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'Mondo Cane,' Mike Patton

Who'd have guessed Faith No More's frontman would top classical charts?

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It was 1990. I was 9 and on the TV I watched as Mike Patton, the lead singer in Faith No More, was flopping on the stage like a fish as his band finished playing “Epic” behind him. He seized and convulsed and stared dead-eyed at the ceiling.

Who would have guessed that guy would not only become one of the most respected figures in alternative music, but someone who would release an album like Mondo Cane, a classical record that debuted at No. 2 on Billboard Classical charts? A 65-person orchestra backs Patton’s unmistakable pipes here as he covers 1950s and ’60s Italian pop songs. He embodies the spirit of these original songs, lending an operatic force that is, at times, beautiful and chilling. These are songs he was meant to sing.

Though Patton takes the drama a little far (not as bad as Peeping Tom, but still), Mondo Cane is proof that Patton is much, much more than an epileptic fish-dance.

DOWNLOAD: “Il Cielo in Una Stanza”

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