FAITH NO MORE


"This Is It: The Best of Faith No More" (Slash/Reprise/Rhino; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Faith No More didn't so much explode onto the music scene as knock on the door with "We Care A Lot" and "Introduce Yourself," then waited patiently for someone to figure them out, and finally burst through the door with the single "Epic" from their album "The Real Thing." Often known as the band that brought flopping fish and an exploding piano to the MTV generation (such was the golden age of music videos) it's easy to forget that Faith No More were quite a talented band and made some very distinctive music in their career.

"This Is It: The Best Of Faith No More" chronicles the band's musical journey from 1985 to 1997. The disc includes 19-tracks presented in near chronological order which, in the case of Faith No More, is a really good thing. Hearing the band progress from the likes of "We Care A Lot" to "Last Cup Of Sorrow" is best experienced in linear order even if you'd get the same impression of the band if the songs were in no particular order. Faith No More as a musical outfit generated a wealth of musical gems from the broad and seemingly endless talent - "This Is It" is evidence of that.

I'd only listened to the Chuck Mosely-era of Faith No More a couple of times when I borrowed "We Care A Lot" and "Introduce Yourself" from a friend. I wasn't particularly impressed, although I did think the band had a unique sound. Revisiting the four tracks from the Mosely-era on "This Is It" really didn't do much for me this time around either; however, I must admit hearing the track "Introduce Yourself" did bring back the few positive memories I had of that initial listening experience.

Four cuts are included from the band's breakthrough album "The Real Thing." Nothing much needs to be said about the ubiquitous single "Epic," but mention should be made of "Falling To Pieces." I'd always enjoyed "Falling To Pieces" and hearing it again amongst the rest of the band's best work reinforces how good and how catchy the song really is.

Three tracks are included from "Angel Dust." "Angel Dust" was an album conceived of 'left field' ideas and execution and probably threw more than a few fans for the proverbial loop expecting to hear "The Real Thing Part Two." Personally, "Angel Dust" is by far my favorite Faith No More album and I'd consider the bulk of "Angel Dust" to suffice as my personal Faith No More greatest hits disc even if others think less of it than I do.

Two tracks from "King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime" made it onto this hits collection. Based on personal experience, most Faith No More fans either love or hate this disc. Personally I love it and it was a regular staple of my rotation shortly after its release. I must admit it's been about two or three years since I've listened to it and hearing "Evidence" and "Digging The Grave" have made me seek this album out again.

Two tracks from the band's swan song, "Album Of The Year" are included on this collection. "Album Of The Year" is an underrated disc deserving of more commercial success. However, "Last Cup Of Sorrow" and "Ashes To Ashes" are two fine examples from this disc.

Hard-to-find songs from the band's singles are included as well as is their contribution to the "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" soundtrack.

The bottom line is that everyone should be exposed to the genius of Mike Patton at least once as well as the expansive creative force that the band created in it is music. "This Is It: The Best Of Faith No More" allows you to do just that in a concise format. However, don't be surprised if you find yourself buying more of the band's back catalog.

Despite my personal gripes about this collection, "This Is It: The Best Of Faith No More" is a good starting point for those music fans who loved "Epic" and are curious to hear more from the band without spending the money to have all of the band's albums. Fans of Faith No More will probably want to add the disc to their collections due to the hard to find tracks from the band's singles. Additionally, the oft-maligned Paul Gargano did a decent job with the liner notes that covers the band's history.

Tracks on "This Is It: The Best Of Faith No More" were produced by the likes of Matt Wallace, Steve Berlin, Roli Mosimann, Billy Gould, and Faith No More.

Faith No More over its illustrious history included Chuck Mosley on vocals, Mike Patton on vocals, Jim Martin on guitars, Jon Hudson on guitar, Trey Spruance on guitar, Billy Gould on bass, Roddy Bottum on keyboards, and Mike Bordin on drums.

For more information visit http://www.forum2.org/uri/fnm/ (this is not an official band website, but a good resource for everything about Faith No More).


"The Real Thing" (Slash/Reprise; 1989)

Reviewed by TBJ

It's very hard to describe a band like Faith No More, let alone to try and fit them into a specific musical category. These guys play whatever the hell they want, and for that I applaud them. 

"The Real Thing" came out at a time when hair bands had begun taking off the mascara and the eyeliner, and bands like Metallica, and Guns'n'Roses started flourishing. It was a time of change.

Why this band was labeled "alternative" is hard to tell. Maybe it was because of the funky bass, or the abundant use of keyboards, or just because the guys in the band never had that "Rock Star" look. I will just call them Faith No more, and there's just nobody else like them. 

Faith No More effortlessly enjoin different styles of music and form a style all their own. From the aforementioned keyboards, to Bill's quirky basslines, to Jim's all out metal guitars, everything just musically gels.

With song titles such as "Zombie Eaters," "Woodpecker from Mars" and others, you know these guys don't take life too seriously. Or do they?

"Epic" became a smash hit for its headbang-inducing chorus, and for that damned fish in the video. What people don't realize is that this song (and many others on the album) was very carefully crafted, with its rapped-out verses (Limp who?), weirdly melodic pre-chorus, and the aforementioned all out metal chorus. And let's not forget that "Epic" piano finale. Just sweet.

These guys are talented, as I've mentioned before, and their "don't care" attitude serves them well. And Michael Patton is a very underrated vocalist. His voice is unique and of good range, sounding almost maniacal without the clichéd screaming or growling.

This CD represents an era when alternative meant "not quite metal, but still pretty cool," and was meant to describe bands such as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. They were metal, only with different influences and hair styles!

Faith No More is: Mike Bordin - Drums; Roddy Bottum - keyboards; Bill Gould - bass; Jim Martin - guitars; Michael Patton - vocals.


"Angel Dust" (Slash/Reprise; 1992)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The follow-up to the widely popular "The Real Thing" was the bizarre and eclectic "Angel Dust." If there was ever an album that threw a band's fans for a loop it's "Angel Dust." And don't kid yourself – it was deliberate. It's obvious that Patton and company went out of their way to make a record that didn't replicate the successful formula, no matter how unintentional, of "The Real Thing."

While I never could understand the wide appeal of "The Real Thing" I believed for the longest time that I was one of the few lucky souls who appreciated "Angel Dust" for all it was worth. Of course, I'm writing this a full decade after its release and it's not hard to miss the praise for this record blanketed across the Internet by countless critics – so I know I'm no longer alone in my appreciation for "Angel Dust."

Largely dropping the 'rap' that the band was famous for due to the supremely talented Mike Patton on "The Real Thing," Patton howls, screeches, whispers, and grunts his way through "Angel Dust" to good effect. So versatile are Patton's vocalizations it's almost like he's another instrument. Meanwhile, guitarist Martin, keyboardist Bottom, bassist Gould, and drummer Bordin got to great lengths to craft each song in a unique manner – I still seem to find new sounds in the nooks and crannies of the twelve tracks. While not truly a metal band, or a hard rock band for that matter, Faith No More used metal-based styles to complement their alt-rock, alt-metal leanings.

Any track by track description of "Angel Dust" would be a pointless exercise (or a very long review which ... come to think of it ... would be a pointless exercise). Despite the varying sounds and styles of the twelve tracks on "Angel Dust" everything works. In all honesty it's still a bit jarring to hear certain sections of songs even after repeated listens after a decade, but some things just make sense even after all this time.

"Angel Dust" was produced by Matt Wallace and Faith No More.

Faith No More: Mike Patton on vocals, Jim Martin on guitar, Roddy Bottum on keyboards, Billy Gould on bass, and Mike Bordin on drums.


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Mar 2017 12:56:13 -0500 .