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The Wackiness Jumps Into High Gear - 89%

psychoticnicholai, August 4th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1989, CD, Slash Records

Faith No More was looking to do more with their music, with the addition of Mr. Bungle vocalist Mike Patton to serve as a more versatile replacement for Chuck Mosley. We see the songwriting become more intense and active as well. The Real Thing was a perfectly set up breakthrough album. Patton gives a more agile and impassioned performance than Mosley ever did, going to insane highs while still sounding smooth. Billy Gould's bass slapping coupled with the lead guitarist's power chords make for a powerful display of funk and heaviness only seldom combined before The Real Thing was released. The keyboards only add to the strength of the guitars, perfectly complementing them on Epic and Falling to Pieces. Songs for this album were written with the intent of being memorable upon first listen and to feature odd lyrics which would initially confuse, but later stoke curiosity from the listener. They had a new sound and they wanted to make it so everyone could join in on the fun.

The Real Thing would give us a new powerful, funky sound along with some legendary songs in the realms of alternative metal. From Out of Nowhere comes in as fast as it can and shreds triumphantly as Patton and the keyboards move in to amplify the feeling of high activity. Epic needs no introduction as one of the defining songs of the funk metal subgenre and one of the best and most popular rap metal tracks, showing that it was possible to make a decent rap metal song. The entire album features a catchiness to every one of its songs as it gives us a hook to swing on right as the song starts, usually a funk rhythm or keyboard melody. Slap bass and power chords make up most of the guitar tunes here, with Billy Gould shining in particular. The whole album features a bouncy and playful atmosphere rarely seen on a metal record, probably best exemplified by Falling To Pieces. This doesn't mean the album is bereft of heavier passages, in fact it makes use of them quite often, and lead guitar shreds will often interject into the more funk-driven rhythm. The Real Thing also delivers an unbelievably faithful cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs that benefits greatly from Mike Patton's voice and modern production on the instruments, giving them more power than the original. The tracks on this album all have something to offer and they stick with you for a long time afterwards.

The Real Thing would go on to alter the landscape of alternative music; proving funk metal as feasible and accessible as well as speeding along the eventual alternative explosion at the start of the 1990's. This album gave us many wondrous tunes to jam to and launched FNM into a career as master musicians. While peppy and upbeat, this is still a metal album at heart. Anyone with an ear for alternative should give this a listen through, it stands far out, even today.

Better than RHCP in 1989. EASY - 75%

wallernotweller, December 20th, 2012

By the end of 1989 I fancied myself as a little bit of a Red Hot Chili Peppers Fan, not that I had heard them at this point but I’d seen photos in magazines and they looked pretty cool to my 15 year old eyes. At this point Faith No More arrived on the scene and they were generally considered as RHCP imposters. Kerrang and Metal Hammer both forgave them pretty quickly though (Kerrang even named it their record of the year) but it took me until the release of Angel Dust in summer 1992 for me to fall in love with the band.

Whilst that album is a down and out classic The Real Thing is more of an upbeat affair with downbeat moments that corrupt the glossy MTV rock friendly sheen. I have the CD version which includes The Black Sabbath cover, War Pigs. It was my first hearing of this song and I have to admit, its inclusion ruins not only the flow of the album but now I’ve heard the original, the cover version here is majorly weak, the production is too bright and renders the song ridiculously crisp. With Sabbath War Pigs actually transports you inside the war zone, dodging bullets and blinded from smoke I can’t think of a more realistic feel to any song anywhere. Saying that I’ve seen the band play it live and Faith No More rocked it. Strange.

The moments here that really do float my boat though are the two bookended songs. Opener From Out Of Nowhere is perfect pop rock. With enough oomph after each chorus to tantalise the metalheads and enough hook in the verses to bother the pop charts it was the perfect way to introduce the world to the madness that is Mike Patton, the bands new lead singer after the departure of Chuck Mosley who ended up singing for Bad Brains of all people.

The album finale is the other high point, Patton thought it sounded a little bit Carpenters and you know what, I think he is right. The End Of The World is a complete triumph and must have annoyed the hell out of Jim Martin, the groups spectacled rock behemoth guitar shredder. The melody and keyboard heavy riff is the antithesis of heavy metal. Here the band produce a swinging pop ditty that is utterly charming and evidence that not only were they as good as the Red Hot Chili Peppers but up to this point the Peppers had not recorded a song that could match it in the slightest.

What came next for Faith No More was the insanity of the Angel Dust album and tour which was hugely important for me. The real thing was merely a knock on the door, a taste for what was about to come.

Forgive this album for its bastard children - 90%

YonTroper, December 3rd, 2010

Faith No More's first two albums were pretty decent funk-metal, but they suffered from an awful lead singer and a lack of originality. Well, that's all changed with the arrival of Mike Patton, changing Faith No More into the bizzare genre-hopping outfit we know today, and in the process creating what is probably their best and most consistent album.

The instruments all do a top-notch job (the production helps this, making sure every one can be heard and gets its time in the spotlight). Jim Martin's thrashy guitar riffs help massively to give this album some heaviness, helped out by Roddy Bottum's keyboard skills. Instead of letting the keyboards dominate the album like on Angel Dust, Bottum uses them primarily for atmosphere, "Zombie Eaters" being probably the most effective use. He still manages to steal the show with a few excellent riffs, such as the sorrowful piano outro to "Epic" and the energetic synth hook of "From Out of Nowhere". The rhythm section, as ever, is the best part. Billy Gould is definitely the star of this album - without his titanic, funky basslines, "The Morning After" and "Falling to Pieces" would be nothing. Mike Bordin doesn't put in such a strong performance on the drums as on Angel Dust, mainly playing funkier and less complex beats following the bass, but it still sounds great.

Unfortunately, Patton's first performance with Faith No More isn't always the best. His clean vocals are far superior on later Faith No More albums - here, he unleashes an extraordinarily nasal whine that fits the music, but gets grating after a while. He also raps a lot, more so than he would later on. He's actually a pretty good rapper, with his stream-of-silliness flow on "Epic" and surprisingly powerful chants on "Zombie Eaters" being highlights (despite a tendency to over-enunciate his "P"s and "B"s). Most of his other, varied vocal styles don't show up (apart from a couple of screams on "Surprise! You're Dead!"), but he manages to put a lot of emotion into his voice anyway.

The songs themselves are possibly Faith No More's best set, odd yet accessible, and there's never really a weak one. Back in 1989, "Epic" was something of a novelty hit, but now it's regarded as one of the most important songs of alternative music, and it deserves it. The rap verses answered with a melodic chorus full of heavy guitars would become the formula for most rap-metal (and *gulp* nu-metal) in the 90's, but nobody else got it right the way Faith No More did - they didn't get the subtly hooky keyboards that work just right to compliment the guitars, or the excellent guitar solo (probably Jim Martin's best part in Faith No More), or the free-association rap that sounds loose and funky, rather than the meatheaded flow of people like Fred Durst. The whole album was just as influential in plotting out the alternative metal sound of the early 90's, but nobody else did it better.

Other songs? "The Real Thing" is the other definite highlight, an eight-minute spin through the band's entire stylistic reportoire, moving from eerie ambient synths to mellow acoustic guitars to hard metal riffs without batting an eyelid, and managing to transition well through all of it. The odd duck of the set is the instrumental "Woodpecker from Mars", with a synthesized string section and a thumping bass solo contrasting perfectly with each other and hinting at the total avant-garde weirdness of Mike Patton's later projects. "Zombie Eaters" begins with a clean acoustic guitar and laced keyboards, with Mike Patton's crooning laid over it. Sounds pretty normal, until the pounding bass and guitar riffs come in and it turns into one of the hardest, heaviest pieces of music on here, made all the more effective by the acoustic section before it.

To sum up, this is definitely Faith No More's most accessible release with Patton, but none the worse for it, as the songs are very consistent throughout and there are no real weak ones. It's brought down by Patton's often grating performance and the fact that there isn't much variation compared to what they'd later do, but overall I'd nominate it as Faith No More's best release, and every fan of alternative metal owes it to themselves to get it just to hear what started it all.

Mike Patton is one cool dude - 98%

overkill666, July 30th, 2009

I haven’t lost faith in this band, even if their name suggests it. Sure, it’s not heavy music and it’s not technical music. What it is, though, is nine tracks of pure genius. I don’t consider myself a fan boy or anything, but I’ve been listening to Faith No More since I was a youngin’. I think the people who rate it low are the type of people who don’t see this band for what they are. This isn’t extreme metal guys, stop being let down! If you’d take a minute to scan their genre tag, maybe your hopes wouldn’t go down the drain when you hit play.

The thing I’ve noticed about this band is their tendency to have that thrash blueprint. Mainly, in ‘Surprise! You’re Dead!’. I have to note this because I’m very sure that the song had a pretty big influence on Nu-metal. I mean, if the guitars had a heavier tone, it’d be a thrash metal song with a different vocal approach. I like how the guitar is worked out throughout the album, as it is not always the main focal point. It often serves as a layered filler, with a lot of solo work. Their main hit song, ‘Epic’, is a great example. The guitar is pushed into the background to serve as a special effect. Maybe ambience? I’m not sure, but it sounds great. When the guitar does serve more of a purpose, it’s decently light. It’s a very clean sound, maybe a tad bit of distortion. There’s a lot of up/down stroke variation in the picking style, which is pretty common in alternative styles of music. Not saying that’s a bad aspect though, it’s pretty enjoyable. I think the bass is very, very important to Faith No More. The bass work stands out in every track, which I love. It’s got a bit of a muddy sound, which gives it a bit of funk (especially when there’s a lot of bends). ‘Falling to Pieces’ is a great example of that funk bass sound. I think the sound sticks out a lot since there’s a lot of slap style. The way the guitar and bass bends around the drum work is quite nice as well. Everything Mike "Puffy" Bordin does back there never stands out in a negative aspect.

Alright, now to Mike Patton. Why is there so much hate for his vocals? This is something I’ve never understood and I doubt I will anytime soon. His vocal work is spectacular and I don’t see why he’s being bashed for his style. His voice might be light but he packs a powerful punch. He even sounds extremely hateful in ‘Surprise! You’re Dead!’, much like a thrash vocalist would. Also, the Black Sabbath cover ‘War Pigs’ is done in a way that is not short of awesome. Hell, usually when I want to hear that song I go for the Faith No More version. I’ll say this again: why the hate? People can listen to falsettos (see Judas Priest, King Diamond), gutturals (see Devourment), and raspy screams (see Darkthrone, various black metal bands..), but they can’t venture to this end of the vocal spectrum? Come on people, experiment a little.

After having this album for a very long time, I decided to write down my thoughts on it. The negative reviews didn’t really inspire me to write for it, but I wanted to tell the Archives what I hear when I listen to it. If you’re looking for music that’s not very heavy, but has a very avant-garde writing style, Faith No More is right on the money. The writing throughout the album varies a lot, you won’t be bored.

*Barfs* - 10%

absurder21, June 13th, 2009

Holy crap this is horrible. I don’t even mean on a metal basis, this album doesn’t even fit into that mould, but it is by far one of the most irritating, borring, shit stains on music I have ever heard. Now, I won’t judge this on a metal level, because to be honest this album isn’t metal. Sure, there is the odd tid bit of metalness here and there, but if Faith No More were to be added to the archives based purely off this album, they would have been rejected. I hope to god that their earlier records where far more metal then this, if not, there is some heavy hypocrisy in the house...

The guitar on this is pretty crap, if I do say so myself. It is generally your funky, generic alternative rock riffs, down tuned. Every once in awhile you get some Half-Thrash/Groove metal (EW) riffs on songs like Surprise! You’re dead and The Real Thing and some melodic acoustic bits here and there but they fall short of anything musically interesting to be quite honest, even for funk rock. No solos or anything remotely impressive, typical of alternative rock.

The bass work is actually the only saving grace on this album. Seeing as this band is influenced by rap and funk more than anything else, this is quite an important feature and thus they needed some proper work. The bassist displays lots of skills such as popping and slapping, keeping up with the fast bits and being the core of the music, as the guitarists aren’t skilled enough to play their instruments properly, it appears.

The drumming is okay; it only really fills in for what is necessary but the fact that he is drumming in funk style gets points as it is rhythmically complicated.

The vocals. Holy crap, I don’t think there is a rock singer on this planet with a more annoying voice then Mike Patton. Between his horrid, white-trash rapping, he has this very nasal, high pitched voice that irritates the crap out of me, and I’m sure plenty others. Find a cat, hold its nose, and then pull its tail really hard so it yells out a loud, nasal noise. That is the equivalent to Mike Patton’s voice. Try mixing the worst parts of Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue’s Vince Neil voices together into one and you have Mike Patton’s voice.

The lyrics aren’t too bad, nothing really deep or meaningful, but it’s better than anything Bal-Saggoth or some other epic weirdo can whip out.

I’ll admit this band is quite ballsy in mixing alternative rock, funk, and groove metal and, at some points, lounge music into one thing, but the problem is that they fall flat on their face doing so, not to mention their horrid rendition of War Pigs. Their guitar section is obviously very weak skill and talent wise, and I can’t stress how much Mike Patton sucks at life. The bassist and drummer are the only redeeming factors in this band and in all honesty they should have hired better musicians then the two jokers that is their melodic section.

I don’t like awarding points for influence, when I give points I base it merely off how the music sounds, but I should point out that THIS is where nu-metal started. Not with Pantera’s Walk as some people like to say. This is the sole creation of nu-metal here, and it’s quite apparent. Just so you know...

Overall, this is one the worst albums I’ve ever listened to and I hope to never hear it again. I have no idea what sort of musical interest you have to possess to actually like this as it is just pig squeal. Hell, I love 70s funk (George Clinton ftw!) and some Alternative rock, so I’m not just some closed minded metal head here, but this is just really bad.AVOID.

The Real Definition of Shit - 25%

unclevladistav, December 10th, 2008

Yuk. Alternative metal. I didn't like it before, I despise it even more now. Seeing Faith No More here on the archives, with high reviews, somehow gave me hope...deciding to try an album, I purchased "The Real Thing"...my hope was immediately crushed.

Don't make the mistake I did. This is alternative metal at its most horrific, blasphemous best. Rapping vocals, lame riffs, and a whiny clean voice. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Hearing the opening to "From Out of Nowhere" gave me a bit of hope. A decent riff, interesting keyboards, could this be it?! Alternative metal's creators actually did it right? NO! Whiny, terrible clean vocals enter quickly, ruining what could have been good. The synth stays prevalent, but too much so. Never is it used to the effect of bands like Finntroll for great leads, or Mirrorthrone for symphonic goodness. It is used for cheesy, simple, synthy sounds (no other way to describe it). In all, the synths here would fit in snugly on a rap album.

The guitar does what most would probably refer to as "tough guy riffing". Simple, distorted power chords, arranged for the sole purpose of adding "heaviness". Nothing experimental or avant-garde about it.

I can't fault this much for production. Everything here is fairly clear, including the bass, which is rare, so some points are scored for that. Another thing that warrants a few points is the fact that the bass actually seems to be doing something at most times. I think it's safe to say that Billy Gould was the most talented member of Faith No More.

This IS alternative metal at its high (or low). Metal with a strong hip hop influence. I think it's fairly easy to see where the nu/alt metal bands of today have gotten influence.

So, let me break this down simply: Decent at times, but usually weak riffs. Vocals that alternate between rapping (terrible rapping at that) and a whiny sounding clean voice. Drumming that is simplistic and does nothing more than keep the beat. And keyboards that are worthy of rap.

My advice to the average metalhead- avoid this. If track one doesn't immediately turn you off with the cheesy synth and whined vocals, track two will, with its dreadful combination of the aforementioned vocals and rapping. Just keeps getting better, doesn't it? Now excuse me, but I'm going to now go and sell this. I'll then buy a dozen television sets and adjust them all to produce white noise. That migraine will probably be less painful than this one.

Patton's first triumph - 94%

MercyfulSatyr, October 18th, 2008

This was where Faith No More finally hit their stride. The often-painful vocals of Chuck Mosley had just been ejected from the band’s formula, and in their place the largely unknown Mike Patton was poised for a musical revolution. After the summer of 1989, both a legendary vocalist and a powerful band would be introduced to the world; though the latter would soon begin a long-lived dissolution, Patton would instead become an icon. All of this would be made possible by Faith No More’s third outing – The Real Thing.

The album’s name is quite fitting. Faith No More is probably the only worthwhile band in a genre that has become infested with nonsense and nausea thanks to juggalo-maggots, Jonathan Davis, and the like. Even though these bowel movements of the music industry claim “inspiration” from Faith No More, there is little to suggest the styles of the misinformed Three Days Grace crowd in the music of this band (barring the awful Angel Dust, of course). Instead, there’s a wealth of ideas and great compositions, not to mention variety – something the recent “alternative metal” scene uniformly lacks. Faith No More manages to blend funk, heavy metal, jazz, and semi-progressive music into a smooth amalgamation.

The dominant style at work is funk rock, on display in the opening three songs as well as “Underwater Love.” That means proficient bass, with some slapping and popping for effect, as well as simple but effective riffs. Mike Patton soars here, sporting his distinctive higher-register vocal style plus some other techniques, such as gang shouts somewhat reminiscent of “Wrathchild” in the band’s number one most well known song, “Epic.” The same song also makes use of repetition – not repetitiveness – and even includes a melodic piano outro. “From Out of Nowhere” employs some heavier riffing, especially in the first few seconds. The lyrics in the funk-oriented songs deal with sex – but in a subtle, intelligent way, unlike mallcore.

The Real Thing also gets heavy at times. This is nowhere more apparent than in the hardcore punk tendencies of “Surprise! You’re Dead!” where Patton proves his versatility through both rapid-fire vocal lines and short bursts of death growls. Meanwhile, the instrumentalists implement rough, almost crossover-oriented riffs and drum beats. The fleshed-out title track, meanwhile, represents the entirety of the album throughout its eight-minute duration, consisting of metal, funk, and several other genres in varying degrees over the course of its length. Mike Patton uses many of his voices, including the higher vocals from the first few tracks, some growls, hardcore punk shouts, and more.

Faith No More show that they understand the concept of program music in the instrumental “Woodpecker from Mars.” The main agents in the song are the synthesizers (fret not – they’re tastefully used) and the bass, which represent the grace of the animal and the harshness with which it can attack, respectively. The latter half of the title is felt through the guitar, which tends to reverberate a spacey quality in its contribution. The band acknowledges their masters as well, playing a masterful cover of “War Pigs,” which manages to capture the heaviness of the original despite the absence of Iommi, and displays the band’s competence when it comes to working with traditional metal. Finally, The Real Thing contains its biggest quirk in the closing “Edge of the World,” a jazzy piece that is offset by Patton’s strangely pedophiliac lyrics, which, as they are obviously not serious, bring a touch of humor into the fold.

This is the album that catapulted Mike Patton into the spotlight and allowed him to flaunt his increasingly avant-garde material and incredible versatility via his newly important original band and his eventual peak of esotericism with Adult Themes for Voice. Even if you despise Faith No More for unfortunately being the precursor to Korn and Limp Bizkit, always remember that without The Real Thing, Mike Patton would never have been able to create his insane later works that even many of the enemies of this album still admire.

ORIGINAL, FUN AND PURE GENIUS - 100%

alexxhighlander, October 17th, 2008

Oh, the memories this album brings!

Faith No More took the music world by the balls and changed it forever with The Real Thing. It's true. There was no nu-metal, no funk metal, there was simply nothing like the sound you find on this CD back then.

I was lucky enough to catch them live in Rock In Rio II in 1991 and they simply blew me away. The songs sounded even better live: raw, heavy, energetic, irresistible. And Mike Patton was a mad dog onstage, influencing me with his stage presence and vocal performance forever.

This album has a little for everyone into metal who has an open mind. The lyrics are creative and a bit on the crazy side, the drumming is incredibly catchy, the bass is amazing, the guitars are heavy and crunchy, and Patton is just incredible. You'll find tunes to bang your head to and pump your fist in the air to (Epic, Woodpeckers From Mars, Surprise! You're Dead), as well as tunes to sing along to (From Out Of Nowhere, Falling to Pieces), jump up and down to (The Morning After), or simply listen real close and enjoy the creativity and musicianship (The Real Thing). To top it all off, War Pigs must be one of the best cover renditions I have heard.

It's a pity that so many influenced by this album didn't quite get it right and went on to create empty, obnoxious outfits devoid of any of its true essence. But Faith No More are not to blame for that, obviously. If anything, they presented us with a true gem, in one of those rare moments of true divine inspiration a band has in its carreer.

The end of a great decade. The welcome of a new... - 100%

Wacke, January 11th, 2008

In 1988 when FNM fired their lead singer Chuck Mosley, they did the right thing. Why? Well, because they found Mike Patton and did their best album "The Real Thing". It's an album with a lot of various styles and I can't imagine Chuck Mosley singin' these tunes but Mike's got some big lungs that can pump up all kinds of vocals so he's perfect for the job.

When I got this album I thought it was some of the worst crap that I had ever heard. I mean, how can you possibly think that someone will like a heavy metal album with rap, jazz and funk baked into it? Well, you need to have the guts to gamble a lot and FNM wasn't afraid of doing that. Look what happened to them, they became famous all over the world.

It's also all those various styles that makes this album so good! Even if you like the heavy opening "From Out Of Nowhere" because it's more like your regular music, you'll still like the jazzy "Edge Of The World" because FNM knew how to make people like it.

Even though the rapping "Epic" was their smash hit from this album they got some success with "From Out Of Nowhere" and "Falling To Pieces" too but, I wouldn't say that those tunes are what this album is all about. They could have used "Underwater Love" or "Zombie Eaters" as singles too because it wouldn't probably been any difference even if these tunes are a little different. That's what makes this to a great album. You can listen to all the tunes without recognize much of it from the other ones and in my opinion that's great.

Finally, to the credits. Each one of the bandmembers are doing a fantastic job and even though their former singer Chuck Mosley wasn't bad, it's a lot more fun, relaxing and nice to hear Mike Patton. The production is also great, not the most expensive or so but there's a really nice metallic-guitar / bass sound Jim Martin and Bill Gould has got. Puffy's drumming both sounds great and the drum sounds sounds nice too while Roddy Bottums keyboards just makes you fly away into the songs.

Stand-out-tracks: All of 'em but my personal favorites are Falling To Pieces, Zombie Eaters, Epic, The Real Thing, Surprise! You're Dead! and From Out Of Nowhere.

The last touch this album would need today is to me remastered and released with some nice bonus tracks like the early version of (the) "Perfect Crime" called "Sweet Emotion". Let's hope it will arive remastered sometime this year or maybe next year to celebrate it's 20th anniversary. It's a great album, it would be a great loss for the world if it dissappeard within time...

The True Fusion of Rock and Rap - 93%

erickg13, September 27th, 2006

A while back I was arguing with a buddy about the first band or artist to mold rap with rock. My buddy would not budge on his stance that Run-DMC and Aerosmiths “cover” of “Walk this Way” was that point, so I gave him some early Faith no More. Needless to say he admitted I was right.

Whether it be with Chuck Mosley or Mike Patton, Faith no More has always pushed the edge of music. Whether it be the breakthrough “We Care A Lot” or the massive hit “Epic”, Faith no More have had an original sound all their own.

And with “The Real Thing” they finally found the sound that they had been looking for. Mike Patton can be credited with helping them along, but it’s the instrumentalists that get this album going. Mike Patton is an improvement over Chuck Mosley, undoubtedly, but Patton’s voice isn’t for everyone (it’s pretty nasally).

“The Real Thing” starts of with a bang with “From Out of Nowhere” which was a hit in its own right, but doesn’t match the second song “Epic”. It’s a wonder how “Epic” become a hit, but it did. “Epic” is one of those songs that you might be embarrassed to say you like to your buddies but when your alone and it comes on you’ll crank it and sing along. The third song “Falling to Pieces” can almost be described as the last song that was a viable radio hit. The rest is interesting, but not made for the radio, maybe “War Pigs” being the exception, though that is a cover. A few other good songs are the thrashy “Surprise! You’re Dead”, “The Real Thing”, and the instrumental “Woodpecker from Mars”. “The Real Thing” is solid, for the most part, throughout the album.

“The Real Thing” is the best bet for anyone looking to explore the hit and miss career of Faith No More. Also, this is one of those few albums that could be a better intro into a band than a ‘best of’. Not only did this album put them on the map but it influenced many bands to come (whether you like these bands or not, Faith No Mores influence is undeniable). And the main reason why I recommend this over say “Angel Dust” or “Album of the Year” is that “The Real Thing” is vastly more accessible to the casual listener and is just plain and simple better.

Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic - 100%

nailbunnybooya, February 21st, 2006

This is an example of a perfect album. Period. No discussion.

While there are people out there who try ever so hard to be cool and anti-MTV by calling Angel Dust the better album (or even more off the wall, saying the band was better with Mosley........the hell?....), The Real Thing is, well, the real thing.


The album is an excersize in combining hard hitting music with enough pop sensibility to make the record accessible, yet not cheesy and forced, and at the same time make you want to bang your head to it. Listening to the album you can hear an enormous array of influences (Chili Peppers, Sabbath, even elements of Styx and Journey-esque prog), yet it's still fresh, original, and unmistakably Faith No More, a sound that is impossible to convincingly duplicate.

Not that any of the latter songs are bad in any shape, but most impressive about the album is the absolutely stunning first 7 tracks. From Out Of Nowhere starts the album off smoothly, followed by the two MTV hits Epic and Falling To Pieces (which had an excellent video). Surprise You're Dead was made to get the pit going, and Zombie Eaters is just amazing, probably my favorite track. Throw in the title track and Underwater Love and you have quite possibly one of the best half hours of tunes in popular music history. Their cover of War Pigs is faithful and excellently done as well (and even holds up live, as heard on the first Nativity In Black Sabbath tribute).

So much about this album just makes you feel good, and if you're old enough, hopefully brings back memories. A+, 100, thumbs up, yeah, you get the point.

Mike Patton's voice terrifies me. - 72%

asklater, December 14th, 2004

To be honest, while I knew the name, I had never heard a Faith No More song other than Epic before listening to this record. So, going in, I wasn't too sure what to expect.

My first impression of The Real Thing was probably "Wow, Mike Patton sounds like a drag queen!" Nowhere is that more evident than on the first track From Out Of Nowhere or the chorus of second track Epic, the band's one hit song. Having gotten over my initial disgust at the vocals, I realized that this record is actually not too bad. Equally noticeable as Patton's vocals is the bass work of Billy Gould, who also happened to be Güero Sin Fe in Brujeria's original lineup. I guess that would explain why I like his style...

These guys are another hard band to categorize, although they were mixing rap with metal back in the late 80's before it was cool. Fourth track Suprise! You're Dead! is perhaps the heaviest song on here, and is reminiscent of early Biohazard.

Now, while rap metal and epic usually don't belong in the same sentence, (excluding the band's song Epic, that is) it's hard to find a way to describe some of these songs other than calling it epic rap metal. The title track, which clocks in at over eight minutes long, for example, or the following track, Underwater Love could be considered epics, although they make use of rapped vocals in some sections. And while he reminds me of a drag queen, Mike Patton is still a better singer than Fred Durst could ever be!

I suppose that, being the masters of the rap metal epic, it's not surprising to see a cover of Black Sabbath's epic protest song War Pigs. Faith No More do manage to shave 12 seconds off the original, (cutting it down to 7:43) but without taking away from the original greatness of the song. Patton even does his best Ozzy impression on this track, and, unlike the live version on the first Nativity In Black album, he doesn't forget the words to the last verse!

Preceeding War Pigs is a cool instrumental called Woodpecker From Mars, which flows nicely into the Sabbath track. Following War Pigs, however, is a track that, considering the mental image that Patton's voice gives me, is really disturbing. Edge of the World is a ballad that seems to be sung from the perspective of a child molester, with lines such as:

Hey little girl/
Would you like some candy?

(and)

Come sit right down/
Lay your head on my shoulder/
It's not the point/
That I'm forty years older

Let's just say that if I heard Patton's voice coming from a dark alley, I'd probably run.

Anyways, my first impression of The Real Thing is that, well, it's original, to say the least, bordering on weird. Perhaps it will take a few more listens to digest, but at first listen, it's still not bad.

I Remember This One--Who Doesn't? - 90%

corviderrant, June 22nd, 2004

Anyone over 21-25 remembers this album due to the job that (E)M(P)TV and radio did overplaying and killing "Epic"! That one song is only one facet of this very eclectic and unusual band, who became even more so after this album--some would, in fact, argue that they went over the deep end to try and avoid mainstream success with followup albums. But for one shining moment back in 1989, this band was poised to be the Next Kings Of The World. And it was all due to Michael Patton's soulful, versatile vocal approach; they had the musical ability, all they needed was a real singer with a range and emotion, and once Michael was in, everything clicked into place.

Truthfully, Billy Gould's repetitive basslines are the real power behind the songs on this album--granted, all he does is play variations on syncopated open E-string riffs most of the time, but his ultra-rude clanking tone, frequently laced with fuzz of the lacerated-speaker variety has tons of character. I really enjoy his trilling, trancy line at the beginning of "Falling To Pieces" (a tribute to the Bulgarian Women's Choir, Angelite, he said in an interview), as well as his tasteful slapping and popping after the first chorus. His charging runs in the intro of "From Out Of Nowhere" really push the song forward, as do his bluesy stringbending fills during the middle part of "Epic" underneath guitarist Jim Martin's eloquent soloing. In fact, Billy has a very strongly Geezer Butler-influenced approach throughout the album.

Martin mostly plays rhythm throughout the album with a huge, crisp, crunch tone, but that one long, wailing solo in "Epic" shows there's more to him than simple rhythm knuckleheadedness. Mike Bordin is an excellent drummer with equal amounts groove and power in his playing as well, and his complicated polyrhythms in the crazed instrumental "Woodpecker From Mars" show another side of his talent. The fantastic drum sound reveals every aspect of his style in clear detail.

As eclectic and diverse as this album is, that is its strength; somehow, they manage to make it seem a natural and unforced thing as opposed to lesser bands who try and force new things into their sound to try and "be different". And underneath everything, even nightmarishly heavy (by FNM standards) tunes like "Surprise! You're Dead!" (one of my favorite song titles ever) have a bouncy pop sensibility ensuring that even the heaviest riffs have a memorability to them that surpasses any damn stupid bunch of mallcore morons. Try to top that, Stinkin Pork, I mean, Linkin Park! Years after the fact, after finally getting over the overplaying of "Epic" everywhere, I can finally say that this is a damn good album that stands the test of time.

Great offering from a unique band - 90%

CrowTRobot, August 18th, 2003

I'm sure that everyone can remember hearing the outstanding "Epic" at some point in their life, even if they were too young to remember anything else at the time. This was definitely the case with me, and it was my introduction to Faith No More as well. Amidst problematic behavior, vocalist Chuck Mosely was fired from the band after their 1987 release "Introduce Yourself". I'm not saying I'm glad that poor Chuck got the boot, but lets face it, his replacement obviously outdid him in every possible manner.

Mike Patton's vocal performance is amazing on this release, even though FNM's following album, "Angel Dust", truly showed what he was made of. Its safe to say that Jim Martin's guitar playing firmly placed this album in the Metal category, even though little else in the band resembles actual Metal. That's not to say that the rest of the band's performance wasn't competent, as Billy Gould's bass and Mike Bordin's impressive drums are top notch. The nice addition of keyboards, courtesy of Roddy Bottum, help give the songs a sort of epic feel. Especially on the aforementioned song, "Epic"! Bet you didn't see that one coming.

Highlights include the bizarre "Surprise! You're Dead!", "The Real Thing" and "Falling to Pieces". This album is the perfect introduction to Patton-era Faith No More, and one of the band's finest offerings.

This is indeed The Real Thing - 94%

Colonel_Kurtz, April 29th, 2003

My first introduction of Faith No More came from this cd. Strangly enough, I did not know the song "Epic" too well. I saw it on sale, knew the band's name, and bought it. At first, I did not enjoy the album too much. I was not used to the erratic style and diversity. Of course as time went on so did the love for this album. I came to realize that this was one of the most original albums I have ever heard and one of the best ones to go Mainstream. With this said, I will go track by track to show you what this band did and how horrid noise like Korn, 311, and Limp Bizkit all took the Faith No More sound and butchered it with silly anthems of teenager angst(if that even exists anymore).

"From Out of Nowhere" is a typical Faith No More opener. Fast and to the point. Right from the start everything goes except the vocals. When Patton's vocals do start they do sound a bit whinny and even a little premature. of course this doesnt hurt from the song and will actually have a nice benefit to the songs. The song is very catchy from the get go with pretty basic lyrics of seeing this girl for the first time. A nice song that leads into one of the most famous songs...

"Epic". Do I need to say anymore? This was the song that broke it open. The mixture of rap and metal(dont tell me that Aerosmith Walk THis Way with DMC-Run is the first!). The song uses a simplistic yer involved structure, verse-chorus-verse-chrous-verse-chrous-musical bridge-chrous-outro. Sounds simple enough, but the way there is rapping during the Verses and complete melodic vocals during the chorus shows a band that wasnt afraid to experiment. Of course a band like Korn will just rap throughout the song and those mallcore kids will think its innovation. We all know its not.

"Falling to Pieces" almost sounds like Epic part 2. Once again there is raping but this time it comes as a prechorus. There is also a nice musical bridge that is lead by the keyboards and heavy bass. These three songs are basically the catchiest and best radio friendly songs on the album. What comes next is the meat and the downright disturbing.

"Surprise! Your Dead" is what mallcore is about. The song has some of the heaviest rapping I have ever heard. You can barely make out a word because Patton is singing so damn fast! The guitars are heavy as hell and everything just seems to be going nuts. The song is short at 2 minutes and some change. When listening to this youcan tell Faith No More was ahead of their game. Mallcore later took the same thing and called it "Break Stuff" or "A.D.I.D.A.S". Of course FNM didnt have to curse ;)

"Zombie Eaters" is a quasi-ballad gone bad. The song starts off with light strumming on an acoustic guitar which is backed with laced keyboards. The song is very light but around the 2 minute mark the metal guitars enter as well as the stronger. Then comes the bassline and Patton starts screaming his head off. Rapping is also in the song, but is kept to a minimal. The song just goes wild from here being a headbangers anthem.

"The Real Thing" is the best track on this album and one of the band's finest moments. This song is 8minutes of pure fury. I will attempt to list all the different styles I heard. Rhythm and Blues, Rap, Metal, Soul. This song is absolustely nuts. It is even haunting at times during the verse and the postchrous. I have never heard anything like this before. The song starts with cross-stick drum playing but soon gets into the heavy thrash style. The song goes everywhere but yet seems completely coherent. Still one of the finest moments in music's history.

"Underwater Love" is a pop song which seems to offer the ears some relaxation from the hell that was The Real Thing. The song comes at a perfect time and once again shows the bands ability to go from rough to smooth.

"The Morning After" is a song which you can tell came from the Chuck Morsely era. As a matter of fact, it was first recorded as "The New Improved Song" and had Chuck on the vocals. The song is very straightforward like "Underwater Love" but still offers a nice uniqueness to it.

"Woodpecker from Mars" is just as zany as the title. The song is an instrumental that features this werid Egyptian keyboard playing as well as a bassline that songs like, well, a woodpecker. THe song is just amazing as far as instrumentals go. The song comes at a perfect time to give a nice twist. I enjoy this song very muchm but it takes time to like.

"War Pigs" is the cover song. Black Sabbath done with the Faith No More attitude. I was never a Black Sabbath fan, but this song got me into them. The band does an amazing job with this and manages to make it over 7minutes long. The drums are the key here as they sound just perfect.

"Edge of the World" is the closing ballad which Faith No More became known to doing. This song takes a Jazz feel to it. There is no metal here at all. Just a Jazz closer. A great song that marks an end to a terrific album.

The most amazing part of this album is how it would later be beaten by Faith No More's next release "Angel Dust". A very fine album that is a required listen for all music fans. The trip for your ears is a hard one, but once gone through you will, you will be treated with a smooth journy of musicianship, something America has been missing.