Album of the Year (Faith No More album)
Album of the Year is the sixth studio album by American rock band Faith No More, released on June 3, 1997 by Slash and Reprise Records. It is the first album to feature the band's current guitarist Jon Hudson, and was their last studio album before their eleven-year hiatus from 1998 to 2009. The album has been described by Allmusic as being "more straightforward musically than past releases." It spawned three singles: "Ashes to Ashes", "Last Cup of Sorrow", and "Stripsearch".
|Album of the Year|
|Studio album by|
|Released||June 3, 1997|
|Studio||Brilliant Studios and Razor's Edge Recording, San Francisco, California|
|Faith No More chronology|
|Singles from Album of the Year|
Album of the Year guitarist Jon Hudson joined the band in 1996, after the departure of Dean Menta. Regarding Menta, Billy Gould said "We didn't fire Dean because he was an asshole, we didn't fire Dean because of anything, it was just because we couldn't write. And he had already written songs but it wasn't working. He toured fine."
In a 1997 interview with SFGate, Gould reflected on the making of the album, stating "We began recording this album a year ago at Brilliant Studios. Very rarely were we all in the same city at the same time. If we were lucky, there'd be a three-week window, and then we'd practice as much as we could and record at the end of the period." When work on Album of the Year was occurring in 1996, Mike Patton was simultaneously performing with Mr. Bungle, who were in the midst of their Disco Volante run of shows. Around this time, Patton also made a second experimental solo record titled Pranzo Oltranzista, which would be released two months before Album of the Year in 1997.
New producer Roli Mosimann encouraged the band to utilize computer-based recording/editing software Pro Tools during the recording process, something they had previously never done before. Gould stated "he said there were some things that he'd like to change in Pro Tools. A good example of Roli's editing was the song 'Mouth to Mouth.' It wasn't sounding right to us at all. It was almost a throwaway song. But Roli really liked that one, so he ended up taking the [acoustic] drums in the choruses and moving them to the verses in Pro Tools. It gave the song a whole new life."
Faith No More delivered the finished album to Reprise Records in February 1997. With a June 3 release date already finalised at this point, the band spent the next few months preparing for their upcoming summer tour in support of the album. The impending Album of the Year tour would end up sidetracking a covers album Mike Patton had planned on doing with Mr. Bungle in early 1997.
|“||Actually, this song is about email. Patton is kind of obsessed with the idea of how people can communicate and have relationships over the computer without talking or ever meeting. So this is an extreme version of that concept. Funny thing is...the image of someone sitting naked in front of a computer might not have made sense to people a few years ago, but now everybody knows what it means. It's become part of our culture.||”|
|— Billy Gould, |
"She Loves Me Not" is the eighth song on the album. The song itself seems to draw its influence from lounge music. It was to be the fourth single off the album, but the band ended before this could be accomplished. It has also never been played live. Despite this, it made an appearance on Faith No More's 2006 greatest hits compilation The Platinum Collection. When asked about the song, Billy Gould replied:
|“||This song almost didn't make it on the record. We almost didn't even record vocals for it because it's so different from all of the other songs. I wrote this song, and I was almost embarrassed to play it for anybody in the band because it's so soft – but at the same time it's a good song. It's like a Boyz II Men song or something. I didn't play it for anybody for, like, a half a year, and then finally I played it for Puffy. He thought we should give it a try, so I gave it to Patton, and he said, 'I wrote words, but they're pretty over-the-top.' But we went forward with it, and he really sang his ass off.||”|
|— Billy Gould, |
The photograph on the front cover depicts Czechoslovakia's first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who is regarded as the country's founding father.
The album jacket depicts the funeral of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, with the words "pravda vítězí" (truth prevails) adorning the coffin. The statement is the motto of the Czech Republic. The art was reflected with the band frequently wearing suits during their tour in support of the album. The trend carried over to their 2009 reunion tour.
The album sleeve did not feature printed lyrics; however, Mike Patton and Billy Gould did submit official lyrics to fnm.com, which was a fan controlled site prior to the band reformation in 2009.
Touring and promotionEdit
As with previous albums, it was supported by a large scale tour covering various countries, which lasted from April 22, 1997, to April 7, 1998. The Album of the Year tour is notable for featuring Limp Bizkit, a nu metal/rap metal band greatly influenced by Faith No More, as an opener for several 1997 US dates. In a 2013 interview, Roddy Bottum recalled "I fought it at the time. I had to really push to get a couple bands that I liked to get on the bill in Portland and Seattle on that leg. I had no interest in the sound of Limp Bizkit. It was not how I wanted to be represented at all. Not to be snotty at all, but that guy Fred Durst had a really bad attitude. He was kind of a jerk. I remembered he called the audience faggots at one show when they booed him. Not a good scene."
Initially Album of the Year was met with some lukewarm to negative responses from critics in the United States, with the Rolling Stone magazine rating the album one-and-a-half stars out of five and commenting that the band "...are floundering around desperately, groping for a sense of identity and direction in a decade that clearly finds them irrelevant". Pitchfork gave the album a similarly negative review, stating "Album Of The Year leaves one feeling like waking up and finding last night's used condom -- sure, the ride was fun while it lasted, but what remains is just plain icky. And you definitely don't want it in your CD player." However, the album developed praise from both critics and fans alike in the years after the band's break-up in 1998. In his retrospective review, Greg Prato of AllMusic gave the album a rating of four stars out of five and described it as being "a fitting way for one of alt-rock's most influential and important bands to end its career."
Singer Mike Patton criticized the album in a 2001 interview, saying "[We split] Because we were starting to make bad music. And that's when you need to pull the plug. Our next record would have been a piece of shit."
As of 2015, the album had sold 221,000 copies in the U.S. This nearly matched the total for King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime but was a significantly lower figure than that of the other two albums featuring Mike Patton on vocals. In other charts it fared much better, peaking at #1 in Australia and New Zealand. It also went Platinum in Australia for sales of more than 70,000 copies. The album only had slight impact in the UK charts but it did go Gold for sales of more than 100,000 copies. The biggest downfall for this album was perhaps in the US where sales were significantly lower than previous efforts. Album Of The Year has currently sold just over one million albums worldwide.
Initial pressings of the Australian, UK and Dutch versions of the album included a bonus remix disc.
Album of the Year would be the second album in the band's discography to be re-released by Dutch music label Music On Vinyl after Angel Dust. Released on August 26, 2013, the album had a limited pressing run of 2000 hand numbered copies on gold vinyl, as well as on black vinyl which remains available in some retailers.
Album of the Year was released as a deluxe edition on 2016 with two discs; the second disc contains eight bonus tracks.
|1.||"Collision"||Jon Hudson, Mike Patton||3:24|
|2.||"Stripsearch"||Mike Bordin, Hudson, Billy Gould||4:29|
|3.||"Last Cup of Sorrow"||Gould, Patton||4:12|
|4.||"Naked in Front of the Computer"||Patton||2:08|
|5.||"Helpless"||Bordin, Patton, Gould||5:26|
|6.||"Mouth to Mouth"||Bordin, Patton, Hudson, Gould||3:48|
|7.||"Ashes to Ashes"||Bordin, Patton, Hudson, Gould, Roddy Bottum||3:37|
|8.||"She Loves Me Not"||Bordin, Gould, Patton||3:29|
|9.||"Got That Feeling"||Patton||2:20|
|10.||"Paths of Glory"||Bordin, Patton, Hudson, Gould, Bottum||4:17|
|11.||"Home Sick Home"||Patton||1:59|
|13.||"The Big Kahuna" (Japanese or limited Edition bonus track)||Bordin, Patton, Hudson, Gould||3:07|
|14.||"Light Up & Let Go" (Japanese or limited Edition bonus track)||Patton||2:20|
|15.||"Last Cup of Sorrow" (Rammstein mix) (Limited edition bonus track)||4:23|
|16.||"Ashes to Ashes" (Hardknox Alternative mix) (Limited edition bonus track)||6:47|
|17.||"She Loves Me Not" (Spinna Crazy dub mix) (Limited edition bonus track)||4:41|
|18.||"Last Cup of Sorrow" (Sharam Vs FNM Club mix) (Limited edition bonus track)||7:24|
|1.||"Last Cup of Sorrow" (Bigfoot and Wildboy mix)||8:44|
|2.||"Last Cup of Sorrow" (Bonehead mix)||4:54|
|3.||"Ashes to Ashes" (Hardknox Horned Hand mix)||6:47|
|4.||"Ashes to Ashes" (Automatic 5 dub)||6:10|
|5.||"She Loves Me Not" (Spinna Main mix)||4:41|
|6.||"Ashes to Ashes" (Dillinja mix)||5:30|
|Bonus disc (2016 Deluxe Edition)|
|1.||"Pristina" (Billy Gould mix)||"Last Cup of Sorrow" single||4:14|
|2.||"Last Cup of Sorrow" (Roli Mosimann mix)||"Last Cup of Sorrow" single||6:23|
|3.||"She Loves Me Not" (Spinna Main mix)||Bonus disc of Album of the Year Limited Edition||4:36|
|4.||"Ashes to Ashes" (DJ Icey & Maestro mix)||"Ashes to Ashes" CD single||6:05|
|5.||"Light Up & Let Go"||"Ashes to Ashes" CD single||2:17|
|6.||"The Big Kahuna"||"Ashes to Ashes" CD single||3:04|
|7.||"This Guy's In Love With You" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) (Live)||"I Started a Joke" single||4:19|
|8.||"Collision" (Live)||"Stripsearch" CD single||3:28|
- Faith No More
- Mike Bordin – drums
- Roddy Bottum – keyboards
- Billy Gould – bass guitar, producer
- Jon Hudson – guitar
- Mike Patton – vocals
|Australian Albums Chart||1|
|Czech Republic Top 40||1|
|New Zealand Charts||1|
|German Album Charts||2|
|Finnish Albums Chart||4|
|UK Albums (OCC)||7|
|Swedish Top 50||11|
|U.S. Billboard 200||40|
|German Albums Chart||64|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions|
|1997||"Ashes to Ashes"||22||8||7||14||39||50||15|
|"Last Cup of Sorrow"||14||66||—||—||32||—||51|
|"—" denotes singles that were released but did not chart.|
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