Only once in a while do you find a good band that is almost completely original and unlike anything else youve ever heard before. Often many bands try too much to copy their heroes and their music just ends up being a crappier version of their influences. But during the 80s and 90s, one of the more well known band that was unique but did not venture out of certain boundaries was Faith No More. With Faith No Mores mixture of rap, metal, and funk they created excellent music that changed attitudes throughout their 16 year career. They formed in San Francisco, California in 1982. The lineup was Mike Bordin on drums, Roddy Bottum on keyboards (yes keyboards played a major part in Faith No Mores music), Billy Gould on Bass, Jim Martin on guitar, and Chuck Mosely on vocals. Together they created their own unique style and released two albums, We Care A lot and Introduce yourself, but Chuck was soon kicked out of the band and Faith No More recruited Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton. Quickly, they gained mainstream Success with the hit single Epic and the 1989 album, The Real Thing. Faith No More went on to record three more albums each with a different guitarist and eventually in 1998 they had had enough and disbanded, but their unique energetic music still lives on.
In 2003, the greatest hits compilation entitled This Is It – The Best of Faith No More was released on Rhino/Wea records. This Is It is a superb collection of some of Faith No Mores best tracks from the beginning to the end of their career. It features songs from all of their 6 albums including rarities and live tracks such as As the Worm Turns (Live) and The Perfect Crime. All the tracks are in chronological order (with exception of The Perfect Crime). This Is It is a very good greatest hits album and holds 19 songs each a wonderful masterpiece that is great for an introduction into Faith No Mores music.
The Early Years with Chuck Mosley 1982-1988 Tracks 1-4
When they Began, Faith No Mores music was much less developed and more bass based than they would later be. Billy would lay down a chunky bass line, sometimes funky, other times driving, while Jim would add a metal guitar sound when necessary. Than Chuck’s monotone vocals would complete the sound that became Faith No More. Also, the haunting keyboards in a track such as We Care A Lot added another effect that was not common in most bands. Another thing so great about the early FNM was Chucks lyrics. His lyrics, while not brilliant, seemed actually well thought out but more in a comic way than seriously. Overall, the early Faith No More created music unlike anything else and different than they would later become.
The Peak Years with Mike Patton 1989-1992 Tracks 5-13 and 19
When Mike Patton joined the band, everything changed for Faith No More, music wise and fame wise. You can tell the change on their first single from the Real Thing called From Out of Nowhere. From Out of Nowhere is faster and more of a guitar driven track but still displays excellent bass work. The minute you hear Mike Patton singing you realized how unique and wonderful his voice is. Its not smooth or soothing, but more scratchy or haunting and dark. Its like nothing else. Next the humongous hit, Epic, begins with instruments at full force. Than Mike Pattons vocals start, but this time he sounds different, he actually doesn’t sound like Mike Patton at all. Not only does he sing in a more rap-like style, his voice sounds different and deeper. Now the listener has discovered one of his talents; his ability to dramatically change the sound of his voice seen also in the songs Midlife Crisis and the melodic A Small Victory. Another example of this is in the Black Sabbath cover, War Pigs. Not only do the instruments sound top notch on this song as if they were played by sabbath themselves, Mike Patton doesn’t sound too unlike Ozzy Osborne, singing "Generals gather in their masses". Another thing impressive about Faith No More is their range of style. From 1992s Angel Dust, the songs A Small Victory and Be Aggressive are both on this compilation. Though they are both by Faith No More, they sound completely different. A Small Victory is more of a melodic and slow song while Be Aggressive is fast, funky, and well aggressive with a haunting organ and some crazy guitar playing followed by some extremely energetic deep in your face vocals. In general, with Mike Patton on board and fame on their shoulders, Faith No More sound more mature and unique as ever.
The Later Years 1993-1998 Tracks 14-18
By late 1993 and 1994 Faith No More was declining. Guitarist Jim Martin was kicked out of the band and was replaced temporally by Mr. Bungle guitarist, Trey Spruance for the 1995 album King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime. Faith No More was changing. Their music was often darker and less energetic. Even though a track such as Digging the Grave is full of energy, songs such as Ashes to Ashes seem to lack the energy present earlier in their career, but still in this later life of Faith No More many great tracks were created including the magnificent relaxing, groovy Evidence. Though in general, Faith No More by now had lost some of its talent and its glory. Songs like Last Cup of Sorrow seem lacking and annoying and does not catch your attention at all. Eventually, after the 1997 album Album of The Year was released with mild success, the raging car that was Faith No More had run out of gas.
Faith No More climbed the mountain, conquered the mountain, but eventually fell down, but in general, they created music unlike anything else heard before and paved the way for many modern acts. This Is It – The Best of Faith No More is an awesome collection of their music and shows what they could create. This album is great if you want to get into FNM and even if you own all of their albums, songs like The Perfect Crime are diffidently worth downloading. Overall, Faith No More is a great unique band and any music lover of modern music should try to get into them.
We Care A lot
Falling to Pieces
A Small Victory
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Flea is Godly