One of my favorite songs on one of my least favorite Mike Patton-led Faith No More albums is “Ashes To Ashes.” And my ears didn’t deceive me. According to FNM bassist Billy Gould, this song just clicked when it was being created.
“The bulk of that song was written the first week,” Gould told Keyboard magazine in 1997, via Faith No More Followers. “We arranged it here, and then we sent Patton a tape. He was in Italy, but he came up with the lyrics and the singing right away. It was one of those songs that just clicked—one of those songs that we do most naturally. That’s our sound.”
It features Patton crooning, it features Patton shouting and it features Patton’s intensity. Meanwhile, the guitar is heavy, the keyboard is haunting and the bass is brooding.
The Album of the Year record didn’t get great reviews, and ultimately, FNM broke up soon after it was released. But “Ashes To Ashes” is a good enough song that it would have starred on any of FNM’s albums (and the last 20 seconds or so of the tune is some of my favorite FNM music ever).
The band even made a music video for the single—which peaked at No. 23 in the U.S. and made the top 10 in Australia and Finland.
The song also made for a fantastic moment during FNM’s reunion. Playing the Troubadour in L.A. in 2015, Patton did a little crowd surfing on his way to the bar while singing “Ashes To Ashes.” Would have been pretty cool to be in the room that night. Make sure to check out 1:20 when he gives an epic scream from the top of the bar.
Previously from Album of the Year:
- “Naked In Front of This Computer” (Day 18)
To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.