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Faith No More's reputation has always been dogged by rumours of the band's in house arguments and frustrations and even at this early stage the arguments were running thick and fast. The original line up consisted of Bottum on keyboards, Gould on bass, Bordin on drums, Martin on guitar and Mosely doing the vocals, though the band would see numerous changes to the line up, not least replacing Mosely with exuberant and talented singer Mike Patton.
Released in 1985 on vinyl and cassette this album went largely recognised until it was re-released on CD a decade later. In fact inserts on subsequent albums listed 'Introduce Yourself' as the debut album. It is somewhat let down by the bad sound quality and at points Moseley's vocals are drowned out in reverberation. That said the album does show sure signs of the great things that were to come covering some hard rock and heavy riffs with 'Pills for Breakfast', subdued acoustic guitar ('Jim') and delicate melodies ('New Beginning'). This was not their best album by a long shot, but it's a good start.
'We Care A Lot' - Music: Gould/Bottum, Lyrics: Mosely
'We care a lot
About the Cabbage Patch, The Smurfs, and DMC
About Madonna and cop for Mr T'
The album kicks off with the title track and one that has remained anthemic for the band and possibly carried the album. A sarcastic satire on the fashion for rock stars to get involved with political concerns; it remained a staple track for the band for years to come and influenced the title of their 'Best Of' album, 'Who Cares a Lot?'. Originally released in 1985 it contained references to LAPD, Live Aid and the Garbage Pail Kids, but was changed when re-released in 1987 to reflect the current trends. It features unusual rhythms lead by distinct rock percussion, catchy vocals and heavy guitar and bass riffs. It depends on feint keyboard chord to hold the track together.
'The Jungle' - Music: Bottum/Gould/Bordin, Lyrics: Mosely
''He said, "And follow me to the deepest part of the jungle."
Where it is always dark and wet and warm
To the sacred part."
This track opens with pure percussion and vocals, which is then joined by a distinctive and catchy guitar riff and synthesiser holding the piece together and giving it a joyous mood. The vocals are layered and time lapsed creating a haunting affect using ghosting. The guitar composition during the verses is simple and acts as backdrop to the vocals.
'Mark Bowen' - Music: Gould/Bordin, Lyrics: Gould/Mosely
'I didn't write the rules
I just follow them to a tee
Cause that's me, I'm evil'
'Mark Bowen' opens with sulky and reluctant vocals with an echo which become more triumphant as the guitar riffs become heavier. From a gentle meandering start the track quickly gains strength after the first verse. The simple guitar riffs are followed by a similar melody on the synthesiser. For the main part the track is vocally lead with three layers of vocals and very little background following a scale based melody and providing much of the rhythm. It features basic, but catchy percussion backed by synthesised chords that merge into each other.
'Jim' - Martin
An acoustic guitar solo that functions as a brief bizarre interlude on the album. A pleasant, old fashioned melody and rhythm that is completely out of place on the album.
'Why Do You Bother' - Music: Gould/Bordin/Bottum, Lyrics: Mosely
'We don't want to get well
We want to go to hell
We want an urban dream
The f**king urban scream.'
This track opens with an eerie off-key synthesiser and an ominous bass that continues throughout the track. It is abruptly interrupted by the vocals, which are fast paced and basic in composition. The main body of the track features layered time-lapse vocals and a basic and tribal drum beat. A lot of the track is ominous noise held together by unchanging bass and drums that degrade then rise into melody and degrades again. The outro begins with an eerie reverberated piano and the music slows down and begins to degrade before a brief pause, then the track is played out by a reverberated piano.
'Greed' - Gould/Mosely
'Making innuendos about my lack of talent, oh well...
They say that when I'm supposed to be singing
All I'm really doing is yelling, oh well...'
'Greed' is introduced by reverberated solo vocals, then single guitar chords introducing basic keyboard chords backed by an intense bass as the guitar drops out only to return during breaks between verse and chorus. The simple percussion is very similar to eighties pop, while the pace is given by the bass. The vocals are reverberated and largely inaudible. There is a vague attempt at a melody, but it's very immature. The track is intense with fast paced single guitar chords leading the tension building and largely discordant chorus, but goes on a little too long for my liking.
'Pills for Breakfast' - Bordin/Martin
This track fades in on industrial sounding percussion. There is a heavy guitar riff and a more noticeable bass. The catchy and heavy guitar riff sounds like a good start but nothing takes the lead so you are left with the feeling that this is a massive introduction to a track that doesn't go anywhere and merely chugs along. Though it does change briefly for the outro, it's longing for a good guitar solo.
'As the Worm Turns' - Music: Bottum/Gould/Mosely, Lyrics: Mosely
'Time is on your side, you're young
Don't waste your time today'
This track has dramatic, almost epic instrumentation. The vocals do lack talent, but are made up for with what appears to be real passion. It begins with a simple, haunting piano melody picked up by the keyboards as the guitar gets heavier and sulky vocals that are layered and time lapsed. During the verses everything simplifies as the keyboard disappears altogether and the rhythm comes from the vocals.
Arabian Disco' - Music: Gould, lyrics: Mosely
'Die ... for the here and now
Do you remember why?
Do you remember how?'
This track features upbeat percussion and lively vocals. It has airy keyboards backed by heavy stuttering guitar playing infrequent single guitar chords and simple persistent percussion for the verses and a joyous guitar behind the vocals for the chorus. The vocals sound better on this track as they are harsher and stronger.
'New beginnings' - Mosely
'You were a quiet kind of person
Who asked for nothing and got just that
So they sent you away to die for your country.'
The vocals are softer for the intro to this track, but this does not suit Mosely's voice. They do get stronger when the heavier bass and guitar come in, but the vocals struggle to keep up and hold the melody and frequently break where he can't hold the notes. On the plus side the guitar riff is inspired, although simple, switching between heavy and tension building to melodic and gentle.
am without a question of a doubt a great big Faith No More fan. I always say that I listen to music on a case by case basis - I refuse to say that I "like band X" and therefore will like everything that band X ever produces. However, however, Faith No More seems to be one of the few bands which really do seem able to turn out entire albums of "killers" without ever resorting to any "fillers."
So, we've established Faith No More is great, great! We now have to admit that inside the scale of greatness there will be better albums and then the less great albums. Who Cares a Lot falls into the less great albums. The title track is, without doubt, the best piece of music on the disk and there is no need to stop the machine once it moves on. The real problem with Who Cares a Lot is that if you have it in your collection then you are bound to have other Faith No More cds to hand and it will be these discs that you will reach for first.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 We Care a Lot
3 Mark Bowen
5 Why Do You Bother
7 Pills for Breakfast
8 As the Worm Turns
9 Arabian Disco
10 New Beginnings