June 23, 2006

DVD Review: Faith No More - You Fat B**tards / Who Cares A Lot Greatest Videos

What's better than a Faith No More double feature? Well, if your a fan, probably not much. For you fans this two disk set is an absolute must have, and for those with fond memories looking to reconnect with this group of visionaries, this is for you too. Lastly, if you are a fan of good music, this is also for you.

I don't think I quite realized it at the time, but Faith No More was way ahead of its time. They helped spark the rap/metal craze of the 1990s with their huge hit, "Epic." Funny thing, that is the only that could really fall in that category, there are a few that tread close to those waters, they had a few more hits, but never really achieved the same level of popularity. I cannot claim to have followed their career to closely, but I always loved the music they put out. It was so different than the other stuff that was out there. I think they peaked with 1992's Angel Dust, but there are parts of all the albums that I liked. This set brings back so many good memories.

The first disk is You Fat Bastards: Live at the Brixton Academy, London, it was recorded on April 28, 1990 while they were touring in support of The Real Thing, and was originally released on video in 1991. This concert is a lot of fun, and reminds of just what I missed out on having never gotten the opportunity to see them live. Although, I did see Patton with Mr. Bungle once.

This 60 miute set is energy from start to finish. They opened with "From Out of Nowhere" and transitioning into "Falling to Pieces." The crowd was into it the entire time, singing along and banging their heads. Two songs from the pre-Mike Patton appear, "As the Worm Turns" and "We Care A Lot." The second one led into "Epic," which in turn led to their instrumental "Woodpeckers From Mars," which closed the set proper with Billy Gould declaring "Good Night!"

The break did not last long as Faith No More had a couple more songs to play. They delivered "Zombie Eaters" and their Black Sabbath cover "War Pigs" as an encore. Of course, after watching this, I wanted more, more I tell you! I wanted to see performances from Angel Dust and King for a Day, oh well, at least there is a disk of videos which should provide some consolation.

The highlight was watching Mike Patton do his thing. This guy is truly insane, the way he moved around the stage is unlike anyone I have ever seen before. He flailed around, held the mic at strange angles, and just seemed like he was having a blast. Also, he would play with the words and add various sounds and noises between lines, it truly was a live show as opposed to recreating the CD. The band itself is incredibly tight, and they sounded a lot better live than I had imagined, based on that hideous MTV performance of "Epic," I think it was at one of the VMAs.

The concert is presented in a 1.33:1 ratio and looks pretty good. It suffers a bit due to the age of the source, but it is free from any blemishes, and is generally very good. The audio has two flavors, Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1. Obviously, the 5.1 is the way to go, even if you only have a stereo setup, the 2.0 sounds thin and lacks body whereas the 5.1 has a nice full sound even only across a two speaker soundstage.

The second disk collects 18 of their videos in a 90 minute package, Who Cares a Lot? The Greatest Videos, which was originally released on VHS in 1998. This is a an excellent collection of videos and really shows how Faith No More matured and changed over years. Compare something like "Falling to Pieces" and "Evidence." Both of those videos are vastly different, but both are distinctly Faith No More, showing the band at different points of their career.

As far ahead of the curve their music was, their videos split the difference, covering the gamut of performance videos, to the epic features. A pair of Chuck Moseley era videos made the set, "Anne's Song" and "We Care A Lot." All of the hits are here, including "Epic" and "From Out of Nowhere," plus some of the later videos which I do not recall ever seeing before like "Digging the Grave," "Last Cup of Sorrow," and "Ashes to Ashes."

This disk is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1 and looks very good, everything is crisp and clear, colors are sharp, and it is good to look at. Like the first disk, you have the choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1, I'll let you decide which one you should be using. I'll give you a hint, see my comment on the first disk.

Watching these videos, and the preceding concert bring back so many memories, now I have to go and dig out my Faith No More albums. What else can I say? This set is a must have for any fan. The range of styles that they incorproate into their music is mind blowing. It is sad to see how they sort of fell apart, starting with their dismissal of Jim Martin in 1993. It is great, however, that they live on in their CDs and this excellent testament to their excellence.

Highly Recommended.
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