Avant-garde, funk metal, post-apocalyptic lounge … however one chooses to describe Faith No More, odds are good he or she will be right, in some capacity or another. Born as Faith No Man in 1981, with four notable lead vocalists and enumerable stylistic shifts, worldwide acclaim through genres galore never sounded so engrossingly, pleasantly bizarre.
Fronted initially by singer Mike Morris, he was later abandoned by Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum, Jim Martin, and Mike Bordin in 1982, who quickly reformed under the moniker Faith No More. After a then-unknown Courtney Love tried her hand at leadership, Chuck Mosley was put at the helm for two LPs before getting fired due to erratic stage behavior and heavy drug use.
Ultimately, it was Mr. Bungle’s Mike Patton who earned mainstay traction and over two weeks had constructed every lyric that inevitably became Faith No More’s breakout hit, 1989’s The Real Thing. Single upon video single garnered major renown, skyrocketing FNM into alt-metal superstardom, one oddly-shaped LP at a time.
As each subsequent release became more sonically foreign to major labels and mainstream audiences, and a string of varied guitarists came and went, Faith No More sadly disbanded following 1997’s Album of the Year. Mike Patton, no worse for the wear, had begun numerous side-projects in the meantime, including a stint with his previous act. The rest was history, until 2009’s Download Festival reunion performance spurned rumors of new material, thus culminating in 2015’s independent release, Sol Invictus.
To commemorate their triumphant return, we’ve sorted through 126 album cuts, official performances, singles, and soundtracks to bring you raw, uncut Faith No More, from worst to best. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the real thing, and if you like your rock and roll on the weird, wild side, look no further.
Note: No bootlegs or remixes have been included, so Courtney Love’s only known recorded contribution did not appear. However, as an honorable mention, you can find her 1984 rendition of “Blood” on YouTube.
126. “Introduce Yourself” [4-Track Demos]
Who Cares a Lot? (1998)
We kick this off with a sloppy Chuck Mosley demo. He has a fleck of surfer-bum allure, but does anyone care?
We Care a Lot (1985)
Awful ’80s syncopation decided to shit on a cassette and let a stoner chant prayers over it.
Introduce Yourself (1987)
Basically the prior installment’s twin, save for slightly improved production value, and a switch from forgettable Ministry to generic California punk.
123. “As The Worm Turns” [Live]
“Epic” (B-Side) (1990)
Mike Patton’s first appearance covers a Mosley-era tune that (strangely) only Mosley could do. Their styles are vastly dissimilar, exacerbated here in concert.
122. “As The Worm Turns” [Re-Recorded]
“Midlife Crisis” (B-Side) (1992)
It even turns out that the in-studio reworking is only a marginal improvement.
121. “Highway Star” [Live]
Who Cares A Lot? (1998)
Our first truly gimmicky throwaway and one best left to the cutting-room floor. Speaking of which…
120. “Das Schutzenfest”
Songs To Make Love To EP (1992)
…does the band ever have trouble discerning the difference between genuine art and genuine sarcasm?
119. “I Wanna Fuck Myself”
“Ricochet” (B-Side) (1995)
An extremely brazen feat of static noise that is virtually incomprehensible, though nothing else quite like it exists in the FNM catalog. Does anyone else sense some Tomahawk foreshadowing?
118. “Another Body Murdered” [ft. Boo-Yaa Tribe]
Judgment Night OST
A collaboration with hip-hop group Boo-Yaa Tribe, this song appeared on a soundtrack album full of strange rap/rock bedfellows, so it works … if only in context.
117. “Collision” [Live]
“Stripsearch” (B-Side) (1997)
The only recorded live rendition of this 1997 album cut does not do Album of the Year justice at all.
116. “A Small Victory” [Live In Munich, Germany – November 9, 1992]
“I’m Easy/Be Aggressive” (B-Side) (1992)
That introduction is just painful.
115. “We Care A Lot” [Live]
“Evidence” (B-Side) (1995)
On the off-chance Mike Patton can do a Chuck Mosley impression semi-decently … some of the time. The rest of the band just sound like spectators though, and that ain’t cool.
114. “Falling To Pieces”
Live At the Brixton Academy (1990)
Faith No More has exactly one official live LP. The Pee-wee Herman vocals and the annoying chamber echo are a testament as to why.
Angel Dust (1992)
Roddy Bottum plays keyboards over Patton in “scare your ass” spoken word mode, as if this was a mock jingle. Wait, was it satire? Was that the point? Either way, it’s dumb.
112. “From The Dead”
Sol Invictus (2015)
Sol Invictus’ dull closer is not horrid, just forgettable. And we’re relatively sure the song title is referencing their return in a less than subtle manner.
Stream this track and others from the new album here.
111. “Paths Of Glory”
Album Of The Year (1997)
Much like this mediocre Album of the Year track.