You Know Them As ...
Alright, this band might be a little bit harder for some of you to remember. Their only "hit" was 1989's "Epic." You might remember it as one of the first times white people with electric guitars decided to rap on MTV.
Ugh. I'll be the first to admit it. I fucking hate this song. But it was gigantically popular in its day. Apparently, someone way up the chain isn't too fond of it anymore, because the closest thing I can find that resembles an official video doesn't allow embedding. So, you know, click that link if the video I embedded here gets taken down. I understand that the attention that comes with a major comedy site taking time out from making fun of everything in its path to instead lavish praise on someone might not be the attention record labels crave. Because they're stupid. Anyway, like I said, I'm not crazy about this song, but it doesn't matter. Because there's way more to the Faith No More story than this horribly cheesy tune.
They Are Also ...
... one of the few bands on earth who can be credited with inventing an entire genre of music. For real, Faith No More is often credited as literally having invented alternative metal. Whether that's completely true or not is open for debate, but I promise you this, there are plenty of people out there who would likely have to be restrained from punching you if you dismissed Faith No More as a one-hit wonder. Granted, that's mostly because the kind of people who listen to "alternative metal" are also the kind of people who like to solve disputes with punches to the face, but still, it should give you some indication of the band's influence. And that claim didn't arise from the one song that briefly made them household names. They were around in one form or another as far back as 1981. Unfortunately, their influence doesn't end with "alternative metal." There's also something out there known as "nu-metal" that describes the Limp Bizkit rap/rock types of the world. Where do you think Fred Durst got the idea that subpar rapping and loud guitars were a great idea? Go watch that video posted above if you haven't already and you will find your answer.
Pictured: Fred Durst's first good idea.
So, respect Faith No More for ushering in a new sound in heavy metal, while also damning their name for bringing the world Limp Bizkit. Either way, they're far from one-hit wonders.
You Know Them As ...
... the ridiculously named U.K. band who has doomed us all to a lifetime of hearing the following lyrics every time people gather to drink alcohol in large quantities:
The song is called "Tubthumping." If the lyrics don't jog your memory, here's the video:
If you were alive in 1997, you probably heard that song 500 times in the span of four months and, as a result, hate this band with every fiber of your being. While I accept that "Tubthumping" is an epic achievement in the field of music that makes people want to shoot their radio, please understand, there's more to Chumbawamba than just that one dreadful song.
They Are Also ...
... one of the most raucously political bands of the last 30 years (they've also been releasing albums for well over 30 years). However, describing Chumbawamba as merely a "political" band would be like describing the ocean as merely "moist." No, that shit is wet, moist doesn't begin to explain it. And "political" doesn't begin to describe Chumbawamba. If you're looking for a better one-word description, you'd be a lot closer to the truth if you used the word "anarchists." Remember Live Aid? It was a massive concert that spanned several continents, all for the benefit of victims of famine in Ethiopia. Who could possibly take issue with that? Chumbawamba could, that's who. In their opinion, Live Aid was all a corporate sham designed to deflect attention from the real causes of world hunger. So, in protest, they released an album called Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records.
Can anyone confirm if this is true? I'm working on an album as we speak.
Pretty ballsy, right? Awesomely, their antics only got more insane after "Tubthumping" made them (in)famous. First, they saw their albums pulled from the shelves of Virgin Records stores after they appeared on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect and instructed fans who couldn't afford their new album to shoplift it from major retail chains instead. Then, while performing "Tubthumping" at a British awards show, vocalist Danbert Nobacon (I'm not making that name up, but he might be) noticed a familiar face in the audience, walked up to the man and poured a jug of water on him. That man was U.K. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. To put that in U.S.A. terms, imagine someone from Rage Against the Machine throwing a water balloon at Joe Biden during the Grammys. It's kind of a bold step. Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the band's 2000 B-side "Passenger List for Doomed Flight 1721," which is basically just them rattling off a list of people they wish would die in a plane crash, including everyone from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Bono to goddamn Ally McBeal. You can see the complete list here.
If you're going to be an overbearingly political band, you might as well be entertaining about it. At least Chumbawamba does that. "Tubthumping" is still fucking awful, though.