The early days of Faith No More go back to 1982 in San Francisco, when formed from the demise of a band called Faith No Man that featured original members of Faith No More: bassist William Gould, keyboardist Roddy Bottum, and drummer Mike Bordin. Faith No Man did not release any official recordings however. The name Faith No More derived from the previous name as sort of a spin off. The new band was formed, and with Bordin, Bottum and Gould, they recruited guitarist Jim Martin to play and went through a series of vocalists, including Courtney Love, before settling on Chuck Mosley. The band toured around California before releasing this debut album entitled We Care A Lot
in 1985. The album didn't gain much attention outside of the state, mostly due to it being on an independent record label (Mordam Records). Faith No More would make their major label debut on their follow up album, Introduce Yourself
, released in 1987. We Care A Lot
was only released on vinyl and cassette at the time, and would gain more recognition ten years later in 1995 when it would re-released on CD. Faith No More's ability to play a variety of musical styles ranging from rock, metal, funk, pop, and hip hop saw them as a band that stood out along side bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and are sometimes said to one of the most versatile bands in popular music.
Faith No More - We Care A Lot
This album is often forgotten and/or not appreciated by big fans of the band, or sometimes even completely unheard of by casual fans that are only familiar with the singles. This is largely due to the fact that Mike Patton is not the lead vocalist. Patton would take over in 1988, after Mosley was fired. It was when Patton joined the band that Faith No More would start to achieve mainstream fame and acknowledgment with hit albums such as 1989's The Real Thing
and 1992's Angel Dust
. There is no doubt to me that Faith No More would get better with Patton, but this album was a start for the band, even if it isn't the greatest, it shows signs of promise for the future. At times it is even hard to distinguish that this is the same band as later years. Now, even when not comparing Patton to Mosley, Chuck isn't the most technically gifted vocalist, or at least does not show it on this album. He has a deep voice and is rather monotonous at times, and though monotone can be used to full potential in certain cases, often times here, its not. Tracks like Greed
, The Jungle
and New Beginnings
would display these factors most, as there is little to no intensity shown and it seems like the recording is dull, taking away even more from the voice. However, the album opener and title track is one full of energy from Mosely with help of backing vocals. It is one of, if not his best Chuck's best performance on the album, giving a good first impression of the album and him.
But the core of Faith No More, the rhythm department consisting of guitarist Jim Martin, bassist William Gould, and drummer Mike Bordin, manage to offer up a solid performance. Although at times it is not heard best due to the lack of production quality that affected the vocals as well. Jim Martin provides few guitar solos, although not nearly as good or plentiful as later work. His strongest asset here would be his heavy guitar riffs that are portrayed in a number of songs including Pills For Breakfast
and The Jungle
. Bordin's drumming is a key part of the band as well, and thrives nearly as much as the guitars do. Some of his best work is shown on songs like the title track. Keyboardist Roddy Bottum is a vital part of FNM. He gives the band another dynamic and makes the album a lot more versatile. The keyboards are used effectively on songs such as Arabian Disco
, New Beginnings
, and As The Worm Turns
. The frequent use of the keyboard gives each song cool vibe, and contrasts well with the heavy guitar riffs. Will Gould is a very talented bass player but doesn't show his best work here as he would with late material. He is still very solid and carries tracks such as Why Do You Bother
and the title track.
Out of the ten tracks here, two are entirely instrumentals, which I think was a smart choice given that a little too much of Chuck would not be a good thing. Jim
is the first song with no vocals, and the lesser of the two by a little in my opinion, but not to say it's bad, but maybe unnessesary to some. It is very calm, with no drums at all. It is just a relaxed acoustic guitar line with a Spanish twist playing a simple yet effective jingle. It has a very atmospheric feel to it, and the absence of the heavy instruments compliments it greatly. But the song falls short at just a little over a minute and could possibly be considered filler by some. Pills For Breakfast
is the last of the two instrumentals, and is the complete opposite of the other one. First off, it's louder, much louder, and the guitar is dominant, playing a metal riff continuously but not sounding tiresome. And the song is also much longer at just under three minutes making for a more effective listen. To sum these two up, the two vocal-less tracks, while not being amazing, offer a nice change of pace and absent of vocals, and are placed in perfect position in the track listing.
We Care A Lot
does not contain any of the bands biggest hits such as Epic
or Midlife Crisis
, but some of the bands best early work. The title track, which picked up more notice when the song was released on the follow up, Introduce Yourself
, is the most recognizable one here and one of the best too. Featuring a hard hitting bass line, group chanting vocals, and a heavy riff, there is not a better song to begin the album with; an obvious highlight and full of energy, one of the bands signature trademarks. Chuck's vocals are at his best here, singing with attitude and intensity, two things the album lacks in certain portions. The album starts off fairly strong seeing how The Jungle
, the second track, is another one that delivers instrumentally. It is like its predecessor, but heavier and more upbeat. But Chuck's vocals take a step down here for the worse, but the guitar save it. But what brings down this album the most are average songs. Greed
would be one, as not only is there not a lot to rave about vocally, but the instruments aren't at their best here either. Mark Bowen
follows the same pattern as Greed
, but a slight tempo down, nothing very special. Arabian Disco
is perhaps the most experimental song on the album. Its excessive use of keyboard synth actually blends well with the hard guitars. And Chuck's vocals, although they don't sound very different than other songs, turn out well here making for an unusual highlight. Why Do You Bother
is a fairly solid track, mixing hip hop with hard rock quite nicely, something that Faith No More would expand on with time.
Faith No More's debut album We Care A Lot
just shows how much Faith No More changed (or improved) with time, and with singers. It has a few standout tracks, but bothered by some mediocre ones. If you are not familiar with Faith No More too well, this wouldn't be a good place to start. I would recommend Angel Dust
or The Real Thing
first. Then, if you are curious to hear the big difference without Patton, check out this one. Its not to say it's a bad album though. This album would also be good for completists of the band. We Care A Lot, in short, is a good album, but not much more. There are some gems here that remain under rated in the bands list of songs, new and old.
We Care A Lot
Pills For Breakfast