This week on The Monolith we’re celebrating all things Faith No More, following the release of their first new record in 17 years, Sol Invictus.
Make sure to read the rest of our FNM-related content. Enjoy!
Alongside their own songwriting talents, Faith No More have always enjoyed wearing their influences on their sleeves in the form of a well-chosen cover. Whilst these covers may sometimes be given a little tongue-in-cheek twist, their motives are always sincere.
Here follows a little collection of my own personal highlights from Faith No More’s repertoire of covers. It has been left deliberately incomplete, so there are still a couple of treats to be discovered by the intrepid.
Seek and ye shall find…
Probably Faith No More’s most well-known cover, they inhabit The Commodores‘ ode to lazy weekends as completely as Jimi Hendrix did All Along The Watchtower. Released as a single in 1993 and reaching #3 on the UK charts, it was subsequently tacked on to the end of subsequent editions of Angel Dust.
“I Started A Joke”
This surprising Bee Gees ballad holds the distinction of being the last single released by the band before they broke up, and was released in support of the band’s first Greatest Hits package, Who Cares A Lot? in 1998.
This is probably my personal favourite Faith No More cover, and the oddly touching video features a surprise bit part from Martin Freeman. I suppose we all have to start somewhere.
“This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us”
Re-recorded in collaboration with original artists Sparks for their album Plagiarism in 1998, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us” indulges the band’s sense of the theatrical and sees Patton trading lyrics with original vocalist Russell Mael.
“Let’s Lynch The Landlord”
This Dead Kennedys track was given a Faith No Makover (sorry) for inclusion on an excellent tribute album for the pioneering punks in 1992. Dropping the aggression levels and upping the swing quotient considerably, this track is stamped with Faith No More’s mischievous sense of humour.
Releasing a live album after, effectively, one album may be rash, but its what Faith No More did with Live At The Brixton Academy in 1990. Helping to convince fans that had only recently purchased The Real Thing to pick up a copy was this cover of the Black Sabbath standard.
Released at a point in history where Black Sabbath themselves were virtually a laughing stock, it was a timely reminder of their original importance.
Faith No More love a curveball. So, stepping out on stage for their first reunion shows, what better way to start proceedings than with a somewhat obscure but appropriately titled cover of a seventies track from R&B duo Peaches & Herb? It certainly confused this reviewer from The Guardian…
With Faith No More firmly back on the circuit, are there any specific songs you’d like to see them cover now? Anything classic or contemporary? More curveballs? Let us know!