Epic (Faith No More song)

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"Epic"
"Flying Mike" reissue cover
Single by Faith No More
from the album The Real Thing
Released January 30, 1990
Format CD, cassette, vinyl
Recorded December 1988 – January 1989, Studio D, Sausalito, California
Genre Funk metal, rap metal,[1] alternative metal
Length 4:54 (Album Version)
4:18 (Edit)
3:59 (Radio Remix Edit)
Label Slash, Reprise
Writer(s)
Lyrics:
Mike Patton
Music:
Billy Gould
Jim Martin
Roddy Bottum
Mike Bordin
Producer(s) Matt Wallace
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Faith No More singles chronology
"From out of Nowhere"
(1989)
"Epic"
(1990)
"Falling to Pieces"
(1990)
Music sample

"Epic" is a song by the American rock band Faith No More. It was released in 1989/1990 as the second single from their third album The Real Thing in US and in 1990 as their second single from that album in the UK and Europe. The song was a breakthrough hit. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 (the band's only Top Ten hit in the United States), and their first Number One single on the Australian charts. It is the band's most popular song and a staple in their concerts.

"Epic" was ranked number thirty on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs,[2] number sixty-seven on their 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders list,[3] in 2009, it was named the 54th best hard rock song of all time also by VH1,[4] also in 2009 it charted number 46 on the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, the largest music poll in the world.

Music video[edit]

Directed by Ralph Ziman. The music video for "Epic", which featured surreal images combined with performance footage of the band soaked by an artificial rainstorm on a sound stage, was subject to controversy because of the treatment of a fish, who is out of water and dying on camera.

During an interview, the band joked that the fish seen flopping around in the music video belonged to Icelandic singer Björk, and they claimed to have stolen it from her at a party. There are also stories of Björk giving the fish to the keyboardist Roddy Bottum after a poetry reading in San Francisco.[5] This was confirmed by the singer who defended the group, saying that "I know those guys, I know they wouldn't do anything to harm [him]. But I know, if I had gone home with MY fish, which was given to ME, none of this would have ever happened."[6]

Guitarist Jim Martin was a schoolmate, close friend and fan of the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton. In the video he can be seen wearing a t-shirt with a photo of Cliff with the words "A Tribute to Cliff Burton". In addition, Mike Patton can be seen wearing a Mr. Bungle shirt[7] that reads "There's A Tractor In My Balls Again".[8]

Reception[edit]

"Epic" was the band's most successful single in U.S and was generally well-received; according to Rolling Stone, it set a standard that Faith No More did not match with its later albums.[9] Both the Philadelphia Daily News and Los Angeles Times praised the song, citing the song as "radio-ready" and "radical," respectively.[10][11] However, the New York Times also cited Faith No More as "style-crunching," using "Epic" as their example.[12]

In pop culture[edit]

  • The song appears in the video games Rock Band, and Saints Row: The Third as well as DLC for Guitar Hero 5. A shortened version of the song is featured in the racing game, Burnout Paradise.
  • "Epic" appeared in a commercial for the console versions of Street Fighter IV with the announcer stating about the game's "epic return".
  • Since the mid-1990's, the Penrith Panthers rugby league team in the NRL uses a truncated version of "Epic" as the run out song for the second half of a match.

Track listing[edit]

UK & International release[edit]

The initial release of "Epic", released in the UK, Germany, Japan and Internationally. The 7" editions only had Tracks One, Two, and occasionally Three. Track Five was exclusive to Japanese issues.[13]

No. Title Length
1. "Epic"   4:54
2. "War Pigs" (Live in Berlin on September 9, 1989) 8:02
3. "Surprise! You're Dead!" (Live at Sheffield) 2:52
4. "Chinese Arithmetic"[A]" ( (Live at Sheffield) 4:16
5. "Epic" (Live)[B] (Japanese bonus track)) 4:28

American release[edit]

This version was released in America as a "Slash sticker" labelled 7" and as a cassette with a "Burning Splash" sleeve.[13]

No. Title Length
1. "Epic" (Radio remix) 3:59
2. "Edge of the World"   4:09

Australian release[edit]

The 7" and cassette versions of this release only had tracks 1 & 2, unlike the 12" which featured all 3.[13]

No. Title Length
1. "Epic"   4:51
2. "The Morning After"   3:44
3. "We Care a Lot" (Live at Brixton) 3:50

UK & International reissue[edit]

Reissue version of the single "Epic". The 7" vinyl and cassette versions only had the first two tracks.[13]

No. Title Length
1. "Epic"   4:51
2. "Falling to Pieces" (Live at Brixton) 4:45
3. "Epic" (Live at Brixton) 4:55
4. "As the Worm Turns" (Live at Brixton) 2:46

Official Versions[edit]

  • Epic (Edit) - 4:18 - Epic (What Is It) - Promotional CD, PRO-CD-3913 (1989).
  • Epic (LP Version) - 4:51 - Epic (What Is It) - Promotional CD, PRO-CD-3913 (1989).
  • Epic - 4:54 - The Real Thing (1989)
  • Epic (Radio Remix Edit) - 3:59 - Epic - Promotional CD, PRO-CD-4071 (1990)
  • Epic (Live At The Brixton Academy) - 4:55 - Live At The Brixton Academy 1990 (1991).
  • Epic (Live At The Forum 1995) - 4:48 - Ricochet CD Single, LACDP 53 / 850 105-2 (1995).
  • Epic (Remaster) - 4:51 - The Real Thing, Remastered Edition (2009)

Chart performance[edit]

Covers[edit]

"Epic" has been covered both in concerts and on the Kerrang! Higher Voltage CD, a compilation of artists covering other songs. Such artists include the Welsh rock band The Automatic; the CD was released June 20, 2007.[18] The metalcore band Atreyu also covered the song on their album Lead Sails Paper Anchor,[19] and the Swedish indie band Love is All covered the song on the B-side to their What's Your Rupture? 7" "Wishing Well."[20] An arrangement by Mateo Messina was featured in the 2011 film Young Adult.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1990-09-14/entertainment/1990257005_1_mtv-heavy-metal-bottum
  2. ^ "VH1 40 Greatest Metal Songs", May 1–4, 2006, VH1 Channel, reported by VH1.com; last accessed September 10, 2006
  3. ^ "VH1 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders", VH1 Channel, reported by VH1.com.
  4. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ Epic by Faith No More Songfacts
  6. ^ "about: Linear Soul Child". bjork.com. Note: user has to select 'about : Björk about other people' from the drop down menu and select 'Linear Soul Child' on the menu. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Cee, Gary (30 November 1990). "Faith No More: Inside the insatiable Mike Patton". Circus Magazine (#369): pages 62–64. Retrieved September 26, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Faith No More music video". YouTube. 
  9. ^ Weisel, Al (June 1, 1995). "Faith No More: King For a Day/Fool for a Lifetime". Rolling Stone (RealNetworks, Inc.). Retrieved September 20, 2008. 
  10. ^ Takiff, Jonathan (September 14, 1990). "Whaddya Get When Ya Rap on Metal? Faith No More Crosses Over & Under". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 40. 
  11. ^ Hilburn, Robert (December 31, 1990). "Counting Out Most of the Year's Top Records Pop music: no more than four of 1990's No. 1 songs will be considered significant a decade from now. Here are some that might.". Los Angeles Times. p. 12. 
  12. ^ Pareles, Jon (December 30, 1990). "The Best Show? In the Court, not the Concert Hall.". New York Times. 
  13. ^ a b c d The Discography on the Faith No More website, also available as a text document
  14. ^ "Discography Faith No More". Steffen Hung, australian-charts.com. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  15. ^ a b c "Billboard.com – Artist Chart History – Faith No More". Nielsen Company, Billboard magazine. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  16. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1990". Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  18. ^ Kerrang! issue 1164 June 20, 2007
  19. ^ http://www.smartpunk.com/product.php?item_id=26669
  20. ^ Love Is All Cover Faith No More, Add Dates

Notes[edit]

  • ^[A] Includes ad-lib from "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock.
  • ^[B] Recorded in Norwich, 1990. Broadcast by The BBC Radio 1 "Rockshow", March 2, 1990. The profanity is obscured and the songs fade out.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
August 25, 1990 – September 15, 1990
Succeeded by
"Blaze of Glory" by Jon Bon Jovi