seeking reassurance from Hawkins at one point, May was happy with the overall result of the session. “It didn't get the corners knocked off it, it didn't get over-produced, and actually what you hear is what we did.”
New boy Chris Shiflett gave a brief comment on his first proper Foo Fighters recording session in an interview with Kerrang! Magazine, stating that it was like “living in a comic book, ‘cos you always think of those people as superheroes when you’re a little kid”.
The movie soundtrack was first released in May 2000 as well as getting radio airtime. The track was also later re-released on the 2011 Foo Fighters compilation record ‘Medium Rare’, alongside a selection of other cover songs recorded by the band over the years.