Faith No More | Live At the Brixton Academy/Who Cares a Lot? (Rhino)

The Greatest Videos is a perfect time capsule of 1990, at that perfect moment where the Poisons and the Mötley Crües began to topple, but just before everyone began to wear plaid.

 

If it was grunge that felled the wickedly horrible tree that was ’80s hair metal, it was Faith No More that had weakened its root structure long before we’d ever heard the words “teen spirit.” Their double DVD release Live at the Brixton Academy, London – You Fat B**tards/Who Cares a Lot? The Greatest Videos is a perfect time capsule of 1990, at that perfect moment where the Poisons and the Mötley Crües began to topple, but just before everyone began to wear plaid.

The first disc, Live at the Brixton Academy, is the concert you wish you could have seen your favorite band perform. It’s the show, in that kinda medium-sized venue, just as they have begun to get popular, when the sky is the limit. Shot in April 1990, fresh from the growing success of their first major album, The Real Thing, Live at the Brixton features an 11-song set list mostly comprised of cuts from the aforementioned album. Frontman Mike Patton (who has, thankfully, churned out many albums under numerous monikers since Faith’s 1989 breakup) is in perfect form, bouncing about the stage with 22-year-old abandon, whipping his “war-stripped” long hair around theatrically, and mockingly weaving bits and pieces of New Kids on the Block’s “Right Stuff” and Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” in with his own lyrics. Like I said: time capsule of 1990.

The second disc, Who Cares a Lot? The Greatest Videos, is as advertised, a compilation of 18 music videos arranged in not quite chronological order spanning their 16-year history. Highlights include their breakout hit “Epic” and its famous slow-motion flopping fish, and their cover of the Commodores “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” with Patton singing to a number of transvestites, including keyboardist and future Imperial Teen founder Roddy Bottum. The videos run the gamut from highly creative to amazingly dated to quite possibly the (intentionally) worst video ever, “Everything’s Ruined,” making community access television quality usage of green screen effects.

This DVD release, apparently prompted by the amazingly high prices the previously released VHS version had been going for on eBay, is very cut-and-dry. Though a must have for any FNM or Patton fan and worth a look for anyone else, don’t look to this double disc for any bonus features or extra material. The first nine videos feature short snippets of home movies and interviews, but they strangely give way to simple text song introductions by the tenth video, which oddly coincides with the departure of founding guitarist Jim Martin. Perhaps he took the camcorder with him when he left.

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