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Every Faith No More Album Ranked Worst to Best

Faith No More amalgamated metal guitar, new wave synth and funk bass to create their singular sound (and inadvertently planted the seed for what would become nu-metal—oops!). They’re an unusual band in that their catalog bucks the pattern of “early albums good, later albums bad”, as it took some time for them to come into their own. We subjected their oeuvre to our patented Ranked Album Tabulation System (R.A.T.S.) to compile our definitive, objectively correct ranking.

7. Introduce Yourself (1987)

Despite the name, this isn’t the band’s debut, but their sophomore album. This collection of sometimes interesting but mostly half-baked funk-metal songs includes a more energized but unnecessary re-recording of “We Care a Lot” (from their debut). While not much of a singer in the traditional sense (especially when compared with successor Mike Patton), what Chuck Mosley lacked in pitch he made up for with a fuck-it punk enthusiasm.

Play it again: “Chinese Arithmetic”
Skip it: “Anne’s Song” reaches Kiedis levels of embarrassment.

6. We Care a Lot (1985)

The exceptional title track might be best known as the theme of the show “Dirty Jobs” (hosted by amiable everyman turned Fox News turd Mike Rowe). The charming naivety and rawness of this debut help it just barely edge out its follow-up. There are moments that hint at what FNM would one day become, but Mosley’s singing is once again the weak link, holding the album’s better songs back from being welcomed to Bangersville.

Play it again: “Why Do You Bother”
Skip it: “The Jungle”


5. Album of the Year (1997)

On their final album before a lengthy hiatus, we find the band treading familiar ground, continuing to sprinkle their zany genre digressions alongside synthy-groove metal. There’s an exhausted feel to this album, as though the band’s effort at defying genre had itself become a formula. The metal riffs of songs like “Naked in Front of the Computer” give it a shot in the arm, and Patton’s creepy crooning is as powerful as ever on such tracks as “Last Cup of Sorrow.” Patton himself said (perhaps too harshly) that the band split after this album because they’d started to make “bad music” and it was “time to pull the plug”.

Play it again: “Ashes to Ashes”
Skip it: “She Loves Me Not”

4. Sol Invictus (2015)

18 years after their previous album, FNM returned refreshed and invigorated, with the reunited band sounding excited to be making music together again. The stylistic explorations are reined in a bit, which helps keep the album from becoming as wacky as some earlier works. Tracks like “Separation Anxiety” and the explosive “Black Friday” show the band is still pretty adventurous for a bunch of guys that need to schedule regular colonoscopies.

Play it again: “Separation Anxiety”
Skip it: “Motherfucker”


3. The Real Thing (1989)

Ditching original singer Mosley, the band poached a baby Mike Patton from Mr. Bungle, who reportedly wrote the album’s lyrics in just two weeks. “The Real Thing” could probably be considered the rap-rock urtext, though that transgression can be forgiven due to the hook-heavy, slickly produced and strange album it is. Is it goofy? At times, very much so. However, that silliness is tempered by Jim Martin’s metal influence and the band’s increasingly sophisticated songwriting. Patton leans hard on his bratty, nasal delivery, which can quickly become obnoxious.

Play it again: “Surprise, You’re Dead!”, which was written for a band Martin was in with Cliff Burton.
Skip it: “Underwater Love” could be a RHCP B-side

2. King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime (1995)

Jim Martin’s signature riffage is absent, as the guitarist fucked off to become a farmer, apparently unhappy with the band’s broadening musical direction (allegedly accusing FNM of playing “gay disco”). The genre-hopping sometimes veers too far into kitsch (“Star A.D.”, but when the stylistic forays work, they’re fun, as heard in the smooth jazz of “Evidence”. The spasmodic utterances on “Cuckoo for Caca” make it plain to see why Patton was hired to provide zombie screams for “Left 4 Dead.”

Play it again: “King for a Day”
Skip it: “Take This Bottle” isn’t a bad song, but the detour into honky tonk kills the album’s momentum.

1. Angel Dust (1992)

Already realizing the rap-rock schtick was a dead end, the band jettisoned it to make way for the eclectic batch of songs found here. Patton outgrew the snotty vocal style of “The Real Thing” and was reborn as a consummate frontman with a wide stylistic range. Each player is given ample space to showcase their strengths, from Roddy Boddum’s synths to Billy Gould’s twanging bass, while Jim Martin grounds it all with his solid thrash playing. The album was probably a bit shocking to fans of earlier radio-friendly singles, with Patton’s shrieking and pig-squealing (“Smaller and Smaller”, “Malpractice”), fellatio instruction (“Be Aggressive”) and intentionally offensive song titles (“Crack Hitler,” “Jizzlobber”).

Play it again: “Smaller and Smaller”
Skip it: “RV”