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31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “CRACK HITLER”

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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 ”Crack Hitler”

Written by Patton (L); Gould, Bottum, Bordin (M).

Released 1992

Appears on Angel Dust album

Produced by Matt Wallace

Guitars by Jim Martin

Key lyric ”In regards to/My usage of the drug … /It modified my personality/To the extent that I was/Highly irritable/I was like a crack Hitler.”

Single? No.

The climate I am in awe of the band’s skill level on “Crack Hitler,” a titanic jam that finds FNM pouring a foreign genre through its filter. Doing that is a tall task first cuz disco is not a beloved sound or one to be taken seriously coming from habitual piss-takers; next, it requires more brains cuz tailoring a genre that way is different from copying it and demands more from players. On top of that, FNM has to make it work with the “Hey!” march and then that awesmazing outro verse. Thrilling!

Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by Billy Gould. Hey get off my lawn but I’ve always been sick of hearing about Flea and some other popular bass players cuz Gould rips on the reg. Over the years since Angel Dust, we know more about big-time bass playing; back in 1992, I had trouble even conceiving of Gould’s part. There’s a bottom and a top but how they join together remained part of “Crack Hitler”‘s awesome mystery. Studdd!

Didja know? Gould explains the lyrics of “Crack Hitler” thusly [all sic]: “‘Crack Hitler’ is about this drug baron who takes Crack and compares himself with Hitler, because he commands enough depended people … We all laughed a lot about him, so we had to dedicate him a song.” It’s always hard for me to tell whether the FNM guys are being silly or sincere, but the wording to that statement is weird and I don’t get how a Hitler can be depicted playing pool or savoring champagne. So maybe that’s a leg-pulling or a misquote or something? My friends always thought “Hitler” was about a jerk gone insane on drugs and living in a delusion of grandeur, maybe like Poor Tony in that book Infinite Jest or even Pat Bateman. As always internet me @AnsoDF with info cheerz!

–ADF

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METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE

24 “Crack Hitler”

23 “Home Sick Home” (read)

22 “The Perfect Crime”!!!! (read)

21 “A Small Victory” (read)

20 “King For A Day” (read)

19 “The World Is Yours” (read)

18 “Absolute Zero” (read)

17 “Collision” (read)

Intermission “Das Schutzenfest” (read)

16 “The Last To Know” (read)

15 “The Real Thing” (read)

14 “Malpractice” (read)

13 ”Ugly In The Morning” (read)

12 “The Cowboy Song” (read)

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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