Faith No More were a band before their time.
They were true pioneers of a hybrid of musical styles that would impact
into the mainstream in a big way a few years after they made their first
big splash. Although the band likes to distance themselves from the rap-rock
trend that rules the airwaves over the past few years, they were one of
the first groups to successfully mix the worlds of rock with elements of
hip-hop. The biggest difference is they were far better at the job than
those who came after them and they didn’t let the formula limit their music
either. In fact, they went far beyond the confines of rock meets hip-hop,
adding elements of metal, funk and progressive rock to the mix. It was
this culmination of musical worlds in a cohesive way that gave them a strong
Greatest hits packages make the most sense
when you are dealing with a band that’s songwriting lends itself to the
hit single format. You know the type, they put out a record and the cool
songs you heard on the radio are only decent tracks on the CD. Give the
band a few CD’s like this and you have the makings of one strong greatest
hits CD. On the other hand, there are groups that should be taken as a
whole, their entire albums heard and experienced to gain the full measure
of what they are about. Faith No More falls into the ladder category.
In fact, you really have to listen to their entire catalog to gain an appreciation
for their progression as a band.
During the early days of Faith No More
they went through a string of lead vocalists, including a short stint with
Courtney Love out front, before they found their man, Chuck Mosley. While
Mosley was a strong vocalist and the group’s first two albums gave us a
glimpse into the musical genius that was at work here, it wasn’t until
Mike Patton signed on as lead vocalist that Faith No More’s musical vision
seemed to crystallize.
Patton seemed more adapt at walking the
tightrope between rock, funk, hip-hop and progressive rock and his strong
and eclectic vocals were a perfect match for the guitar styling of Jim
Martin. Patton could effortlessly go from a rock scream into a full on
rap without missing a beat and that translated well into the group’s third
album, “The Real Thing”. On that album the group’s United Nations approach
to music seem to come together perfectly and the world soon caught on to
what Faith No More was trying to accomplish when the single “Epic” became
a monster hit and propelled the group into the spotlight.
But success came with a price and a rift
soon appeared between Patton and Martin. Their follow up album, “Angel
Dust,” was adored by critics and hard-core fans but Faith No More seemed
to get lost in the shuffle that followed the onslaught of grunge in late
1991. And while the album showcased the group’s eclectic nature, it was
just a little too bizarre for the mainstream. The group did end up
scoring a hit with a cover of the Commodores “Easy” when they released
it as a single in 1993.
During the supporting tour for Angel Dust
the rift between Jim Martin and the band widened and when they returned
to the studio to begin work on their next album, Martin had been replaced
by Trey Spruance, the guitarist from Patton’s group Mr. Bungle. Trey stuck
with the group long enough to record, “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime,”
but when the band went out on the road to support the effort they were
joined by Dean Mentia.
With Martin gone, the groups musical identify
seemed to shift a bit. While the music was still eclectic, it had more
of a focus to it and while that is a good thing for most bands, it was
a liability for Faith No More. It’s true that “King for a Day, Fool for
a Lifetime,” and the group's final album “Album of the Year” can go head
to toe with almost any release of the 90’s and still stand tall, but when
compared to the raw genius of “Angel Dust” and “The Real Thing,” something
seemed to be missing. Perhaps Patton needed Martin’s McCartney to
counter his Lennon to fuel his creative fires and to challenge him to take
something great and make it greater?
Nontheless, when Faith No More lost their
faith in April of 1998 and officially disbanded they left behind a strong
legacy of music for generations to come.
Where does this compilation fit into the
mix? Well, let’s start out by stating that in 1998 Warner Bros released
“Who Cares a Lot: Greatest Hits”, a “best of” collection. While that album
showcased the group’s more commercial elements by focusing primarily on
the singles, it also fell a bit short in showcasing what the band was really
Does this compilation do a better job?
The short answer is yes and no! The task of pulling a dozen or so songs
from the Faith No More catalog and putting them together to make a definitive
“best of” collection is next to impossible. But I will say that the folks
at Rhino did manage to come close to the mark if the intention was to provide
a primer for potential fans and remind old school fans why they fell in
love with this band to begin with.
Let’s be honest, we live in a different
musical world today than we did even five years ago and listening to this
collection in hindsight really shines a light on just how innovative this
band was. For those who are not familiar with Faith No More’s body of work,
this is indeed a great introduction that takes a wide-angle view of their
career from start to finish. If you like what you hear, chances are you’ll
want to check out the full length albums these songs came from. For
those who got into this band when “Epic” was on high rotation on MTV, it
would be a good way to reintroduce yourself to them now that your ears
are more seasoned and may be more receptive to their more experimental
The bottom line is that it is next to impossible
to come up with a definitive “best of” package for this group unless you
stuck all of the CD’s in a box and called it a boxset. But I will give
Rhino credit for taking some of the highlights of the catalog and putting
them together in a cohesive package and let’s not forget the bio included
in the liner notes written by Paul Gargano. I know what Faith No More fans
are saying, “What in the hell does Paul Gargano know about FNM? Bon Jovi
and Warrant I can see but Faith No More?” In Paul’s defense, I will say
that while Paul will never be Cameron Crowe he did a great job of telling
the Faith No More story in the limited amount of space he had to work with.
Plus his is a name that kids into harder rock today know since he turned
Metal Edge into a showcase for mallcore to go along with the hair-band
focus of the Geri Miller era (He’s still appears to be a hair-metaler at
heart). So in that context, it makes sense that Rhino asked him to pen
the liner notes, and again, he did a great job.
It’s actually quite simple really; if you
are debating on whether to check this CD out, especially if you are not
familiar with Faith No More, all you need to do is to go to your record
store and look at the top 40 CD’s for the week. Judge for yourself, do
you want to spend you money on the “real thing” or the third generation
copy? The choice is up to you!
Is The Best of Faith No More
Tracks: Arabian Disco
We Care A Lot - (Slash version)
From Out Of Nowhere
Falling To Pieces
The Cowboy Song
As The Worm Turns - (live, 1990)
A Small Victory
Digging The Grave
Last Cup Of Sorrow
Ashes To Ashes
The Perfect Crime
Posted by Brad:
props to the Mr. Bungle fans out there. Patton kicks ass.
Posted by Ashe Corven:
why don't you all just shut the hell up and stop arguing, because nobody will ever win - it's pointless. Go and contribute to society for Gods sake. Get a life.
Posted by HIGH-C:
MIKE PATTON IS GOD!!!!
Posted by FNM#1Fan :
Faith no more were real artists they made muisic like no other every song different thats what makes them so great I love FNM I wish they get back together!!! Im not the only one just go to EBAY And see how much FNM stuff they have.
Posted by The Real Fan:
Faith no More were an amazing band and CAN NOT be held responsilble for all this nu-metal a*s sludge. But the reason Im posting this is to say "Holy sh*t, ICW is a dumb-a*s" Did anyone else catch that sh*t??? "...if I'm angry at the ACLU or evolutionists..."? Whoa dude that's ridiculous! You get mad at the ACLU who defend peoples rights, and evolutionists??? Do you sit around and listen to FNM and cuss out Evolutionist... "Science, who believe's that sh*t? There's a man in the sky with a list of all the good and bad things I've ever done!and there's a little red devil with a pitch fork somewhere below us ...and unicorns. F*ck evolutionist with there fancy "Science" and "book learnin'" ...believing in god is one thing, but challaging the idea of evolution is just plan foolish.
Posted by Known:
Blah shut the hell up. Obviously you don't know a thing about music, if you did you would realize that Faith No More are far from being nu-metal. This album rules, you just don't understand that because you're too busy listening to your sh**ty corporate pop "music."
Posted by Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz:
Sure Faith No More were an awsome band, and Angel Dust rates one of my top favorite albums of all time- if you feel the need to hear the REAL manicial genious that mike patton is capable of i suggest checking out Mr. Bungle and Fantomas's back cataloge! DISCO VOLANTE IS MY LIFE!!!! (not really but it beats the hell out of epic)
Posted by icw:
I'm close to being 29 this fall and in all my years of listening to music fnm is the only band to give me a piece of their mind. For instance if I'm angry at the ACLU or evolutionists I'll listen to cukoo for caca or surprise your dead. If i'm in a tranquil mood I'll listen to "Just a man" or "stripsearch". FNM has apiece of music for every emotion and I'll debate any one on that issue. So skrew on you Dave Matthews,Linkin Park,The stripes,All rap music and especially pseudo gang bangers in Good Charlotte. Music is in a sad state of despair these days.Screw freedom of expression when it comes to these rip-off artists such as System of a down. Your music has lost it's appeal cause you sold out.
Posted by Jason:
what a great band! albeit really weird. its too bad they basically created numetal, they had a great formula that a bunch of morons mucked up. i think Who Cares A lot was a great release and an adequet greatest hits. go back to school blah. God, the whole point of faith no more was to try and mesh as many different musical styles as possibloe into there albums. so in a sense are they a rock band, yes and no.
Posted by sad:
but mike patton can do no wrong =(
Posted by vranda:
nirvana rocks man
Posted by God:
i dont know anything about 'faith no more' or whatever it is in fact this is the first time im hearing this ,song (?) anyway all i wanted to ask is . is it rock?
Posted by Blah:
Another crappy numetal band. This album sucks.
Posted by ME:
yeah... 'fred durst' is a dumb ass.
Posted by ME:
THEY ROCK!! yeah... ok bye.
Posted by random schmuck:
Great review. I totally agree. Rhino did a much better job in the way of a "best of" than that Who Cares A lot release from a few years back despite the fact that WCAL was a 2 CD set. The additions of rare gems like "The Cowboy Song," "The Perfect Crime," and the long-awaited version of "As the Worm Turns" from the You Fat Bastards Video (which was conveniently left off the Live at Brixton CD) really bring to life what Faith No More was all about. It's a shame they all hate each other and won't ever do any kind of reunion tour.
Posted by To the homo posting as Fred:
You stupid ass... Faith no more was jamming when you were sh!tting your pants as a baby Fred and were broke up before you were even out of high school ! How could they 'steal your sound" ? You dumb ass
Posted by Fred Durst :
Just kiddin... I sample everything I can steal from everyone else. I've been away for a while cause I've been fagging off, sucking dick and been getting my ass slammed since I've turned queer. Im going to "out" myself with this new albumn
Posted by Fred Durst:
Faith No More!!?? These guys having been stealing our sound! You know I bring the dope rymes, so everyone knows "Epoc" was my baby.
Posted by alot better than that " With Arms wide Open" shyt:
Posted by Scott Stapps Ego:
No "Just a Man"????! Shame on them!