Angel Dust (Faith No More Album) - Background, Title and Artwork

Background, Title and Artwork

Following the success of their previous album, The Real Thing and its subsequent tour, Faith No More took a break for a year and a half before beginning work on the follow-up, Angel Dust. During this time Mike Patton rejoined his high-school band Mr. Bungle to record their eponymous début album. This situation had an effect on the band, since Mike Bordin thought the writing process was like the state of a "magic slate" having been "completely covered in writing; there was not any more room for any more writing on that slate, so we all went and said all right, and erased everything, and started writing new stuff," and Patton was creatively revitalized. They decided not to "play it safe" and instead took a different musical direction, much to the dismay of Jim Martin. Martin also didn't like the title of the album as chosen by Roddy Bottum. In an interview taken while they were in the studio he said that "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.

Bottum 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 similarly put a beautiful face on a horrible image by depicting a soft blue airbrushed egret on the cover, photographed by Werner Krutein while on the back is an image of a cow hanging on a meat hook. That image was created by Mark Burnstein. Both Billy Gould and Mike Bordin said that the image on the rear of the album is not based on any opposition to vegetarianism but rather preview the music, suggesting its combination of being "really aggressive and disturbing and then really soothing", the "beautiful with the sick".

The Russian army photo taken in the Red Square with the imposition of the band members' faces over those of the soldiers, was edited by Werner Krutein and was the cover of the "Midlife Crisis" single. The band had originally planned for this but then did not like the final product. Mike Bordin described the situation in these words:

That was a thing the record company really tried to foist on us. They really tried to fuck with our layout, and sent us these fucking pictures of us, just our heads. It was like this, they wanted us to have a poster inside the record consisted of our five heads on a black background, everything was black, the whole inside, and it's like, 'Fuck you.' We're going to make our cover, we made our record, we produced it our way, we wrote our songs, we played them our way, it sounds like us.

The single cover is similar to that of Led Zeppelin II, which has the faces of the four members of Led Zeppelin airbrushed into an old photograph featuring a group of German Luftwaffe personnel dating from World War I.

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