Often snickered at by critics during the band's colorful career, it wasn't until after Faith No More's split that the group began receiving the recognition that it deserved the first time around -- when a legion of "nu-metal" bands admitted that FNM was a major influence. With one FNM "hits" compilation already in the marketplace (1998's Who Cares a Lot: Greatest Hits), it's rather confusing as to why another set, 2003's This Is It: The Best of Faith No More, would surface relatively soon after. What makes the two releases different is that the former was a double-disc set (one disc being "hits," the other rarities), while the latter is solely a "best-of" set, and contains a slightly larger track listing. Starting off with the "Chuck Mosely Years" (FNM's original vocalist), you can trace the band quickly building its own original sound on such tracks as "We Care a Lot" and "Anne's Song," before Mike Patton's arrival proved to be the final piece to the FNM puzzle. The majority of the selections on This Is It are with Patton at the helm, including their breakthrough rap-metal hybrid "Epic," as well as more challenging material when the group really hit its stride -- "Midlife Crisis," "Be Aggressive," "Digging the Grave," "Evidence," "Last Cup of Sorrow," and the band's cover of the Commodores' "Easy." In addition to the hits, a smattering of rarities is included, such as the Real Thing outtakes "The Cowboy Song" and "The Perfect Crime," plus a 1990 live version of the early track "As the Worm Turns." As with most "best-of" sets, longtime fans may squabble about key tracks that are absent ("Caffeine," "Ricochet," "Gentle Art of Making Enemies," "Stripsearch," etc.), but overall, This Is It: The Best of Faith No More is a fine collection of one of hard rock's all-time best.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato