Angel Dust is the fourth studio album by American rock band Faith No More, first released through Slash on June 8, 1992 in Europe and the United States. It's the final studio album with long time guitarist Jim Martin and the second to feature Mike Patton on vocals however it is the first album in which he had an influence on the band's sound, as Patton hadn't previously had input on the musical composition of the albums predecessor, The Real Thing, as it had all been composed and recorded prior to his joining.
It remains as Faith No More's highest-selling album outside the United States in which, as of July 2007, the album has sold 664,000 copies there. The album and subsequent tour were very successful in Europe where it went Platinum for sales of more than 1 million copies and Gold in Australia for selling more than 35,000 copies. Worldwide sales are around 3.0 million copies for this record.
Following the success of their previous album, The Real Thing and the subsequent tour that followed, Faith No More began work on its follow-up, Angel Dust.The original title of the album was going to be called "Alienating Your Public", but decided that Angel Dust would fit in better for the album. They decided not to "play it safe" and re-do their last album and went off in a different direction musically, much to the dismay of Jim Martin, who also didn't approve of the album's title, which Roddy Bottum chose, in an interview taken while they were in the studio he said: "Roddy wanted to name it Angel Dust, I don't know why, I just want you to know that if it's named Angel Dust, it didn't have anything to do with me.".
Roddy stated that he chose the name because it "summed up what did perfectly" in that "it's a really beautiful name for a really hideous drug and that should make people think." The artwork has been described as in a similar fashion in that on the front it depicts an egret, photographed by Werner Krutein, and the back depicts a meat hook scene, by Mark Burnstein, with the head of a cow hanging among plucked and decapitated chickens. Billy stated that: "Angel Dust leaves itself open to both angelic and demonic connotations so we wanted to balance the beautiful with the sick. It's not a statement for vegetarianism or anything; it's really just a reflection of the music, a visual representation of what our music is all about—some of it's nice, some of it is fucking ugly.".
Unlike their previous album, Angel Dust was largely composed by Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin with influence from Mike Patton. In a trend carried on from when their vocalist at the time, Chuck Mosley, lived in Los Angeles while the rest of the band resided in the Bay Area they would record demo tapes of the songs and exchange them between each other then send them to Jim Martin for him to work on his own the guitar arrangements, which he allways did separately before sending them back for approval. The band originally went in studio to record a total of 17 songs. However after writing two more while in studio, a total of 19 were recorded. At the time they had not officially titled them, so they were known by these working titles:
* "Shuffle", "Triplet" – "Caffeine"
* "Madonna" – "Midlife Crisis"
* "Macaroni and Cheese", "Country Western Song" – "RV"
* "Arabic" – "Smaller and Smaller"
* "F Sharp" – "Kindergarten"
* "I Swallow" – "Be Aggressive"
* "Japanese" – "A Small Victory"
* "Action Adventure" – "Crack Hitler"
* "The Sample Song" – "The World Is Yours"
* "The Carpenters Song"
* "The Funk Song"
It is unsure if the recording session included "Das Schutzenfest" as the production is only credited to "Faith No More", and not "Matt Wallace and Faith No More", as is the album. "Let's Lynch the Landlord" was recorded prior to the album recording session, originally scheduled to be on a Dead Kennedys covers compilation album on Mordam Records, it was however released on Alternative Tentacles Records.
"Malpractice" contains a sample of Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 as performed by the Kronos Quartet, on their album Black Angels; the second movement of four "Allegro molto" (Track 8 at 2:10). It featured in four points towards the end of the song at 2:56, 3:02, 3:22 and 3:26.
The intro to "Crack Hitler" features a sample of Iris Lettieri —a Brazilian actress whose voice Mike Patton had become enamoured of whilst on tour— reading a flight announcement. (Iris Lettieri has been the voice of announcements at Galeão/Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport in Rio for over three decades).
The lyrics for Angel Dust were written for the most part by vocalist Mike Patton. He got his inspiration for the lyrics from many places including questions from the Oxford Capacity Analysis, fortune cookies and late-night TV, from which he wrote "Land Of Sunshine" and "Caffeine" during a sleep deprivation experiment. "I drove around a lot in my Honda, Drove to a real bad area of town, parked and just watched people. Coffee shops and white-trash diner-type places were great for inspiration.".
"Be Aggressive" was written by Roddy Bottum about "swallowing" during oral sex. Roddy later stated: "It was a pretty fun thing to write, knowing that Mike was going to have to put himself on the line and go up on-stage and sing these vocals.".
Faith No More started the tour to promote Angel Dust shortly after the albums completion on the European leg of the Use Your Illusion Tour with Guns N' Roses and Soundgarden, which Roddy described as a "complete European vacation" due to their light concert schedule. In an interview taken on June 6, 1992 Billy said: "This is really just the beginning for us, Last time we toured, with The Real Thing, I left home at the age of 26 and got back when I was 28. Some of my friends had moved away, some had gotten married, some had had kids—I had a hard time dealing with that. This time I'm 29, and I know I'm gonna be on the road until I'm 31. Fuck, I don't even wanna think about it.".
They continued on this tour through the North America leg with Guns N' Roses and Metallica before splitting off on their own European tour through Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, seven performances from November 4 – 11 in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, 3 more performances in Germany, Belgium, Germany again, the Netherlands, Wales, England, where they played at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on November 23 then 3 nights straight at the Brixton Academy from November 25 – 27 and on the following night at the NEC Arena in Birmingham before going through Ireland, Scotland, where they played the first 4 nights of December in the Barrowland Ballroom before going back through England, Belgium, 3 performances from the December 8 – 10 in France, 3 performances from the December 12 – 14 in Spain, France again, Italy, Switzerland and Austria again before having a break for Christmas and New Year. They began touring America again in mid January 1993 in Seattle, Washington, and finishing in Utah a month later in mid February. Towards the end of April till mid May they toured through Australia and New Zealand before returning to Europe for a show in Germany on May 29 and the following day in Vienna. On June 2 the played at Ahoy Rotterdam followed by 4 performances in Germany from June 3 – 7 and one in the Slovak Republic on June 10. Towards the end of June they performed on individual nights in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Portugal then a few days later on July 3 – 4 in Torhout and Werchter, Belgium followed by one last show in Germany, on July 9, and the final show of the tour in Stratford Upon Avon on July 17.
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