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31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “THE COWBOY SONG”

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Spurred by a lazy crossword clue in The Onion (36 down, four letters: “Faith No More’s only hit”), MetalSucks contributor Anso DF dedicates every single day in August to celebration and exploration of the San Francisco alt-metal greats. Here we prove that history’s greatest band landed more than one commercial hit (crossword answer: “Epic” natch), we revel in FNM’s embarrassing wealth of winning album tracks (themselves often fit for chart topping), and we dip into the staggering best of the b-sides (ditto). Along the way, we survey the context of FNM’s big break (amid similarly seminal acts Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, and Ween) to the post-Nevermind, panic-based music commerce in which the brilliantly versatile, fearless powerhouse band operated until their 1998 demise. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Song “The Cowboy Song”

Written by um likely Patton (L); my guess is Gould, Martin (M). If you know, internet me @AnsoDF okay? Thanks!

Released 1989, 1991

Appears on “From Out Of Nowhere” 12″ single (UK), Live At Brixton Academy CD (UK)

Produced by Matt Wallace

Guitars by Jim Martin

Key lyric ”The next thing you know/There you are standing on the edge.”

Single? B-side from “Nowhere” single in UK, add-on to live album Live At Brixton Academy.

The climate The hastily-assembled mini-release is a record label’s little gift to itself for using big resources to successfully break a chancy act (see also: GN’R Lies). Most serious FNM people I know agree that Live At Brixton qualifies, but it’s weird that Brixton — a great live set which also includes one of two absurdly awesome The Real Thing b-sides — never came out in the US (right?). It should’ve cuz maybe The Real Thing‘s singles charted more consistently in the UK and Australia, but here “Epic” was a Billboard top-ten hit and MTV played the shit out of “Falling To Pieces” too. So it’s comparable. Plus, its accompanying You Fat Bastards! video came out in America. No biggie just weird.

Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by magic? I don’t know how an infectious, haunting song like “Cowboy” is created. I’m not sure how a band plays so powerfully or how a jam reaches weird untapped emotions and memories in a listener. I don’t know how this song didn’t make the album. Let’s just chalk it up to the supernatural and leave it at that. At least for me, it’d be hard to accept that there exist non-magical people who are this awesome at making songs. So again: magic. Magical song *shimmery fingers*

Didja know? Faith No More was already playing Angel Dust-era hit “Easy” in concert by this time. But “Easy” was among ten jamz played at the Brixton show that were not included on the CD. Oh btw have you ever heard this Lostprophets song?

–ADF

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METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE

12 “The Cowboy Song”

11 “Helpless” (read)

10 “Smaller And Smaller” (read)

9 “Digging The Grave” (read)

“From Out Of Nowhere” (read)

“Last Cup Of Sorrow” (read)

6 “The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies” (read)

“Caffeine” (read)

“Falling To Pieces” (read)

“Stripsearch” (read)

2 ”Ricochet” (read)

1 ”Land Of Sunshine” (read)


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