Faith No More - Who Cares A Lot?

This was going to go in the next issue, but well, I couldn’t wait. It just HAD to go in here. Even if it meant sacrificing stuff until next time.

I hate greatest hits albums. The only thing they’re good for is if you’ve bought nothing before by the band and want a quick and dirty summary. So, why buy this? Why review it. Cos it’s FAITH NO MORE. There needs be no other reason. There’s the added 8 track CD as well, which I’ll come to later.

But first it’s time for the ohmygodithinkillcreammyselfcosthisbandwassofuckinggreatyoullneverunderstandhowtheyshitallovermostotherbandstodaywhoarentevenfittowipetheirarse bit. Ah, that’s better.

The greatest hits section is 15 tracks long. Chronological, which is maybe sensible, maybe a mistake. I know, just hit that random button. But God, do you realise how great this band was. Of course I can pick holes in the tracklisting. That’s the thing about compilations (and maybe one of the good things). Personally I can’t really fault any of the songs on here, but would’ve gone for a different format myself. I mean, how can they miss out tracks like Arabian Disco and New Beginnings from the very first FNM album. Sure, they sound a little ropey, but great fucking songs. And then there’s no Chinese Arithmetic, one of the greatest songs. Ever. And no Zombie Eaters. And no Smaller and Smaller or Everything’s Ruined from Angel Dust. And how can you have an album of FNM greats without What a Day from the astounding King For A Day album. Cos it’s different people and different tastes.

But then, if you included that lot, you couldn’t include the likes of From Out Of Nowhere, which is just such a perfect song. It’s what, nearly 10 years since that thing first came out, and still, still you just want to jump around like a loony when it starts up. Yeah, even me. Ah, those days of the topknot style hair. It was always a much better track than Epic, but that’s the FNM track they’ll always be remembered for. Falling To Pieces completes the trilogy from The Real Thing album, highlighting the Patton style of singing that was to be lost forever in the subsequent fallout from touring that album. But they used to play the album in its entirety on that tour, and I saw them do that 3 times, and it changed my views on gigs and music forever. And though they are gone, those memories will remain with me forever.

We then nip into the mindfuck of the Angel Dust album. Regarded by many as their finest hour, it always puzzled the hellout of me. Still does. But even when puzzling, they were still totally compelling. Yet it’s interesting that only Midlife Crisis and A Small Victory represent the album here. Sure, Easy is on as well, but that was never on the original album. I know cos I have it, and this is the first time that I’ve ever owned a copy of the song.

The Big Sick Ugly one departed, and in it’s wake, FNM produced what for me was the greatest album they ever put their name to. King For a Day ... Fool For a Lifetime. This time, the FNM mindfuck made total sense. Digging The Grave, ah, the memories of seeing them play that on Top Of The Pops. It was rockier than most things they’d done before, but it still had enough pop sensibilities to appeal to the TOTP audience. Well, until Patton unleashed that scream during the middle of the track. And a major fuck off grin hits the face. Well it hit mine anyway. Evidence was the biggest hit FNM never had. To this day I do not understand how that track never emulated Easy in the success stakes. Well I do, because by this point, for some preposterous reason, FNM weren’t considered relevant to most people. Ah well, most people are just stupid, so that accounts for it. It’s just a glorious, glorious song. FNM had stretched their wings looked down, took aim, and targeted on the music industry with a major shit. And the industry didn’t like it. Evidence. If you’ve not heard the song, then you should buy this album for that song alone. No, tell a lie, you should buy KFAD for that song alone. And buy this album if you’ve heard nothing else. Well apart from Epic and Easy. Then go and buy the back catalogue. The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies then showcased the other side of the band. Maybe those two tracks together complement and demonstrate what KFAD was all about.

Which just about brings us up to date. I Started A Joke is included quite possibly simply because it’s the last single. As such it’s nice to have the Bee Gees cover here, but, well, it could’ve made way for something else. And we’re at the final Album Of The Year batch of material. Not quite as serrated as KFAD, it’s well represented here by the wonderful Last Cup Of Sorrow, where you try, but fail quite dramatically to recreate the perfect Patton vocal. Ashes to Ashes was a classic. Simple but effective riff, and the vocal in the chorus was Patton at his best. Closing track Stripsearch showed where they could’ve headed if they decided to stick together.

Have you orgasmed yet? No? Bastards. Best pop in that bonus CD then hadn’t we?

Ok, so what it gives you is 8 “new tracks.” I guess this is more for the FNM completist or aficionado more than anything else, as some of the material will leave some people scratching their head. The World Is Yours sounds like it’s an outtake from the Angel Dust session. Hippie Jam Song heads down the Jimi Hendrix route, something I for one am grateful they didn’t explore much, cos I was never a fan of Hendrix. Instrumental is going to surprise you in that it’s an instrumental. Stretches on a bit, but does have an insidious little riff in there. Introduce Yourself is a 4 track demo version, and it should be an inspiration to bands still recording demos and a little concerned at the recording quality. This is thin, it’s not great. But it highlights that what is more important is that you have the songs. Recording can be polished up later. Get those songs recorded and get them out for people to hear. If they’re good, some people will starting talking about it. It may not be the national press initially, but some zines will pick up on it. And remember, there are some wonderful, and powerful zines out there. With record labels. Demos matter, the sound quality, while it’s nice if it’s good, is secondary.

And then we get the fuck around Faith No More. A minute long cover of Deep Purple’s Highway Star. God is there nothing Patton can’t fucking sing. Theme From Midnight Cowboy recorded live is disposable, seeing as it is only a minute long, and FNM ends with a cover of the Burt Bacharach song, This Guy’s In Love With You. So did they know I was going to write a review of this then?

So the second CD is more disposable. But that first CD. You have to buy it. Really, I’m telling you. You have no choice! If you think that Korn, Deftones and Marilyn Manson have had an impact on music, they’ve got nothing on FNM. And they know it. If you don’t, then now is the time to go and discover for yourself.

Good job I hate greatest hits albums really. If I’d have liked them, I’d probably have ended up writing an overly enthusiastic review of this!!!!! It’s just a shame someone at the label didn’t spend a little time scanning the album notes for the little mistakes. Spelling mistakes, incorrect dates on the back cover etc. Little things. Don’t really matter things. But see, FNM were so important, they don’t deserve mistakes. Seems like the title, Who Cares A Lot could even have been aimed at the label in this compilation. Which would be totally FNM to have the last contradictory word.