Retro Roundtable Review: Faith No More – The Real Thing

The_Real_Thing_album_coverLabel:  Slash Records

Release Date:  June 1989

Songs:   11

Length:  56 Minutes

Genre:  Interesting Metal

Studio Albums:   6 total.  The Real Thing was their third studio album

Location:  San Francisco, CA, USA

WarpRider – Hated it!  That was what I thought the first time I saw that “Epic” video on MTV.  Back then I was knee-deep in thrash metal and beginning to take a bite out of death metal.  For me it was all about Metallica, the rest of the big four, and other similar bands.  Then, this Faith No More band dominated pretty much everything.  To me it was too simplistic and the video for Epic I would have considered rap metal…though I would not say that today.  I just didn’t like it much, but it festered and I started to find parts of that song I liked over time.  What really got me into Faith No More were their other songs.  From Out Of Nowhere, I thought was much more heavy and Falling to Pieces has a more rhythmic cadence I liked.  Zombie Eaters and Underwater Love were other standout songs for me.  To this day, I rarely every listen to Epic because it truly got over played.  I have since bought most other Faith No More albums and look back at their career and value their importance to metal.  They opened the door for a new genre to take off and do its own thing. 

Atleastimhousebroken – While when I first discovered the wild and wacky world of FNM and Mike Patton over 2 decades ago I never realized just how revolutionary they were and how big of an impact The Real Thing would have on the music scene.  It was just all great tunes to me.  Looking back, one thing that makes me chuckle is, to this day, no music journalist really knows how to classify this album or really pinpoint exactly what it had influenced.  Between being called ‘rap metal’ (LMAO!!) to the precursor of nu-metal I’ve watched this album get mislabeled time and time again.  But, within all the forced genre-fications, one common thread always has ran, and that it is an album without parallel; something wholly unique.  And on that point I agree.  This is simply just good music.  Even over 25 years later there isn’t anything quite like FNM.  Each song is catchy, energetic, engaging, and unlike anything I’ve heard before, even by FNM themselves who change batting stance on each record.

IMO, The Real Thing is up there as one of the most important albums in the history of music and is a case study that all should indulge in.  It’s quirky, weird, an anomaly, and you just can’t put your finger on why it is so important, but deep down inside, you know it just is.

And yes, over two decades later, it’s still fresh and delicious as it was on day one (much like a Twinkie).

Irmelinis – Another oldie I’ve never listened to. When I hear the thin sound and the whiny vocals I realize I didn’t miss out on anything overly exciting. There are some nice melodies and really intriguing bass lines, if only the sound could be a lot more full, in these songs there isn’t any real depth or power in the music. I very much prefer the warmer, darker sound and the different vocal style on the albums that came after this one.

ChristopherMammal – While listening to this album I’ve just read that it was a monster hit in 1989. I confess that news completely passed me by because I wasn’t listening to much alternative rock then. I still don’t. My son gave me this album about eight years ago; this is the first time I’ve played it all the way through. It’s certainly musical. However, I can’t establish any emotional connection with it. That’s an essential for me with any kind of music. While I’m sounding like the old fart I am, I’ll add that Mike Patton’s voice and style set my teeth on edge. So do the songs on Blood Becomes Fire that sound like proto hip-hop.

A Metal State of Mind Score – N/A 

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on May 19, 2014, in Album Reviews, Retrospectives, Roundtable Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I think for sheer creativity, Angel Dust was FNM at its peak. But I think this is part of a very long peak for them, too — starting with introduce yourself, and waning after King For A Day. I love this band although I’m not a fan of a lot of the bands that they helped usher in.

    Cheers!

    • I didn’t like many of the bands they ushered in either. I did like some of Korn’s earlier work, but that’s about it.

      • I like some of System of a Down’s work, and I don’t think they could have existed without FNM. Same with Incubus. No FNM, no Incubus. That’s how I feel.

  2. @atleastimhousebroken ‘IMO, The Real Thing is up there as one of the most important albums in the history of music and is a case study that all should indulge in. It’s quirky, weird, an anomaly, and you just can’t put your finger on why it is so important, but deep down inside, you know it just is.’

    Agree 100% I love this album, and for me FNM are peers – in importance if not genre – with the likes of Talk Talk, Blur, Metallica, Radiohead;, even The Smiths and The Beatles insofar as they didn’t give a shit for fan expectation or trends – hell, they were always ahead of/outside of trends – and just kept pushing their envelope. But without becoming overly gimmicky or unlistenable – they always delivered tunes.

    I revisited TRT myself in a post awhile back:

    http://musicbugsandgender.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/fresh-from-the-vault-8/

    If I had to pick just one song, Zombie Eaters would be the one 🙂

  3. When I was about 15 or 16 I mostly listened to Power Metal and Modern Melo Death bands and then orderd a bunch of early nineties records like Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, Alice In Chains “Dirt”, Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger”, the Temple Of The Dog record and “The Real Thing”. As irrated I was – especially by Faith No More – all this records openend a whole new musical world to me. When I now look back which of those records I listened the most to it is “The Real Thing” (and then “Ten”). It’s a record that never gets boring and has still a lot to offer if you spin it for the fiftieth time – absolutely outstanding! Everything else has already been said in the first two statements:-)

  4. I liked some of those same Grunge bands too. I liked Ten, but mostly I liked Alice in Chains the most and still like them today. Soundgarden was tough for me to get into, but I found a few songs I liked here and there. And, Temple of the Dog was pretty short-lived if I remember correctly.

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