Every time I play this for someone, they look at me like I'm nuts. I stand by my assertion, however, that Mike Patton's Mondo Cane album, and the song "Deep Down," in particular, are brilliant works of art that everyone should listen to.
Mike Patton, of "Mr. Bungle," and "Faith No More," fame, released Mondo Cane in 2010, but the recordings were, according to Jason Lymangrover writing for AllMusic.com "taken from live shows, with the best bits pasted together from a slew of European performances using studio magic. Most of the parts are taken from the tour's first intimate performances in Italy, which is fitting." The live shows featured a forty-plus member orchestra, a 15-piece band, and a choir.
FNMFollowers.com tells the story of how Mondo Cane came about:
How the Mondo Cane album was realised is a touching story, a record almost 16 years in the making. It all started in 1994 when Patton met and married the Italian artist Cristina Titi Zuccatosta. Patton moved with her to Bologna, soon became immersed in the local Italian culture and he began to learn the language.
During this time Patton discovered Italian/Greek vocalist Demetrio Stratosl, a 1970s prog-rock revolutionary who explored the limits of the human voice. Stratosl helped inspire Patton to create his first solo album Adult Themes For Voice. Whilst in Italy he also befriended Italian trio Zu, who he would sign to his own label Ipecac. It wasn't just the language that Patton became familiar with, after recommendations from friends and browsing record stores he fell in love with classic 50's and 60's Italian pop music.
In 2007 Patton was offered a chance to perform with an orchestra by a friend which was funded by the Angelica festival in Bologna, "Hey, I have this orchestra that's going to be working with my festival this year, do you want to write something for it? And I was like, wow! Y'know? Been waiting for that call for a long time." This led to three Italian concerts in May 2007 but Patton now had to decide which songs to include in the set.
From Faith No More Followers:
Mondo Cane is a cover album of 1950s and 1960s Italian pop songs all arranged by Patton. It was recorded with an orchestra, a fifteen-piece band, and a choir, all made on a live tour, with the album's tracks assembled as composites from the first three dates of the Italian leg of the tour. Each song contains elements taken from different recordings, with Patton describing the process as "a giant Rubiks Cube", noting that individual bars of one instrument's music might be lifted from one concert and layered with bars of another instrument's parts from another concert.
Read the rest of the story here, and listen to my favorite track, "Deep Down," (written by one of Mike Patton's musical heroes, Ennio Morricone) here. And if you hate it, I don't want to hear about it!