As Christmas of 1996 approached recording sessions for the second Foo Fighters studio album were not progressing well in Seattle. Tensions were high between the band and producer Gil Norton with everyone being pushed to stressful levels by the perfectionist producer. On top of this Grohl's marriage to Jennifer Youngblood was seemingly over, handed divorce papers whilst at the studio.
The tension and personal problems were clearly not cohesive to making a record and so the band decided to take a break for Christmas and re-convene after the holiday. Grohl headed home to Alexandria, Virginia but with the stress of divorce looming over him combined with the fact he was technically homeless, sleeping on the floor of a friend's house, he decided to take the short trip to visit Geoff Turner's WGNS Studios to work on some new ideas.
The studio relocated many times throughout its history, originally in Maryland followed by several locations in Washington, D.C. and later Arlington, Virginia, the incarnation Grohl visited in 1991 to record tracks with Turner. Through all of these relocations the studio perhaps confusingly retained the same 'WGNS Studios' name and by 1996 the studio was once again back in Washington, D.C.
Whilst there he took stock of what the band had recorded and also worked on two new songs, alone. "I took the rough tracks of what we'd done and it didn't seem right. The album had something missing." he told an interviewer in 2006. "I had this one riff that I originally thought was a Sonic Youth rip off, but I decided it might be good to turn it into a song".
The song he was referring to was 'Everlong', an up-tempo love song written about his new love, Veruca Salt frontwoman Louise Post (although Grohl has never explicitly stated it to be about her). "That song's about a girl that I'd fallen in love with and it was basically about being connected to someone so much, that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonise perfectly" he said describing the song and its meaning.
It's not known if Post featured on this otherwise solo recording of the song however it was re-recorded by all members of the band at a later session and that version of the song does feature audible backing harmony vocals which are thought to be Post (despite not being credited in the liner notes). It is also possible that Post recorded the backing vocals at this session with Grohl and they were then added to the later, full band recording.
The second track known to have been recorded at this session was 'Walking After You', another emotional, slow paced song featuring soft drumming, almost whisper like vocals and similarly light guitar work. Unlike 'Everlong' which Grohl stated to be about a future love 'Walking After You' was the opposite, a track seemingly about his soon to over marriage, describing it as "an emotional, sappy song about getting dumped."
This solo recording of 'Walking After You' was released on the album 'The Colour And The Shape' and in a post-release interview with BBC Radio 1 he explained what the noises at the end of the song were. "I got up off the drums and walked out of the room through this door and there were room mics and so I walk past in stereo" he told DJ Steve Lamaq, adding "I didn't know the tape was rolling and afterwards I heard that at the end of the song and I thought it was corny but it works!".
Rather than also using this solo recording of 'Everlong' for the record Grohl instead decided to re-record it with the rest of the band at the final recording session for the album in Hollywood, detailed on the following page.
Whilst it is thought by some that the acoustic version of 'Everlong' released on 2009s Greatest Hits album is the recording from this session it is in fact not, and this recording, assumed to be a 'full rock' version similar to the version on the album, remains unreleased.