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Music Review: Faith No More – The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection

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Faith No More were never as big or as clever as they thought they were. And for a band who was supposedly so influential, how come their name was never mentioned from the day they split up in 1998, until they day they announced their reformation in 2009? Which, of course, is why this wittily entitled compilation album has seen the light of day.

Now, there are already at least five Faith No More compilations on the go, which means that this sixth one actually equals the number of studio albums that they actually released. However, this is is the very best, definitive, ultimate, greatest hits collection, so it must be better than the other ones, mustn't it. Well, yes, sort of. It's better than most of them, but it probably ties with the first post split compilation, which performed the same trick of combining hits and rarities.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not anti Faith No More, for there is a lot of enjoyable music offered here. I just question their inflated opinion of themselves, one that was bolstered by critics during their lifetime. Possibly, because they seemed marginally more intelligent than most rock bands who were on the go at that time, despite vocalist Mike Pattons penchant for unfunny scatological practical jokes. They were also a lot less successful in their home country than I remember with only one Top Ten album and one platinum album to their names (Angel Dust and The Real Thing, respectively).

So, the money must have ran out, which would explain their return to the European festival circuit this summer and another stroll through their back catalogue. Like a lot of bands, their best music came early on in their career, and I've always had a lot of time for the Chuck Mosley albums. So I was glad to revisit a couple of tunes from his time in the band, and "We Care A Lot" and "R'n'R" are probably my favourite songs here. The hits are here too, with the opening three song salvo of "The Real Thing", "Epic"' and "From Out Of Nowhere", rock club staples back in the early nineties. Both their Top 10 UK hit singles are here as well, although they make an odd couple with "Midlife Crisis" and their oh so ironic cover of The Commodores "Easy", somewhat bizarre bedfellows.

Once they got past their early rap/funk/rock hybrid, they became considerably less interesting, especially once they dispensed with the services of Big Sick Ugly Jim Martin on guitar. His palpable loathing of the music he was playing on was a huge part of the Faith No More sound, as you could always rely on a huge power chord or scorching lead line to lay waste to their artier leanings. Once that was gone, you were left with a rather pedestrian, alternative rock band, and the post Angel Dust offerings are fairly bland.

Over on the rarities disc, there's an assortment of B-sides and oddities to bolster the collection, with some of the bonus tracks from the Who Cares A Lot? Greatest Hits collection reappearing, as well as the likes of "Sweet Emotion", which appeared on a Kerrang compilation and "New Improved Song", from a Sounds magazine giveaway. There's also that scurrilous modern world con trick, the i-Tunes Exclusive, something that annoys me beyond belief. I've bought the CD, but now you want to compel me to download tracks as well! I don't think so.

Bleating aside, there is a lot of good music here, although you'll need to use the skip button to make the best of it.

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About Stuart A Hamilton

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Did you just say that you prefer the Chuck Mosley material?? *Ugh* Didn’t that dude take some beer bottles to the head when he tried to front for Bad Brains?

    You can’t be serious with this shoddy, slapped together review for a “Greatest Hits” album?! Granted, I too can’t stand the amount that has been released(mostly due to their label),but, you can’t reduce their influence because none of the Top 40 schlock mention their name. They were influential because even if you didn’t really like their music, they were doing what they wanted to & still selling records as well as selling out venues. All of this in a time before the easy access to independent labels & the plethora of internet resources.

    “Once that was gone, you were left with a rather pedestrian, alternative rock band,and the post Angel Dust offerings are fairly bland.”

    Can you please name that mysterious non-pedestrian “alternative” band’s release in 1995 that has the High Octane & musical creativity that was supported by a sick live show as King for a Day? You can’t!

    To call KFADFFAL a bland offering reveals your ignorance.

  • http://www.elpersa.blogspot.com/ Jeinzu

    “Easy”: “Oh so ironic”. Well, the problem is, when FNM covered “Easy” or “I Started a Joke”, they were very serious about it, for a simple reason: at least Bottum, Gould and Patton LOVE that kind of soft music (The Comodores, Bee Gees, Burt Bacharah). Anyway…

  • Alfred

    It’s funny how everybody says that everything went downhill after jim martin left the band and that angel dust is the last good album when FACT is that Jim Martin didnt contribute with a single guitar stroke on it!!! If I remember correctly all guitar parts on the album were written by Patton and Bottum. Angel Dust is a superb and probably the best fnm album, just stop thanking Jim Martin for it….

  • john d

    well you stay at home then more chance of us getting a ticket for the gigs…GIMP

  • Ivo Costa

    blablabla blablabla your just another Anti Mike Patton.

  • cathy

    What a lame review. “The money must have run out”? Each of the 3 founding members have been significantly successful post-FNM (does working for Ozzy the past 11 years as did/does Mike B suggest a need for funds? Roddy, with a strong career scoring films and televion etc)

  • Irony Is A Dead Scene

    You expect your music to be handed to you on a plate in a nice neat order!!! what a shit reveiw by someone who has no idea about musical composition. stick with your “Jonas Bros” and “Knickel Back” reviews!

  • Heming

    I sincerely hope that I’m missing the subtle irony in your review…otherwise “Foisted” must be the operative word in the author bio. Based upon this trite little hack job, your opinions would need to be. A little light research on your part…just the tiniest bit of background, might actually have revealed to you the fervor with which a reunion was hoped for by a huge number of hardcore fans throughout their hiatus. Any number of bands will line up to tell you how they were influenced or inspired by FNM – definitive proof that platinum records and chart position do not define their legacy. Check out any of the recordings from their live work this summer and have the courage to rethink your position.

  • Ivo

    Just one thing to mention: I don’t think it’s fair to blame the band for the plethora of greatest hits packages, it’s the label that’s doing it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was against the bands wishes.

  • GetAnotherJobDudeCauseYouSuck

    Your review was total bullshit.
    Good day.

  • Aaron Tom

    “Angel Dust” has only been cited as one of the most influential albums of all time, but yeah, they never influenced anyone.

    I mean, they were partially responsible for pioneering an entire subgenre (nu-metal), and Disturbed has covered one of their songs (“Midlife Crisis”), but obviously no one ever noticed them while they were gone.

    Only small, obscure bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Alice n Chains, and Guns N’ Roses cited them as one of their favorite bands…who’s ever heard of them? Obviously, FNM had absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

    And they only made VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock (coming in at #52), which, in case you didn’t understand, is of ALL TIME. Clearly a small, worthless feat.

    What an ignorant, ignorant review.

  • Whazit Tuya

    Well, the previous commenters got it just about right. My favorite FNM is King For A Day, although I played the sh out of Angel Dust and the self titled one too. Thanks for whining about the itunes exclusive…I didn’t know about it and am on my way to give the band my money.

  • Forsaken Verus

    I’m not a big FNM fan… I got into them long after they split. After reading this review, I’d put in my vote for you to lose the ability for you to review anything that has to do with music ever again. FNM never really clicked with me. They we always “almost” but ignoring their influence on music leads to me to believe that you have only skipped through a few songs. In the past 10 years it’s been really hard not to listen to the radio for an hour and not hear fnm in another band.

  • tyler

    Top charting albums?? why always The Billboard charts? King…was a very good hit album in Europe and Australia…They weren’t popular? Angel Dust sold more than 3 million and their last album sold almost two million without selling themselves to cliche ass licking fare that the likes of Limp Bizkit, Maroon 5 etc.. did..
    by the way here is a list of bands/people that recognize what you don’t:
    Metallica
    Aerosmith
    Alice In Chains
    Guns N’ Roses
    Disturbed
    Deftones
    Korn
    Slipknot
    Incubus
    Eferfesence
    LADY FKN GAGA
    Lacuna Coil
    Anthrax
    System Of A Down
    Tool ..you get the point..

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