Thursday, April 27, 2017

Songoftheday 4/27/17 - Can you feel it, see it, hear it today? If you can't then it doesn't matter anyway...

"Epic" - Faith No More
from the album The Real Thing (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Faith No More, which was derived from the band Faith No Man from the late 80s featuring keyboardist Roddy Bottum, bass player Billy Gould, and Mike Bordin on drums. After ditching their original lead singer Mike Morris and changing their name to Faith No More, they hired on Chuck Moseley as vocalist. Their first independent album as Faith No More, We Care A Lot, was released in 1985, and after the success of that, the Slash label picked them up for their sophomore record Introduce Yourself. A re-recorded version of the title track from their debut, "We Care A Lot", became a minor hit in the UK at #53 in 1987. However, Moseley ended up being too volatile for the band, and he was replaced by Mike Patton from the band Mr. Bungle leading up to their third and breakthrough effort, The Real Thing. Patton, who co-wrote almost all of the album's lyrics (save a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs"), was a big part of the success of the record, with rapped lyrics leading to the chorus still a really new idea in rock music. The first single from the set, the frenetic speed-metal-lite of "From Out Of Nowhere", reached the top 40 in Britain (#23). But the second single, "Epic", featured that rapped verse that stood out from the other "funky-style" rock bands. And the music video, which was striking in its visuals not only from the cringe-inducing goldfish out of water part, found a welcome home on MTV, allowing kids to find the title that doesn't appear in the lyrics, and not just the "You want it all but you can't have it" song...


"Epic" became Faith No More's sole top-40 pop hit in the U.S., reaching the top ten in September of 1990. The song also climbed to #25 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the record was huge Down Under, spending three weeks at #1 in Australia and hitting #2 in New Zealand. Elsewhere, "Epic" reached the top 40 in Canada (#19), the UK (#25), and Ireland (#27). The band was nominated for Best Metal Performance for the Real Thing album in 1990, losing out to Metallica's "One" single, while "Epic" itself was nommed for Best Hard Rock Performance a year later, with Living Colour's Time's Up album taking the trophy. A third single from the album, "Falling To Pieces", slipped on to the pop chart at #92, and reached #40 on the Mainstream Rock chart in America; overseas it was a top 40 hit in Australia (#26) and New Zealand (#16), and came one notch from that mark in the UK.

The band's next album, Angel Dust, came out in 1992, and while the lead track, "Midlife Crisis", missed the pop chart completely, the song was their first and only #1 hit on the Mainstream Rock chart, and crossed over to Modern Rock radio at #32. The album itself was their highest-charting set in both the U.S. (#10) and the UK (#2), where "Midlife Crisis" went to #10. A stand alone single cover of the Commodores' classic "Easy", which eventually was tacked on to Angel Dust, became their biggest international hit, going to #3 in Britain, and landing the group their second Australian chart-topper. It even got on to the American pop chart at #58. That was their last American pop chart appearance, but Faith No More totaled 13 top 40 hits in the UK in their career, most recently in 1998. with "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us" (#40 UK), a collaboration with the alt-dance duo Sparks. In that time their guitarist Jim Martin left, with a revolving door of axemen for a while filling in. After a greatest hits record (also titled Who Cares A Lot?), which gave them a minor hit in the UK with a cover of the Bee Gees' "I Started A Joke", Faith No More broke up, with the members going on to individual gigs. Most notable of those project was Roddy Bottums' seminal gay rock band Imperial Teen; he was one of the first big out-of-the-closet metalheads when he came out in 1993.

The band reunited in 2009 for touring with guitarist Jon Hudson, who played on their last album, Album of the Year. Five years later, a new studio set from them was released, Sol Invictus, which reached the top ten in a handful of countries and did a respectable #15 rank in the States. But even more than that, their legacy is, indeed, epic, with the whole nu-metal genre from Limp Bizkit, Korn, Linkin Park, and all the rest dependent on their trailblazing sound.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the band performing "Epic" on Saterday Night Live in 1990...


 ...and again, wowing the audience on Arsenio Hall to promote the single...


Next up, in concert in 1997...


And finally, a recent show from 2015...


Up tomorrow: A funky bunch reunites for their biggest hit to date.

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