The Real Thing (Faith No More album)

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The Real Thing
The Real Thing album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 20, 1989
RecordedDecember 1988–January 1989
Studio Studio D, Sausalito, California
Faith No More chronology
Introduce Yourself
The Real Thing
Angel Dust
Alternative cover
The Real Thing vinyl cover.jpg
Vinyl cover
Singles from The Real Thing
  1. "From Out of Nowhere"
    Released: August 30, 1989
  2. "Epic"
    Released: January 30, 1990
  3. "Falling to Pieces"
    Released: July 2, 1990
  4. "Surprise! You're Dead!"
    Released: 1990
  5. "Edge of the World"
    Released: 1991

The Real Thing is the third studio album by American rock band Faith No More, released on June 20, 1989 by Slash and Reprise Records. It was the first major release by the band not to feature vocalist Chuck Mosley. Instead, the album featured Mike Patton from the experimental/funk band Mr. Bungle. On this album, Faith No More continued to advance their sound range, combining thrash metal, [5] funk, [5] hip hop, [5] progressive rock, [5] synthpop, [6] carousel music, [5] and hard rock, [6] [7] [8] along with what has been described as "a black sense of humor". [6]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Faith No More American alternative metal band

Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on the current name in 1982, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man. Bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Roddy Bottum and drummer Mike Bordin are the longest-remaining members of the band, having been involved since its inception. The band underwent several early lineup changes, and some major changes later on. The current lineup of Faith No More consists of Gould, Bordin, Bottum, lead guitarist Jon Hudson, and vocalist/lyricist Mike Patton.

Slash Records was an American record label originally specializing in local and punk rock bands.



Faith No More underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, We Care a Lot , released in 1985 and distributed through San Francisco-based label Mordam Records. On the original vinyl release, the band is credited as "Faith. No More" on the album's liner notes, back cover, and on the record itself. Within a year the band signed up with Slash Records. The debut album's title track "We Care a Lot" was later rerecorded, for their follow-up album Introduce Yourself in 1987, and released as their first single. Membership remained stable until vocalist Chuck Mosley was replaced by Mike Patton in 1988. [9]

<i>We Care a Lot</i> 1985 studio album by Faith No More

We Care a Lot is the debut studio album by American rock band Faith No More, originally released in 1985 and distributed through San Francisco-based label Mordam Records. On the original vinyl release, the band is credited as "Faith. No More." on the album's liner notes, back cover, and on the record itself.

Mordam Records was a California record distribution company for independent record labels. It was founded in San Francisco in 1983 as an independent punk distribution company by Ruth Schwartz. Mordam was the exclusive distributor for dozens of punk rock and independent record labels throughout the 1980s and 90s, gaining a reputation as one of the few "distros" that paid their labels on time.

We Care a Lot (song) 1988 single by Faith No More

"We Care a Lot" is a song by Faith No More. There are three versions of the song, all of which have been officially released over three different albums. The original was recorded for and released on the band's first studio album, We Care a Lot. A re-recorded version, with new lyrics was included on the Introduce Yourself album and was the lead single, reaching no.53 on the UK Singles Chart. The live version, without original singer Mosley was included on the live album and video Live at the Brixton Academy and was also released as a single in 1991. Although a Chuck Mosley-era song, it was the second most frequently-played song during the band's live performances, behind "Epic". "We Care a Lot" featured different lyrics and ad-libs when performed by Mike Patton, much like performances of "Chinese Arithmetic".


The writing for the majority of the music for The Real Thing took place after the tour for Introduce Yourself . A demo version of "The Morning After", under the moniker "New Improved Song", with alternate lyrics written and sung by Chuck Mosley was released on the Sounds·Waves 2 extended play with the Sounds magazine. "Surprise! You're Dead!" was composed by Jim Martin [10] in the 1970s, while he was guitarist for Agents of Misfortune who also featured Cliff Burton in the line up. [11] The recording of the song took place in December 1988 following Chuck Mosley's removal from the band and was completed prior to the hiring of Mike Patton, who then wrote all the lyrics for the songs and recorded them the following month over the music. [12]

<i>Introduce Yourself</i> 1987 studio album by Faith No More

Introduce Yourself is Faith No More's second album, released in 1987. Due to the limited availability of the first album, We Care a Lot, many, including the band, once considered this Faith No More's true debut album. Being the group's major label debut, this album features better production than its predecessor, which is most evident on this album's version of the song "We Care a Lot," which also features updated, more topical, lyrics. It was the last album Chuck Mosley appeared on with the band.

Extended play Musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

<i>Sounds</i> (magazine) magazine

Sounds was a UK weekly pop/rock music newspaper, published from 10 October 1970 to 6 April 1991. It was produced by Spotlight Publications, which was set up by Jack Hutton and Peter Wilkinson, who left Melody Maker to start their own company. Sounds was their first project, a weekly paper devoted to progressive rock and described by Hutton, to those he was attempting to recruit from his former publication, as "a leftwing Melody Maker". Sounds was intended to be a weekly rival to titles such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express (NME). It was well known for giving away posters in the centre of the paper and later for covering heavy metal and Oi! music in its late 1970s–early 1980s heyday.

The recording sessions also yielded several songs that did not appear on the album. Two of them, "The Grade" and "The Cowboy Song", later appeared on the singles and on the UK edition of Live at the Brixton Academy. A third song, "Sweet Emotion", was later rerecorded with different lyrics as "The Perfect Crime" for the soundtrack to the film that also starred a cameo appearance from guitarist Jim Martin, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey . The original version was released on Flexible Fiend 3 with Kerrang! magazine issue 258 and, more recently The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection , the greatest hits compilation released to coincide with the band's reunion tour.

<i>Bill & Teds Bogus Journey: Music from the Motion Picture</i> 1991 soundtrack album by Various Artists

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey: Music from the Motion Picture is the licensed soundtrack to the 1991 Orion Pictures film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. It was released by Interscope Records on July 9, 1991 on CD and cassette formats. In Japan it was released on August 25, 1991.

James Blanco Martin, known professionally as Big Jim Martin, is an American guitarist best known for his membership in the rock band Faith No More from 1983 to late 1993. Martin also played guitar with the groups EZ-Street, Vicious Hatred, Agents of Misfortune, Recluse, and Pigs of Death.

<i>Kerrang!</i> British magazine about rock and metal music

Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to hard rock and heavy metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly.


After the release of the album, Faith No More developed somewhat of a rivalry with fellow Californian funk rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom they had previously played with on The Uplift Mofo Party Tour. [13] [14] Singer Anthony Kiedis accused Mike Patton of stealing his "style" in the "Epic" music video. [15] [14] He told Kerrang! magazine "My drummer says he's gonna kidnap [Patton], shave his hair off and cut off one of his feet, just so he'll be forced to find a style of his own". [14] In a separate interview, he clarified his comment, remarking "I love The Real Thing, and I liked his vocals on that record. I mean, when I heard the record I noticed subtle similarities, but when I saw that video it was like, 'Wait a second here, what the fuck?.'" [15] Roddy Bottum responded by saying "To me, our band sounds nothing like Red Hot Chili Peppers. If you're talking about long hair, rapping with his shirt off, then yeah, I can see similarities. But beyond that, I can't see any. I haven't talked to them since this whole thing started. We're really good friends with that band and I'd like to think they're doing It ... like as a favour". [16] Mike Patton finally addressed the allegations from Kiedis in 1990, commenting that "It just kind of came out of the blue. It doesn't bother me a bit. I got a real big kick out of it to tell you the truth. I mean, if he's gonna talk about me in interviews, that's fine - it's free press! Either he's feeling inadequate or old or I don't know, but I have no reason to talk shit about him." [17] Later in 2001, Patton also theorized that "I think Anthony, deep down, feels like I'm a better dancer than he is. I think I shake my booty just a little bit fresher than he does. And if he would stop doing drugs I think he could outdance me. Maybe one day we'll have a breakoff, just breakdance." [18]

Funk rock music genre that fuses funk and rock elements

Funk rock is a fusion genre that mixes elements of funk and rock. James Brown and others declared that Little Richard and his mid-1950s road band, The Upsetters, were the first to put the funk in the rock and roll beat, with a biographer stating that their music "spark[ed] the musical transition from fifties rock and roll to sixties funk."

Red Hot Chili Peppers American rock band

Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. When played live, their music incorporates elements of jam band due to the improvised nature of many of their performances. Currently, the band consists of founding members vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, longtime drummer Chad Smith, and former touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time with over 80 million records sold worldwide, they have been nominated for sixteen Grammy Awards, of which they have won six, and are the most successful band in alternative rock radio history, currently holding the records for most number-one singles (13), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. In 2012, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Uplift Mofo Party Tour

The Uplift Mofo Party Tour was a concert tour by Red Hot Chili Peppers to support their third studio album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Founding drummer, Jack Irons returned the band the previous year to finish out the band's tour and record the next album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, which ended up being the only album and full tour to feature the four founding band members: Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Hillel Slovak and Irons. It was the band's biggest tour at the time and featured their first trip to Europe. Kiedis, who started to develop a major drug problem on the previous tour, started to fall deeper into his addiction and Slovak's addiction to heroin only grew stronger as well. Slovak died of a heroin overdose a few weeks after the end of the tour on June 25, 1988. The surviving three members regrouped for a small boat trip with then manager, Lindy Goetz. It was there that Irons decided he could no longer deal with being in the band and Slovak's death was too hard for him to handle so he decided to quit the band again, this time for good.

Touring and support

Crowds gathered to a performance of Faith No More at the Parkpop festival, June 24, 1990. Parkpop1990.jpg
Crowds gathered to a performance of Faith No More at the Parkpop festival, June 24, 1990.


The tour in support of The Real Thing was the first Faith No More tour conducted with Mike Patton. The band had begun to be marketed as "alternative metal" by the media after the album's release, and they were now primarily playing with bands from the heavy metal genre, along with other metal-influenced punk/alternative bands. [19] [20] Notable artists Faith No More performed with during the touring cycle include Metallica, Billy Idol, Soundgarden, Voivod, Sacred Reich, Forbidden, Primus, Babes in Toyland and Poison. [21] They managed to attract controversy for mocking the party/sex-filled lifestyles of glam metal tourmates such as Poison at several shows in Europe during 1990. [22] The second show of the tour was filmed for the music video to "From out of Nowhere" in the I-Beam nightclub. During the show, Patton had a beer bottle smashed over his right hand, causing lacerations to some tendons. [23] He regained use of his hand after it healed, but he no longer has feeling in it. [24]

Alternative metal is a rock music fusion genre that infuses heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavily downtuned, mid-paced guitar riffs, a mixture of accessible melodic vocals and harsh vocals and sometimes unconventional sounds within other heavy metal styles. The term has been in use since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.


The first single to be released from the album was "From Out of Nowhere" on August 30, 1989 which failed to make the UK Singles Chart. It was re-released in April 2, 1990 and made number twenty-three on the UK Singles Chart. [25] In between these releases was "Epic" on January 30, 1990, the music video for which received extensive airplay on MTV throughout the year, despite provoking anger from animal rights activists for a slow motion shot of a fish flopping out of water. [7] [26] "Falling to Pieces" then saw release on July 2, 1990 and made it to number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 before the reissue of "Epic", which became the band's first number one hit single, on the ARIA Charts, [27] as well their only top ten single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it reached ninth position. [28]

"Surprise! You're Dead!" had a music video produced for it, directed by bassist Billy Gould, featuring footage shot in Chile during a South American tour in 1991. However, the song never saw release as an official single, and the video was not released until its appearance on Video Croissant. "Edge of the World" saw limited release as a two track promo single in Brazil on CD and 12" vinyl, with the album version as track one and the Brixton Academy live version as the second track, in a yellow slipcase with basic black text.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [29]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [30]
Entertainment Weekly A [31]
Pitchfork 7.6/10 [3]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [32]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [33]
The Village Voice B− [34]

The Real Thing is one of Faith No More's most successful albums to date. It is now considered a classic metal album by fans and critics alike. Although released in mid-1989, The Real Thing did not enter the Billboard 200 until February 1990, [35] after the release of the second single from the album, "Epic". The album eventually peaked at number eleven on the chart in October 1990, [36] following the reissue of "Epic" almost a year and half after the initial release of the album. It was eventually certified platinum in U.S. [37] and Canada [38] as well as being certified Silver in the United Kingdom. [39]

In 2015, Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis stated "My favorite Faith No More record is The Real Thing. That's when Mike Patton took over. That's the one. [Although] I do like We Care a Lot . We got a lot of our influences from The Real Thing. It showed everybody you could do heavy music and not be "metal". It was something completely different." [40] James "Munky" Shaffer, one of Korn's guitarists, also praised the album, recalling "Fieldy and I were big Faith No More fans. In the late 80s they were playing a kind of funk rock; so were the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but we tended to lean more towards the minor progressions. When Patton joined in '89 they dropped a single called "From Out of Nowhere" and we were sold all the way. At that point we became real fanatics – started researching the guy and going up to San Francisco to see them play. Every song on this record was super inspiring to us. The song structures and Patton's sense of melody – it was alternative metal at its best." [41] In 2017, Greg Puciato from The Dillinger Escape Plan named it as one of the albums that changed his life. [42]


"Epic" was ranked number thirty on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs, [43] and number sixty-seven on their 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders list. [44]

Compilation appearances

Many of the songs from The Real Thing have appeared on Faith No More compilation releases. The opening three tracks have appeared on every video and compilation album released by the band, except for Epic and Other Hits , which lacks "From Out of Nowhere".

Soundtrack appearances



The Real Thing was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance category in 1989 and "Epic" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1991.


1989 Kerrang! United Kingdom "Albums of the Year"1 [49]
1989SoundsUnited Kingdom"Albums of the Year"20 [50]
1989Village Voice United States "Albums of the Year"27 [51]
1998 Kerrang! United Kingdom"Albums You Must Hear Before You Die"50 [52]
2001Classic RockUnited Kingdom"100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever"64 [53]
2005 Rolling Stone Germany "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time"105 [54]
2005Robert DimeryUnited States 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die * [55]
2006Classic Rock & Metal HammerUnited Kingdom"The 200 Greatest Albums of the 80s"* [56]

Track listing

All lyrics written by Mike Patton, except where noted.

1."From Out of Nowhere" Gould, Bottum3:22
2."Epic" Gould, Bottum, Martin, Bordin4:53
3."Falling to Pieces" Gould, Bottum, Martin5:15
4."Surprise! You're Dead!"Patton, MartinMartin2:27
5."Zombie Eaters" Gould, Bottum, Martin, Bordin5:58
6."The Real Thing"Patton, GouldGould, Bottum8:13
7."Underwater Love" Gould, Bottum3:51
8."The Morning After" Gould, Bottum, Martin3:43
9."Woodpecker from Mars" (instrumental)Martin, Bordin5:40
10."War Pigs" Geezer Butler Butler, Iommi, Osbourne, Ward7:45
11."Edge of the World" Gould, Bottum, Bordin4:10
Total length:54:58




RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA) [58] Platinum1,000,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [59] Gold100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chart performance


Australian Album Charts 2 [27]
United States Billboard 200 11 [28]
UK Albums Chart 30 [25]
Swedish Album Charts 38 [60]
New Zealand RIANZ Album Chart 38 [61]

Year end

United States Billboard 200 41 [62]


YearTitlePeak chart positions
US Main US Mod AUS
1989"From Out of Nowhere"8323-
"Falling to Pieces"924012264116
"—" denotes singles that were released but did not chart.


Year end

YearTitlePeak chart positions
The Billboard Hot 100 [64]

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