FAITH NO MORE — The Real Thing — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

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4.00 | 86 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under Funk Metal


1. From Out Of Nowhere (3:22)
2. Epic (4:53)
3. Falling To Pieces (5:15)
4. Surprise! You're Dead! (2:27)
5. Zombie Eaters (5:58)
6. The Real Thing (8:13)
7. Underwater Love (3:51)
8. The Morning After (3:43)
9. Woodpecker From Mars (5:40)
10. War Pigs (7:46)
11. Edge Of The World (4:11)

Total Time 55:25


- Mike Patton / vocals
- Jim Martin / guitars
- Bill Gould / bass
- Roddy Bottum / keyboards
- Mike Bordin / drums

About this release

Released 3rd July 1989 on Slash Records.

Thanks to Pekka, Lynx33, TheHeavyMetalCat, siLLy puPPy, Unitron, Bosh66 for the updates


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Faith No More make a bit of a leap on this one. They keep their weirdo funky Alt Metal sound and knack for variety and experimentation, and slap a heavy dose of consistency on top. Before, Faith No More produced about as many good songs as total duds in their search for a sound. Here they continue changing things up, but the quality remains very good across the entire album. The keys do a fantastic job of adding some grandeur to the otherwise very generic instrumentation. The vocals are hit or miss, not really my thing, but pretty unique at the time and employ a wide variety of techniques. Overall a great improvement without straying from their roots.
Faith No More took a gamble letting Mr Bungle frontman Mike Patton take their lead vocalist spot, and it paid off marvellously on The Real Thing. Patton doesn't go weird with it to the extent that he would on most of his other projects, but nor does he appreciably play dumb; he spends the album sticking to a smoothly accessible vocal style, but is able to use it to far more ambitious effect than Faith No More would have been able to contemplate with Chuck Mosley - see Epic for a perfect example. The funk metal style of the Chuck era is still in play here, with the result that this is an adept transitional album, refining the band's earlier style and providing them with the breakthrough they needed to feel confident about following Patton down stranger twists and turns.
The Real Thing was a huge leap forward for Faith No More. This was the album that would introduce the world to one of history's greatest rock vocalists, spawn several massive hits, and go on to be considered one of the best rock albums from its era. The difference between this and the underdeveloped previous albums from Faith No More is almost inexplicable. Even though The Real Thing isn't my favorite album from this U.S. powerhouse, this is an album that is absolutely essential for any fan of rock, metal, or otherwise. If you want to understand the first thing about the music scene at the birth of the 90's, this needs to be in your collection. Almost everything about The Real Thing is pure gold - the vocals from Mike Patton are (expectedly) amazing, the songwriting is fun and intriguing, and the musicianship is great as well. This is the album where Faith No More finally decided to add that extra coating of polish that they had been missing, and it surely paid off.

Musically, this is even more eclectic than the earlier Faith No More albums. Expect a mix of funk, heavy metal, pop rock, alternative rock, progressive rock/metal, hip hop, and jazz rock, just to name a few. Songs like the smash-hit "Epic" lead more towards the hip-hop/funk metal side of the band, whereas a song like "The Real Thing" is almost pure progressive metal. Even though every song won't satisfy a purist of any single genre, people with open minds should love every song here. The first 6 songs tend to be stronger than the final 5, but this is just a generalization. When you consider a song like "Edge of the World", which features some great lounge-like piano playing, or their great cover of Black Sabbath's immortal classic, "War Pigs", my generalization really isn't a big deal. This entire album is great, despite a bit of "top-heavy syndrome".

One thing that was always interesting about Faith No More was their slightly twisted lyrics, and that shines ever so brightly on The Real Thing. Just listen to a song like "Zombie Eaters" and you'll know what I mean. The lyrics are often critical towards something, but are presented in a humorous and twisted way. All of the lyrics were written by FNM's new vocalist Mike Patton (aside from the cover of the Black Sabbath song "War Pigs"), and his delivery of the lyrics is also noteworthy. Anyone who knows the man's music knows what a mind-blowing vocalist he is, and that's no exception on The Real Thing. Even though he would have some even better vocal performances on some future releases, his vocals are a lot of what makes this album so great.

The production sounds great. The sound is distinctly of the late eighties/early nineties without that awful synthetic sound. This is a job well done on behalf of Mark Wallace and Faith No More.

Even though The Real Thing isn't my favorite Faith No More album, calling it anything less than essential is a crime. If you like rock music at all, do yourself a favor and pick this up - you won't be disappointed. The Real Thing is worth 4.5 stars for sure. Everything about this album is spectacular, and even though they would become even greater on Angel Dust, this is still one hell of an album that came "from out of nowhere". Essential!
Time Signature
From out of nowhere...

Genre: alternative metal

I love this album. I really do. I love it for three reasons:

1) nostalgia: everything about this album (including the music videos, the image of the band, the artwork, the sound, the music) is so 90s. It takes me back to my youth.

2) the quality of the music: the music on this album is, I think, really, really, really good, and is an example of what I would consider perfect alternative metal where all the musical elements are in balance.

3) the vocals: to quote Sacred Reich "Mike Patton's voice is smooth as silk".

A classic and one of the best - and most influential alternative metal albums of the last millennium, it contains a lot of progressive elements (such as tempo changes, odd time signatures and quirky 4/4 patterns, and genre transendence) without ever being a full-blown progressive album. There are individual tunes, however, that could be categorized as progressive proper, such as "Zombie Eathers" and "The Real Thing". Other tracks, like "Surprise! Youre Dead!" and, of course, "War Pigs", are all out metal tunes. Oh, and "From Out Of Nowhere", which has been bashed a lot throughout the years... great opener!

In any case, this is a classic alt metal album fusing metal with funk, rap, hard rock and other genres without being as dull as a lot of nu metal is.

I would recommend this album to any rock fan of my generation who needs a 90s fix. I also think that open-minded metalheads would like it because of all the metal riffage on it.
I didn’t care for Faith No More when I first heard them. Like many people, my introduction to the band was through watching their music video for “Epic”. While I initially found Mike Patton’s high pitched vocals hard to take, their rather odd music video and hybrid of different styles kept the band in my mind. A few years later, I revisited the band, and The Real Thing became a really good thing (Like that hasn’t been said before :) ).

The band’s sound on The Real Thing runs the gamut from party rock (“From Out Of Nowhere”), to thrash metal (“Surprise! You’re Dead!”), to the somewhat soulful (“Edge of The World”) and they go into cover band mode with Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”. Fans of the Chuck Mosley era should be pleased that they still maintain much of their funk inspired sound from previous albums.

As previously stated, Patton’s whiny vocals found on tracks such as ‘Epic” got on my nerves, but they eventually grew on me. However, I’d still say that on Patton’s debut with Faith No More, his vocals still needed some work and he would literally find his own voice on later releases. Patton showcases his most impressive vocals on the album during “Zombie Eaters”, “The Real Thing”, and “Edge of The World”. A taste of things to come.

Each band member has their chance to shine on this album. Guitarist Jim Martin plays a rather “Epic” solo on their hit single, with some strong metal riffing on tracks such as “Surprise! You’re Dead!” and “Woodpeckers from Mars”. The bass presence is consistent throughout the album, with “The Morning After”, “Falling To Pieces” and “Woodpeckers from Mars” being some of Billy Gould’s bright spots. Mike Bordin shines on the drums on the album’s title track and gets practice for his future Ozzy gig on “War Pigs”. Keyboardist Roddy Bottum provides much of the melody to tracks “Falling To Pieces” and “Epic”, and provides the main foundation to the album closer “Edge Of The World”.

My personal favorite tracks on The Real Thing are “Falling To Pieces”, “Woodpeckers from Mars”, the title track, and even “Epic” grew on me after my initial uncertainty.

The Real Thing is an excellent album that would fit nicely into the collection of the average metal fan. However, I can’t say that this is my favorite Faith No More album.
Blowing Open the Music World

During my senior year of high school (89-90), a friend of mine had the poster to this album on his wall in the fall of 89. He'd gotten it as a promotion and none of us actually heard the album. But I spent enough time staring at the poster to finally check it out and didn't quite know what to think. When "Epic" broke the following summer, my main thought was "Oh those guys." But when "Falling to Pieces" was showing the band to have some staying power, everyone started paying more attention. Everyone was tiring of glam metal, and even Metallica had seemed to push themselves as far as they could possibly go with Justice. Everyone was looking for a new sound.

Faith No More actually did a triple bill with Soundgarden and Voivod before any of the bands broke, and Patton absolutely dominate the show. Despite Cornell's now legendary status as a singer, and Patton's not nearly as pleasant voice, it was clear who the master was. Patton was also one of the most insane stage presences.

The Real Thing features many many high points, with my favorite being "Zombie Eaters" which has quiet parts, irregular time signatures, and my all time favorite reverse gallop riff. The span of this album is enormous, though the follow-up album is able to explore further and sustain the energy better. But by then we knew about this Patton guy and the music world had already changed, in part at his hands. But in 89-90 he was the harbinger of a musical earthquake of Epic proportions.

Essential Album.
On Faith No More's earlier albums the competent bunch of instrumentalists were held back my a very limited vocalist, but for The Real Thing the band brought in the wonder kid Mike Patton from the weirdo group Mr. Bungle. Nowadays Patton is praised as a god, capable of hitting any and every imaginable note with his versatile voice, but as he was only 20 when these recording sessions took place he still sounds like an undeveloped teenager compared to his later works.

The main sound of the band hadn't changed that much, we've still got the metal riffs of Jim Martin, the melodic and funky rhythm section of Billy Gould and Mike Bordin and keyboardist Roddy Bottum adding his colorful spices on top, but Patton's flexible voice allowed them to focus more on melody as opposed to the mostly rhythm based workouts of previous years.

The smash hit that broke FNM to the mainstream was Epic, with its rapped verses the song perhaps closest to their previous sound. But what was new was the soaring chorus, which the band couldn't have been able to pull off with Chuck Mosley. The brilliant performance of this song on Saturday Night Live was no doubt a contributing factor to the album's chart success. Other highlights of the album include From Out of Nowhere and Falling to Pieces that take full advantage of Patton's melodic capabilities, the full on metal attack of Surprise, You're Dead! and the half ballad-half thrash fest Zombie Eaters. And head and shoulders above the rest of the material stands the stunning, epic title track, a magnificent composition and performance.

But unfortunately after these first six songs the album takes a turn for the worse, the rest of the material being good at best and very unmemorable at worst. I have no idea how many times I've listened to this album (many, I can say that) but I still have trouble trying to remember one fragment of melody or lyrics from Underwater Love and only recently I've come to notice The Morning After, and actually quite like it. Woodpecker from Mars is an entertaining but unessential instrumental and the faithful reproduction of the Sabbath classic War Pigs seems a bit pointless. Great song of course, but the band doesn't bring much new into it. Edge of the World is a fine and fitting closer but not much more.

Despite losing steam halfway through this album is a great showcase of their potential that would really blossom on future releases.

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