Courtney Love performing with Faith No More in 1984.
I’ve said it before—the 80s were a weird fucking time man. A perfect example of the WTF the 80s routinely served up to us is the time that Courtney Love became the vocalist for Faith No More for approximately six months beginning sometime in February of 1984.
According to Billy Gould, one of the founding members of Faith No More, Love was very “extroverted” and had no problem getting confrontational with the band’s fans during live gigs—which according to FNM’s bassist, was one of the reasons people hated her. But the band didn’t hate it, they ate it up and let that rage coagulate with their music to achieve a more aggressive sound. Here’s Gould on Love’s time with FNM:
“We really wanted to be aggressive, make ambient music that was totally aggressive. This girl Courtney came along, and she saw us play and made the huge pitch about knowing what we wanted and being able to do it. She stayed for about three or four shows, and she was good because she was annoying as hell and really aggressive.”
“She sang with us for probably six months. She was an awesome performer; she liked to sing in her nightgown, adorned with flowers. We were switching around singers a whole lot at that point, but she was really good. She did a lot of screaming stuff, and we had a lot of slow melody stuff too. When she sang with us, she was punk rock: now she says she’s always been punk rock, which is not true at all. After she left our band (Faith No More) she was totally into—I mean, with a sense of humor, but really hardcore pop sorta stuff. We all were at that point. I mean, we used to do a cover version of Van Halen’s “Jump.”
Well, there you have it, whether you want it or not. Following Love’s departure from FNM San Francisco musician Paula Frazer joined the band for what is said to be a total of two shows and was then replaced by Chuck Mosley who stuck with the FNM until 1988 when he was fired following a string of incidents involving booze and bare-knuckle brawls. Now that we cleared all that up, let’s address what Courtney Love sounded like fronting FNM when she was just twenty? As you know, I have many thoughts on many things, and this topic is no exception. Even though I’ve heard through the grapevine that Love is NOT a fan of her work with FNM, I’m going to keep my opinions to myself for a change and leave the final verdict up to our DM readers who are brave enough to hit “play” below.
Audio of Courtney Love singing with Faith No More in San Francisco in 1984.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Debbie Harry, Ramones, Nick Rhodes, Courtney Love and more on MTV’s ‘Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes’
The Fall’s Mark E. Smith does his Courtney Love impersonation, 1994
Patton is GOD: Faith No More channel Black Sabbath with their crushing cover of ‘War Pigs’