FAITH NO MORE'S ALBUMS RANKED.
Written By Jason Voorhees
There never has been; nor will there ever be another band like Faith No More.
To put it quite simply...this is a band that was way ahead of it's time. They were KORN before there was KORN. They were Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock before there was Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock. And they were Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Linkin Park before those bands arrived.
Faith No More is widely considered one of the most important metal bands of the late eighties. This is due in large part to their diverse musical style that later paved the way for multiple metal genres to form. The band dabbled in synth, punk, industrial, funk, and experimental rock among many others. These forays later produced genres such as nu-metal, industrial goth and alternative.
No matter what style metal you prefer, Faith No More has undoubtedly produced a track that peaks your fancy. While the earlier incarnation was plagued by dysfunction and multiple lineup changes; the traditional lineup had one of the more successful stretches in metal history despite being short lived.
After a lengthy breakup, the band finally returned in 2015 with a brand new studio album. As we celebrate the greatness of Faith No More, let's take a deep dive into their discography catalog from worst to first. You say you want it all but you cant have it. However; you better buckle up your seatbelts as it's gonna be an Epic ride!
7. 'We Care A lot' (1985)
This was a record that left so many things to be desired. That's not to say that the debut album was a complete bust. Only that it was lacking in quality production, consistent songwriting and creativity. The album features Chuck Mosley on vocals for starters. His unconventional vocal style provided glimpses of what was yet to come and certainly peaked the interest of the underground musical community. However; the band wasn't quite ready to conquer mainstream royalty and the album sales suffered. The album did invoke several key Faith No More ingredients such as the thrash style guitar riffs, sonic synthesized melodies, blistering rhythms and bombastic drums. Standout tracks include the title track, "The Jungle", "As the Worm Turns" and the instrumental "Pills For Breakfast." Certainly not a terrible record but definitely the low point for Faith No More...this was just the beginning.
6. 'Introduce Yourself' (1987)
A sophomore jinx was not what the Dr. ordered. This was a step up from the albums predecessor. Musically and lyrically it was advanced. You could tell that the band was maturing before our eyes and the music showed. The band's creativity shined brightly on this album as the songwriting improved. The result was a more clean sound with plenty of consistent direction. The multidimensional blueprint had been choreographed and now the world was ready for Faith No More. However; the band was internally searching for the missing piece of the puzzle, as the current front man was in the cross hairs and the rest is history. Tracks like "Faster Disco", "Introduce Yourself", "R N' R" and "The Crab Song" provided an archetype for the band's next great leap. Marked improvement as Faith No More is now on the fast track.
5. 'Sol Invictus' (2015)
"Sol Invictus" marks a return to roots moment for Faith No More. The only difference is Mike Patton on the microphone, and the results were astounding. This is a multiple award winning record. Likewise it's a record that received critically high marks and reviews all across the board. Faith No More does a marvelous job capturing the raw edgy style of their beginnings. However; they were able to maintain a mixture of modern day elements all the while focusing on their long term proven formula. Standout tracks include "Sol Invictus", "Sunny Side Up", and "Rise of the Fall." However, the true gem is "Superhero" which ranks among the bands true stalwart tracks. A solid record that provides a reminder just how great this band is. Back in form as metal enthusiasts celebrate all over the world! Stellar album for a stellar band.
4. 'King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime' (1995)
If hard hitting rock is what you crave then this is probably your favorite FNM record. A new man on the axe in toe (Jim Martin) is now out; the album takes on a heavier mixture of punk and jazz infused shock rock. Mike Patton's vocal excellence is prominent on this album as well. When everyone is expecting the band to zig, Faith No More instead decides to zag; and that's what makes this band so fun to follow. They are never afraid to push the envelop of creativity as they constantly change directions. This marks yet another evolution as the group channels their inner butterfly in flight. The album is littered with stone cold killers like "Digging the Grave" and "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies." While others like "Take This Bottle" and "The Last To Know" remain more hidden. We are now getting closer to elite level here.
3. 'Album Of The Year' (1997)
This is definitely the most underrated album in the discography; in spite of it's ironic title 'Album of the Year.' The album is a punishing display of bludgeoning harmonies and melodies. It's like a cross between 'Angel Dust' and 'The Real Thing.' If you take the best parts of each of those albums and fuse them into one the results lie in this bed. It features terrific songwriting, impressive lyrics, top of the line composition and elite production. The combination of raw power metal and swirling synthesized melodies have this album screaming epic. From the opening in your face "Collision" to the hard rocker "Mouth to Mouth". Followed by the beast of an anthem "Last Cup of Sorrow." There are also the twin techno infused powerhouse studs "Stripsearch" and "Ashes to Ashes". This may not be album of their career material but certainly top of the line worthy!
2. 'The Real Thing' (1989)
Most people rank this record at the top of FNM's catalog and they certainly can't be faulted. However; these lists are not quantified by popularity or how well the album performed. Because if we were using that formula, the fact remains that this is the crème de le crème. This was the record before it's time, a crossover beacon of creative juices. The rap laden monster hit "Epic" is what paces the record. While the other star power anthems "From Out of Nowhere" and "Falling to Pieces" drive the bus. However; the hidden gems define the album...songs like "Surprise You're Dead", "Underwater Love", "Woodpecker From Mars" and "Edge of The World" are timeless classics; as well as the enigmatic cover of "War Pigs." But one would be remiss if they didn't call out the title track "The Real Thing" which outranks them all on the greatness scale. This was the true epic of the record. Mount Rushmore 1-A here folks.
1. 'Angel Dust' (1992)
This masterpiece leaves the rest of the albums in a cloud of dust; and after that dust settles you can emphatically see why. While it's predecessor laid the groundwork, this record perfects that formula. Lyrically and stylistically 'Angel Dust' is far advanced. The production of this record also stands out. Once again, an album with zero filler. While most people recognize the stellar standout tracks like "Midlife Crisis", "A Small Victory" and even the cover of "Easy"; it's once again those deep cuts that make this record the gold standard. "Land of Sunshine" simply kicks ass. "Caffeine" and "Smaller and Smaller" bring down the house. However; my personal favorite "Kindergarten" has that classic FNM flavor with an added element of eerie creepiness. This record is always slept on and that's why most put 'The Real Thing' ahead of it. However; true music enthusiasts and critics realize this records place in the musical landscape. In fact, this is not only the top of the food chain for Faith No More; but this album also belongs among the top albums of that entire decade.
Stories, news and reviews presented by the staff of Philly Rock Radio.