1996 saw Foo Fighters continuing a grueling schedule of tour dates supporting their debut album, culminating with an appearance at the Phoenix Festival in England, on July 19th. Upon arriving back in the United States, the band took a well-deserved break but less than a week later, Dave Grohl was back in a recording studio for a rather unique project. Earlier in the year Grohl had been approached by the producers of an upcoming feature-length film, offering him the opportunity to write and record the entire musical score, which would also serve as the companion soundtrack. “The movie people didn't want to have a soundtrack that was just 10 or 15 bands that all have records in the charts,” explained Grohl. “They wanted to have someone actually score the movie and write incidental music for suspense and chase scenes.”
The movie in question was ‘Touch’, a comedy-drama starring Bridget Fonda and Christopher Walken which was adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. Having watched an early version of the movie and enjoyed it Grohl agreed to produce the score but did so with a jovial warning to the producers - “I haven’t done this before – I could really fuck it up!” Grohl was provided with a copy of the film along with a list of scenes that required a musical accompaniment. “I sat down and tried to come up with some music that would go with the images, without being too in-your-face. The songs had to stay in the background,” explained Grohl.
With no pressure or specific requirements from the movie producers, Grohl booked into his now favored Robert Lang Studio in Seattle and again took along friend Barrett Jones to produce.
Louise Post, vocalist, and guitarist for alt-rock band Veruca Salt was reportedly dating Grohl at the time and was an obvious choice after he’d decided he wanted to include a female vocal. Post sang vocals on the track ‘Saints In Love’ and was also credited as a writer on the title track. Also joining Dave at the studio was John Doe (real name John Duchac), bassist and singer of X, a band credited as being part of the first wave of punk in the late 1970s. Doe added his vocals to the track ‘This Loving Thing (Lynn’s Song)’, also assisting with writing on the track.
Other than those, the only other track to feature vocals was ‘How Do You Do’, Grohl singing lead on a song he described as sounding “a bit like Foo Fighters”. Producer Jones also got involved, playing keyboard on the track ‘Final Miracle’ and the final guest performer was Eric Richards, playing slide guitar on ‘This Loving Thing (Lynn’s Song). Grohl described much of the musical score as being weird, noting that he’d just use whatever he felt worked for the scene. “It doesn't sound like anything that I have ever done.” Whilst, on one hand, writing a music score was less restrictive, he would have to write parts that matched the tone of the scene. “There's a scene with this redneck woman and her white trash trailer-park home, then you don't want a song that sounds like Gary Numan, you want a song that sounds like Hank Williams.”
In comparison to writing songs with a classic poppy structure, he found writing what was effectively background music, less restrictive - “With a soundtrack, you can do anything, and the most important thing is, that parts don't have to be repeated continuously. You don't need a catchy chorus.”
Dave got to see the finished film for the first time in early 1997 although admitted he mostly focused on his score, which he was very hard on himself about - “I just listen to the music and think that I fucked it up really bad!”, echoing the warning he gave the producers. The recording session was completed in approximately two weeks and the film was premiered in the United States in February 1997, with the soundtrack following the next month.