I gotta thanks Jason for the reminder on this one.
Jim Martin is one of my favorite guitarists. As a Faith No More fan across all of their albums, from the Chuck Mosley-sung early works to the Mike Patton-led albums from the late 80s on, I still find Martin's contributions to be critical to the sound of the group. Despite only having a limited number of notable musical endeavors, nearly all being FNM's first 4 albums, Martin distinguished his guitar sound so much that you can hear within seconds whether or not Martin is on the track being played.
Couple that with Roddy Bottum's keys and they created a magical sound together.
I mean, I love the Martin era of FNM so much that we showcased a fantastic old picture of Jim in a Pittsburgh Penguins sweater like six months ago. And there was even the requisite early-90s bikini babe groupie in the pic. Altogether, it might be one of the best pictures of the 90s for someone like me.
And then Jason came up big over the weekend. I was thinking about FNM's incredible b-side cover of The Commodores' "Easy," a track that more or less signaled the end of the Martin era of FNM, as the group moved towards a more vocal approach to their sound.
For a bit of background, FNM replaced lead singer Chuck Mosley with Patton prior to their breakout album The Real Thing. Patton, then performing with his fantastic band Mr. Bungle, was scoped by Martin and tapped as Mosley's replacement. The Real Thing goes on to become one of the most incredible alternative metal albums, spawning the single Epic, which you've probably heard a jillion times.
Following that album, FNM goes on to record Angel Dust, one of my alltime favorite albums and quite possibly one of the most unique and fearless rock/metal albums realeased on a major label. Martin, being a metal guitarist who loved playing guitar-based metal riffs, had very little input in the album while Patton's influence grew. Martin's father had passed away sometime during the recording/touring process and Jim eventually left the band following the supporting tour. So while Martin brought in Patton, it also was the defining moment that would inevitably lead to his departure. Double-edged sword, I guess.
Anyway, this is getting away from my initial point, the Pens sweater. I mean, this is why this in on PSAMP, after all. "Easy" was recorded as a b-side during the Angel Dust recording sessions, and was included on the European version of the album. The band played it live a bunch during the supporting tour. Eventually, the song got an accompanying music video, complete with some tour footage spliced in. And you better believe Martin is wearing that same Pens sweater.
The song's video is below:
You can catch the Pens sweater starting once the guitar solo kicks in about the 1:50 mark. But you should listen to the whole thing because MAN WHAT A SONG!
This Pens sweater is usually referred to as the Snoop Dogg Gin and Juice Pens sweater since it makes an appearance in that video as well. Only Jim Martin needs to be given appropriate love. It's now the Jim Martin Pens sweater.