Top 100 singles of all time: 80 – Faith No More – Ashes to Ashes

I think I’m using this post as an excuse. 1, to look at the lovely Mike Patton; and 2, to listen to a great Faith No More song.

Like most of the bands on this list, I could have picked almost any single and called it a favourite. I went through a phase of listening to their greatest hits album, which worked as an album in its own right because they’re just such a good band. (That’s not always the case – the Korn one’s downright patchy, which just magnifies their reputation as only sporadically any good.)

The single reached number 15 in the UK charts and number 23 in America’s Mainstream Rock chart. Album of the Year underperformed, selling only 213,000 copies in the US (Angel Dust sold three times that) and was given lukewarm reviews. However, its global tally was a healthy two million sales. It contained three of my favourite FNM songs: Stripsearch, Ashes to Ashes, and Last Cup of Sorrow. The latter always reminds me of Ministry’s Filth Pig

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Ashes to Ashes was the first single from 1997’s Album of the Year. Bassist Billy Gould told Keyboard magazine, “The bulk of that song was written the first week. 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.”

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