Faith No More are one of the most beloved guitar bands of the 1990s, forging a distinctive niche with Mike Patton’s athletic voice and disturbing lyrics, and exploring styles from metal thrash to gentle lounge and bossa nova beats. The group come from the same adolescent funk rock niche as bands like Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and they’ve inspired followers like Limp Bizkit and Korn, but (in my opinion, at least) they tower above all the other bands mentioned in this paragraph.
Rhythm section Billy Gould and Mike Bordin had been playing in bands together since 1979, and Faith No More recorded a pair of albums with vocalist Chuck Mosley, but it was the addition of a teen-aged Mike Patton in the late 1980s that launched the group to fame, with 1989’s The Real Thing and the accompanying hit ‘Epic’:
The Real Thing felt adolescent, as hooky and intoxicating as it was. The group became weirder and heavier for 1992’s dense Angel Dust – ‘Midlife Crisis’ is one of the more accessible pieces, despite using the word “menstruating” in the chorus.
Guitarist Jim Martin left after Angel Dust, and Faith No More lost some intensity, but became mindbogglingly diverse on 1995’s King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime. ‘Evidence’ exhibits jazz influences.
Faith No More sounded tired on 1997’s Album of the Year, and in retrospect it wasn’t surprising it was their final album – although they’ve since reformed for touring and released a further album in 2015. But ‘Last Cup of Sorrow’ was a terrific single:
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