Faithless is a British electronic band formed in London, England in 1994 by Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo. The current, official lineup of the band (as of 2020) consists of Bliss And Rollo. The group is best known for the songs "Salva Mea", "Insomnia", "God Is a DJ" and "We Come 1". Faithless has released seven studio albums, with total sales of the first six exceeding 15 million records worldwide. The band announced they would separate after their Passing the Baton dates at Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 April 2011. However, in February 2015, Jazz, Bliss and Rollo reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band, but Jazz left to form Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys later that year.
The band was formed in early 1995, and their debut single "Salva Mea (Save Me)" was released in July that year. Jazz became the ensemble's vocalist, whilst Bliss composed most of the band's music (and also played the piano, violin, saxophone and bass guitar). Rollo heads and produces the band. Lead female vocals for many of their songs are performed by Pauline Taylor (who also performed lead vocals for singles by Rollo released under his monikers Rollo Goes Mystic and Rollo Goes Spiritual) and Dido.
The albums are Reverence (which reached number 26), Sunday 8PM (reaching number 10), Outrospective (at number 4) and No Roots (which debuted at number 1); they were released between 1996 and 2004, with a greatest hits compilation album out in 2005. In light of their dance roots, each of the four studio albums has been followed with a subsequent bonus disc of remixes. Their fifth album, To All New Arrivals, was released in 2006. Their sixth and final album, The Dance, was released on 16 May 2010, after a four-year recording break for the band.
The band also collectively indulge in mixtapes of other musicians' work, either mixed by the group or merely selected by them. This includes the long running Back to Mine sessions as well as NME in Association with War Child Presents 1 Love, The Bedroom Sessions and more recently the Renaissance 3D music project, in conjunction with the Renaissance nightclub.
On 29 September 2006, the first single "Bombs" from their album To All New Arrivals made its debut on BBC Radio 1's Pete Tong show. The album was released on 27 November 2006. "Bombs" generated moderate controversy with its music video, as demonstrated by MTV's refusal to air it. The video featured interchanged clips of war scenes and daily life.
Sixth studio album and retirement announcement
On 7 August 2009, a dub mix of the track "Sun to Me" from their latest studio album, The Dance, made its debut on BBC Radio 1's Pete Tong show. "Sun to Me" has been given as a free download to all users that have registered on the new Faithless site, or subscribed to their newsletter. The track has been released on the band's Myspace page as well. On 12 February 2010, the first official single from the next Faithless album was played on Pete Tong's show. The single, "Not Going Home", was released on 4 May 2010, whilst the latest album The Dance, was issued on 16 May 2010. The album was available only in Tesco (three-month exclusive contract) and via iTunes in the UK. Since 2009, their track "Drifting Away" has been the theme tune for the BBC Television's Chelsea Flower Show coverage.
In 2010, they returned to the Glastonbury Festival after eight years, playing on the Pyramid Stage. They performed many of their most popular songs including "Insomnia", "God is a DJ", and "We Come 1".
On 16 March 2011, Maxi Jazz announced on his website that Faithless would cease to be, commenting "But, like when writing a song, you always just know when it's finished… this is and was the Thank YOU And Goodbye tour."
They played two nights at Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 April 2011. The latter date would allegedly be the final full Faithless touring band show and was transmitted live via satellite to cinemas across Europe. Upon the completion of the two shows, live versions of Faithless's songs were compiled into an album titled Passing the Baton – Live from Brixton.
Early and mid-2010s
The Faithless 'Sound System' (consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and percussionist Sudha Kheterpal) performed shows on 22 July 2011 at the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium, at the Waterford Music Fest in Ireland on 30 July and in Split (Croatia) at the Riva Discothèque on 12 August.
A series of DJ sets of house tracks played by Bliss, with Jazz performing vocals to a selection of Faithless tracks, were performed in the mid 2010s. Full band performances including festivals and headline arena shows took place in 2015 under the 'Faithless 2.0' banner, in support of their compilation album of the same name released that year. The album also featured a new studio track entitled "I Was There". In an interview given by the trio in August 2015, it was communicated that Sister Bliss and Rollo already had new tracks and collaborations waiting for Maxi Jazz’s decision on the return.
As of 2017, DJ sets have featured Bliss only, with her performing under both the Faithless and Faithless DJ Set banners.
Duo return with 7th album All Blessed
On 5 June 2020, Faithless released two edits of a new song, "Let the Music Decide." which featured the vocals of George the Poet and was only available for a limited time on music streaming platforms.
16 July 2020 saw the group follow up with another single, "This Feeling". Similar to "Let The Music Decide", this track also features a spoken poet Suli Breaks with additional vocals by singer/songwriter Nathan Ball. Another single with Nathan Ball on vocals, "Synthesizer", was released on 28 August 2020 alongside its music video, with an announcement for the release date of 23 October for Faithless's next album, All Blessed. Maxi Jazz does not perform on the album, and is thanked in the sleeve notes for "passing the baton". The absence of Jazz has been described as giving the music "a very different feel vocally".
As well as their own studio albums, all three members actively engage in other people's work as solo figures. Sister Bliss is a prominent dance DJ and has for a long time toured the circuit on her own, remixed others' albums and even appeared in music videos, such as Paul Oakenfold's "Weekend". Maxi Jazz brought out an album before the formation of Faithless and also worked on pirate radio. He also collaborated with Faithless founding member Jamie Catto on his new project 1 Giant Leap guesting on a song with Robbie Williams. Finally, Rollo founded the label Cheeky Records and has produced the music of other artists, most notably his sister Dido's albums, as well as using various monikers to create popular dance music under the names Rollo Goes ... (Camping, Mystic and Spiritual), Felix, Our Tribe (with Rob Dougan), and Dusted.
- Reverence (1996)
- Sunday 8PM (1998)
- Outrospective (2001)
- No Roots (2004)
- To All New Arrivals (2006)
- The Dance (2010)
- All Blessed (2020)
- List of Billboard number-one dance hits
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. dance chart
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- Official web site (UK)
- Faithless discography at MusicBrainz
- (in French) The story of Faithless in the french PDF magazine Soundamental