365 Days of Mike Patton: “The Perfect Crime,” Faith No More (1991)

Since I started thinking about this 365 Days of Mike Patton journey, I’ve had plenty of serendipitous encounters with Patton projects in the real world. There was a Mr. Bungle song played during a commercial bumper at the Grammy’s. Patton, for seemingly no rhyme or reason, was supposed to sing the national anthem at an NFL playoff game in L.A. (at the last minute, he had to cancel because he was sick).

And on Sunday night, it was probably the most random moment of all. I went with a buddy to an independent wrestling show in Austin—I haven’t seen live pro wrestling in more than 15 years—and as one of the participants was strutting his way to the ring, Faith No More’s “The Perfect Crime” was bleeding from the speakers.

The tune was never released on a Faith No More studio album, but it got some attention for its inclusion on the soundtrack for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Patton’s singing makes it sound like an outtake from The Real Thing because he’s a little nasally. But in reality, he was in the middle of making his transition to the more well-rounded singer he’d become on the Angel Dust album.

I wasn’t a Faith No More fan at the time, so I don’t remember the song coming out or why it was a big deal to FNM fans, but Metal Sucks has an interesting take on it …

[It] popped up on the Bill & Ted’s II soundtrack among a great Megadeth song, a ghastly Kiss song, and Steve Vai’s “The Reaper Rap.” Having arrived amid dim company and at a moment of FNM scarcity, “Crime” may’ve seemed awesomer than its actual awesomeness; also, the absence of another FNM song after it might’ve accounted for my tendency to rewind and repeat “Crime” a bunch. But the context, the timing, and the lack of competition were beside the point cuz the reason I never listen to it only once is that the shit is awesome beyond all reasonable measure.

Kerrang called the song a “punk, funk fusion of Simple Minds and the Talking Heads.”

Meanwhile, FNM bassist Billy Gould’s younger brother took home video of the mixing of “The Perfect Crime” (though Patton wasn’t in the studio that day). It’s a video I’d never seen. And I probably would never have known about it if I hadn’t gone to an independent wrestling show on a Sunday night.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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