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Music: Faith No More
The subject of the page. Well, it's not like the picture would have nothing to do with the page.

Introduce yourself! Right on!
Introduce yourself! Right on!
Introduce yourself! Right on!
Introduce yourself! Right on!

Faith No More is an Alternative Metal band formed in San Francisco, US in 1981 by bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist Wade Worthington, vocalist Mike Morris and drummer Mike Bordin. A year later, Wade Worthington was replaced by keyboardist Roddy Bottum and Mike Morris was ousted. After going through a series of singers which included Courtney Love, the band was joined by Chuck Mosley in 1983. The same year, Jim Martin was recruited to replace guitarist Mark Bowen. After a long, long time spent changing the lineup before, eventually, Chuck Mosley was replaced by Mike Patton, and the band found massive success with their third album, The Real Thing, which contains their best-known song "Epic".

The band is best known for combining elements of metal, funk, Progressive Rock, Hip-Hop, Hardcore Punk, and jazz, among many others, among many, many, many others... seriously..., and is considered one of the most influential rock bands of modern times, "Epic" having massively influenced the Nu Metal genre

They broke up in 1998 but reformed, triumphantly, in 2009.

So far they have made the following albums:
  • We Care a Lot (1985)
  • Introduce Yourself (1987)
  • The Real Thing (1989)
  • Angel Dust (1992)
  • King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime (1995)
  • Album of the Year (1997)

Oh, and apparently they are destined to one day found the "Faith No More Spiritual and Theological Center".


The band has examples of the following tropes:

  • Alternative Metal: One of the founders of the genre.
  • Award Category Fraud: When Jethro Tull was infamously awarded the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 1989, Faith No More was one of the other nominees.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Epic".
  • Concept Video: The "Last Cup Of Sorrow" video is an Affectionate Parody of Vertigo, with Mike Patton as Scottie, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Madeleine, and the rest of the band making humorous cameos.
  • Cover Version: "Easy" by the Commodores, "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath, the Midnight Cowboy theme, "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga, "Let's Lynch The Landlord" by Dead Kennedys, "Reunited" by Peaches And Herb, "I Started A Joke" by the Bee Gees, "I Wanna Fuck Myself" by GG Allin, "N*ggas in Paris" by Kanye West and Jay-Z, "Highway Star" by Deep Purple. It should be noted that not all of these are full covers - some were just brief snippets they would include in the beginning or middle of their own songs when playing live.
  • Creator Backlash: If Allmusic is to be believed, the band got such a large fandom of metalheads due to their Black Sabbath cover that they eventually dropped it from their live sets entirely.
    • Patton also didn't care for nu metal very much at all and disavowed FNM's connection to the genre.
  • Darker and Edgier: King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime was heavier and almost keyboard-less due to Roddy Bottum being largely absent during that album's production.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "Jizzlobber". Some would say it's a Darker and Edgier take on the trope.
  • Epic Rocking: "The Real Thing", "Jizzlobber", "Zombie Eaters", "King for a Day", their cover of "War Pigs".
    • Yet, ironically, "Epic" is slightly less than five minutes long (4:55).
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: the album version of "Anne's Song" fades out near the end of the track, then it quickly fades back in for about ten seconds and just abruptly cuts off - this is particularly jarring because the next track on the album, "Introduce Yourself", has a Lyrical Cold Open.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Funk Metal: after the Red Hot Chili Peppers, perhaps the genre's best-known band, even though they didn't work exclusively in it by any means...
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • "Caralho Voador", from King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime, has a verse in Portuguese (as well as the titlenote ).
      • And, for bonus points, it's styled after Bossa Nova.
    • The non-album track "Das Schützenfest", which is sung entirely in German and written in the style of polka. Apparently it's about meeting a girl at a festival held by a rifle club, then making love with her in a pig trough, and there's also a gratuitous Shout-Out to German folk singer Heino somewhere in there.
    • They have performed live versions of "Evidence" in several languages. The translation isn't always so smooth.
  • Greatest Hits Album: "The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection", "This Is It: The Best of Faith No More", "Who Cares A Lot" and a couple of other compilation albums that may or may not be greatest hits albums.
  • Harsh Vocals: Mike Patton occasionally uses these in songs like Caffeine, Cuckoo For Caca, Ugly In The Morning and Surprise You're Dead. The most surprising example, however, is Midlife Crisis, which uses them in the verses, but does it in such a way that it just sounds like a sort of whispered rapping. When most people hear the song for the first time, it sounds completely normal, yet was completely innovative.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: An early incarnation of the band was called Faith No Man, and they released a single "Quiet In Heaven/Song Of Liberty" under this name. Although a popular Faith No More related item it's never been released on CD, mainly because of the band's dislike of original singer Mike Morris.
    • And although not massively rare, their first album "We Care A Lot" is out of print due to rights issues, to the point where many fans haven't heard of it.
  • List Song: "We Care A Lot"
  • Lyrical Cold Open: Yes, they've actually done this. On "Introduce Yourself" and "Digging The Grave".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Land of Sunshine", which probably has some rather well-hidden subtexts, but seems to be about being happy (and not by using drugs), and is set to a dark and metally background with snarly vocals.
    • The band stated that the song was actually written by piecing together phrases from fortune cookies and Scientology personality test questions.
    • With it's cheerleader samples and generally uplifting tone, "Be Aggressive" sounds like it should be some sort of Pep Talk Song... It's actually an ode to gay fellatio.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Mike Patton is a musical example, with wildly varying voice pitches.
  • Metal Scream: With Mike Patton, in a few songs.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Veers between 6 and 7.
    • With a few songs (i.e. "The Real Thing", "Jizzlober", "Surprise! You're Dead") that go above this and a few (i.e. their cover of "Easy", "The Grade", "Edge of the World") that drop well below. These guys could pretty much play anything on the scale.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: What exactly ARE Faith No More? For simplicity's sake you could just say "a rock band", though it's a gross understatement. Mike Patton was hired precisely because he brought so much variety to Mr Bungle, the archetypal band of this trope. In some ways, Faith No More are considered a poppier version of Mr Bungle with less of the Genre Shift in their songs.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Epic", "Stripsearch", "Naked In Front Of The Computer", "Zombie Eaters", "Pristina"...
  • Non-Indicative Name: The title of Album of the Year is a sarcastic contrast to the band's unhappiness with the final result - the artwork using images of Tomás Masaryk's funeral was selected to represent their imminent breakup.
  • One-Hit Wonder: Technically speaking, "Epic" is their only huge hit. Certainly their only song a non-fan would be likely to have ever heard. That said, they had several other smaller hits, such as "We Care A Lot", "Midlife Crisis" and "Easy".
  • Parody: The video for "From out of Nowhere" is this to Hair Metal music videos.
    • Das Schutzenfest is a parody of German polka music, and how music sung in other languages can often include offensive lyrics that would go past the radar of someone who doesn't know the language in question.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Happy Birthday, fucker"/"I deserve a reward, 'cause I'm the best fuck that you ever had" from "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies". There was also an improvised Precision F-Strike when the band performed "Evidence" on Hey Hey Its Saturday, as Mike Patton turned to Bill Gould and said "I think I fucked up".
    • In live performances, Mike Patton pretty much always adds a couple of these to "Epic" - "it's outta sight" becomes "shit's outta sight", while "so you lay down on it and you do it some more" becomes "so you lay down on it and you fuck it some more".
  • Prison Rape: Patton said that "Jizzlobber" was about his fear of going to prison and (presumably) being raped.
  • Progressive Metal
  • Rap Rock / Rap Metal: Early pioneer of this.
  • Rearrange the Song: The Chuck Mosley era song New Improved Song was released on a sampler in 1988, before he left the band. It's possible the band would have intended it on their next album with him, but it didn't happen, so it was rewritten by the Mike Patton lineup as The Morning After and appeared on The Real Thing.
    • Similarly, the 1989 Real Thing outtake "Sweet Emotion" appeared on a flexi disc, before it was reworked as The Perfect Crime for the 1991 soundtrack Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey.
  • Recycled Lyrics: "Chinese Arithmetic" and "R n' R", both from Introduce Yourself, share the following passage:
    We've got the same ideas, we got the same old fears;
    Different colors sometimes, but hey, who cares?
    It's just years that shears our lives apart
    like the time you tried to teach your nephew to fartnote 
    He couldn't do it. PUSH!
  • Retraux: The song "Mouth To Mouth" from Album Of The Year is written in the style of the band's work with Chuck Mosley. Mike Patton imitates Chuck's rhythmic style of rapping (similar to tracks like R'N'R), and the Middle Eastern sounding music calls to mind the way many of the songs from that period were based around synth lines and tight bass and drum rhythms. The track particularly stands out because the rest of the album is far more driven by electronica and metal. Many fans have wondered what "Mouth To Mouth" would sound like with Chuck on vocals.
  • Sampling: In a few songs, most of them on Angel Dust.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "What. Is. It?" "It's IT!" — "Epic"
    • Shit! Lives! Forever! Cause shit! Lives! Forever! *cue Metal Scream* — "Cuckoo For Caca"
  • Spelling Song: "Be Aggressive". With cheerleaders, and everything!
  • Spiritual Successor: They have seemingly found one with Japan's most successful metal band.
  • Spoken Word: "RV" (except for the chorus)
  • Stylistic Suck: The "Everything's Ruined" video, which features laughably obvious Chroma Key and Stock Footage, inspired by county fair video booths. While the video is deliberately cheap-looking, it really was shot on a tight budget - after more lavish clips for "Midlife Crisis" and "A Small Victory", there wasn't much money left for a third video to promote Angeldust.
  • Surreal Music Video: "Epic" - it involves the band performing on a soundstage while soaked by a storm, ominous clouse-ups of Patton, a flopping fish (which they jokingly claimed to have stolen from Björk) and Bottum's piano exploding at the end, and "We Care A Lot" features constant flashes to a baby. Which is never explained.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: It's very rare for this band, but they do have an example in their cover of GG Allin's "I Wanna Fuck Myself" - in order to mimic the sound of the original version, they deliberately made the recording quality as murky and indistinguishable as possible.
  • Troll: Bottum wrote the lyrics to "Be Aggressive" and made them as unambiguously gay as possible just to see if Patton would actually sing them.
  • Uncommon Time: Shows up sometimes. "Malpractice" is a good example.
  • What Happened To The Fish? It was returned alive to its aquarium.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: A fair part of their discography; "Epic" springs to mind as a specific example. (Although you will hear all sorts of contradictory accounts of what Mike Patton allegedy said the lyrics mean, these are invariably urban legends.)
    • Mike has mentioned before that he feels his lyrics are his weakest skill in composition.


ErasureReprise RecordsHeart
ErasureCreator/Reprise RecordsFilter
EurythmicsMusic Of The 1990sFear Factory
Exodus (band)The EightiesFalco
Fair To MidlandMusicians/MetalMike Patton

alternative title(s): Faith No More
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