Aside from Faith No More’s breakout hit “Epic” in 1989, I hadn’t seen many of the band’s official music videos. Not sure why. I guess when I stopped watching MTV in the mid-1990s, I stopped searching for music videos in general, even the ones from my favorite band.
But “Last Cup of Sorrow” from FNM’s Album of the Year is an interesting one. The video is a parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece Vertigo. The video features Mike Patton in the Jimmy Stewart character. Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Madeleine character. Bassist Billy Gould dressed as a woman. And drummer Mike Bordin, for some reason, eating a bagel.
I’ve always loved the song—it was the album’s second single, and it landed at No. 14 on the Billboard charts, better than the other two songs releases from the album—but until this very second, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the entire music video.
That’s kind of cool. And considering some of Patton’s career revolves around his love of movies—his second Fantomas album is a cover of a bunch of old soundtracks, and he’s produced a number of film scores in the past decade or so—it’s interesting that his love for that artistic genre had leaked into his most successful band.
“I always thought Vertigo had an interesting music video feel to it because of the [rich graphics] in the film,” the video’s director Joseph Kahn told Billboard, via Faith No More Followers. “Also the of idea of FNM’s Mike Patton playing Jimmy Stewart seemed funny to me. Basically you’re taking this really subversive person and putting him in this clean, sterile, technicolor 50s world, yet pieces of the subversiveness of his persona keep coming through this world. It’s like blending an old film with this totally weird 90s type of guy.”
As for the song itself, it’s dominated by Roddy Bottum’s keyboards, Mike Bordin’s crisp drumming and Gould’s “dub-ish” bass. As for Patton’s vocals, they’re gritty at times and then his voice turns more pure on the chorus. Like many of his songs, I enjoyed the contrast.
As Gould told Keyboard magazine in 1997, “Mike can do a lot of wild things with his voice, for one. But, yeah, he sang through an old Telefunken tube mic and we compressed the living shit out of it.”
Previously from Album of the Year:
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