Faith No More's "Epic": The Song That Changed Everything

Faith No More's "Epic" isn't just a song—it's a wild ride that smashed through the music scene when it dropped in 1989. This track, from their album The Real Thing, blends rap, rock, funk, and metal in a way that was totally unheard of at the time. It didn't just put Faith No More on the map; it changed the game for music in the 90s.

The Making of "Epic"

"Epic" came to life with the band's new lead vocalist, Mike Patton. He joined Faith No More after Chuck Mosley left, bringing a fresh and versatile vocal style that took the band's sound to a whole new level. Patton's eclectic taste and unique approach to singing meant the band could explore new musical territories.

Creating "Epic" was all about experimentation. The band members threw together different elements—heavy guitar riffs, funky bass lines, pounding drums, and a killer keyboard riff—to make something truly unique. The result was a song that was both chaotic and perfectly balanced.

The Sound

Musically, "Epic" is all over the place—in the best way possible. It starts with a dramatic piano riff that quickly transitions into heavy guitars and a groovy bass line. Mike Bordin's drumming keeps the energy high, while Jim Martin's guitar adds a metal edge. Roddy Bottum's keyboards bring a melodic yet chaotic feel to the mix.

Patton's vocals are the icing on the cake. He switches effortlessly between rapping, singing, and screaming, showcasing his impressive range. His performance is full of urgency and emotion, making the song compelling and unpredictable.

The Lyrics

The lyrics of "Epic" are open to interpretation. Patton has mentioned the song is about "sexual frustration," but the abstract and surreal imagery allows listeners to find their own meanings. The recurring line, "You want it all, but you can't have it," speaks to a universal feeling of longing and unattainability.

The music video, directed by Ralph Ziman, adds another layer of intrigue. It features surreal imagery like a flopping fish, exploding pianos, and the band performing in a rainstorm. This video became iconic, getting heavy rotation on MTV and helping "Epic" reach a wider audience.

The Impact

"Epic" was a commercial smash, hitting number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and pushing The Real Thing to platinum status. It broke all the rules of rock music at the time, influencing a slew of bands and paving the way for the alternative rock and nu-metal scenes of the 90s.

Faith No More's willingness to blend different genres set them apart. "Epic" became a blueprint for bands wanting to push musical boundaries, inspiring acts like Rage Against the Machine, Korn, and Limp Bizkit. Its legacy lives on in the genre-blending music that's popular today.

Why It Still Rocks

"Epic" is still one of Faith No More's most loved songs. Its unique mix of rap, rock, funk, and metal, along with Mike Patton's standout vocals, makes it a timeless hit. Over 30 years later, it still gets people pumped, proving that Faith No More's creativity and boldness paid off big time.

Next time you jam to "Epic," remember its roots in breaking musical barriers and challenging norms. It's not just a song—it's a revolution in sound that continues to influence and inspire.
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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