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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You ain't alternative unless you own this album!
Two full years before Nirvana made "alternative rock" the buzzword that it continues to be to this day, Faith No More produced one of the genre's defining moments in "The Real Thing." While this album was among the first to mix rap and rock elements, you definitely shouldn't let that fact scare you. While today's would-be genre benders like Limp...
Published on October 29, 2003 by Wheelchair Assassin

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled, They're smarter than they sound!
Faith No More's most well known album, The Real Thing, is one of those records that just doesn't come off too well during the first listen. Sounding like it was written for serious rock fans by a bunch of surfer dudes, it gives the impression of a serious lack of mentality (at first). The melodies seem a bit askewed and thought up at the last minute, along with overly...
Published on March 16, 2001 by Terrence Rusch


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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You ain't alternative unless you own this album!, October 29, 2003
By 
Wheelchair Assassin (The Great Concavity) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
Two full years before Nirvana made "alternative rock" the buzzword that it continues to be to this day, Faith No More produced one of the genre's defining moments in "The Real Thing." While this album was among the first to mix rap and rock elements, you definitely shouldn't let that fact scare you. While today's would-be genre benders like Limp Bizkit and (to a lesser extent) Linkin Park seem bent on combining the most meatheaded elements of rap and rock for a sound that only a mook could love, Faith No More brought rock, rap, and funk together with more creativity and intelligence than anyone would have a right to expect. With the phenomenally versatile Mike Patton at the helm and a crack team of musicians backing him up, "The Real Thing" is a clinic in bringing together genres in perfect harmony.
Although there's a bit of a Bay Area thrash influence on display, "Master Of Puppets" this is not. The band's sound may have been ambitious from the outset, but few albums in my vast collection are this fun to listen to.
Even coming from songwriters as prolific and imaginative as Patton and co., it's almost alarming how much high-quality stuff is here. Just look at the first four songs and you'll get an idea of how far ahead of the game Faith No More were. The opening "From Out Of Nowhere" and "Falling To Pieces" bring together Patton's piercing, in-your-face vocals, the band's razor-sharp musical attack, and generous doses of punkish aggression. The head-banging rhythm and explosive rapping of "Epic" made it a justified hit. "Surprise! You're Dead!" brings a menacing, thrash-derived sound into the mix, but it's clearly all in good fun.
From there, the classic songs just keep coming. "Zombie Eaters" starts out with a couple minutes of gentle acoustics (!), then stops on a dime and turns into a pulverizing slab of metal that's all the more effective for the calm that preceded it. The eight-minute title track is a hard-pounding, constantly-shifting epic that makes my jaw hit the floor no matter how many times I hear it. The atomic bassline and neck-snapping dynamics of "Morning After" bring to mind the Pixies, while the instrumental tour de force "Woodpecker From Mars" provides convincing evidence of the virtuosity at the foundation of the band's schizophrenic sound. And as if the original material here wasn't enough, there's also a note-perfect rendition of the Black Sabbath classic "War Pigs."
Listening to this album, it's clear that the fusion of rap and rock did at one point have real potential. It's just too bad that the radio schmoozers of today lack Faith No More's talent and vision. But that's beside the point, as "The Real Thing" was, and is, a classic album that marks one of the high-water points of alternative music. I like to think that along with Soundgarden's "Superunknown" and Jane's Addiction's "Ritual de lo Habitual," this album formed a sort of alt-rock holy trilogy. So get them all!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Album, January 6, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
I realize that this is probably the album responsible for much of the dreaded nu-metal phenomenon, but it is still one of my all-time favorites.

The Real Thing was the first FNM release to feature Mike Patton on vocals, and he made quite an impact, as did the band when they released the single and video for the song Epic. This will always be the song that people associate with the band. Anthrax may have tried to fuse rap and metal with "I'm the Man", but it was too goofy to be anything but a novelty. Faith No More took the idea much more seriously, and as a result Epic was a major hit and an inspiration for many bands that followed, from Korn to Pain of Salvation.

Despite the impression Epic gave, the Real Thing was not really a rap-metal album. It was something exciting and new. I suppose if it had been released in 1992 it would have been called alternative. It had elements of rap, punk, and obviously plenty of metal, but there was also something eclectic and offbeat about the music. It wasn't totally experimental and bizarre - that would better describe the band's follow up album Angel Dust.

The albums best tracks are right in the middle, with the 8-minute title track, Underwater Love, and the Morning After. These are all impressive and powerful songs, and show that the band had more to offer than just a rap-metal single. Another album highlight is the cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs. I've heard a lot of Sabbath covers, but this is one of the best.
The band picked up a lot of fans with this album, but over the course of their next few releases would shake off all but the die-hards as each album got progressively weirder.

No matter what you may think of nu-metal, it is impossible to deny the impact Faith No More had with the Real Thing. It's an impressive album, a powerful album, and an album that should be in every metal fan's collection.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful blast of genre-crushing, anarchist rock., April 27, 2000
By 
D. Mok (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
I was one of those people baffled by "Epic" when it first came out. "What is it?" Neither rap nor metal, neither funk nor dance, it was Faith No More's challenge to conventional music. The song begins with a wash of glorious guitars (courtesy of freaky-looking, Metallica-influenced guitarist Jim Martin) and Mike Bordin's unstoppable drum bashing, going into a thumping bassline and Mike Patton's energetic, enigmatic rap, launching into that mighty chorus, with progressive-rock keyboards providing punctuation at moments, then ending with that classical-sounding piano exit..."What is it?" indeed!
Looking at today's rap-metal fusions, you realize that Faith No More got there first. And The Real Thing is the band's most uniform album, less eccentric, but with exquisite songcraft, a fiery mix, and top-flight performances all around. Patton's versatility and resilient voice is the secret weapon to songs like the irreverent "Falling to Pieces", the superior-to-the-original cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", and instant-classic leadoff track "From Out of Nowhere". And in case you didn't think the band *looked* weird enough, there's "Woodpecker from Mars" and "Zombie Eaters" to remind you that these guys are eccentrics to the bone.
A pivotal release in 1990 that not only woke up the music world, but dangled it by the feet over a pool of alien chemical reagents of Faith No More's own concoction.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Nostalgia, October 29, 2003
By 
William J. Horne (Tallahassee, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
Ah, the beginning of a new era for the band, with my all time favorite vocalist and performer Mike Patton (please check out his new project Tomahawk and his Mr. Bungle cd California). This cd should easily be one of the top one hundred rock influential albums of all time. And who did they influence? Oh, just about everyone. I just get (...) when rock journalists categorize or harbor this album as rap rock or the beginning of nu-metal! They should in no way be considered journalists if they can't pay attention! The only rap/rock presence on the ENTIRE album is on "Epic", and since it got all the airplay, then everyone automatically jumped on that bandwagon. But only true FNM fans know that the band's ultimate strength was being so diverse that you didn't know what to expect or how to categorize them; that was their beauty. Here is the rundown for all those critics who think FNM only "paved the way" for crap like Limp Briskit, Sinkin Park, P.O.S., and Papi's Roach:
1)From Out of Nowhere- This song has punk influences with some 80s arena keyboards but is probably one of the hardest FNM songs to categorize which is why I like it so much. This sounds more like it influenced power pop/punk bands like The All American Rejects, Lit, Jimmy Eat World, Avril Lavigne, Everclear, etc. 5/5
2)Epic- Enough said. Alongside the Chili Peppers, this song did influence most (...) rock out there today but Patton has said that was never his intention since that music today (...) so bad. What separates it is the performance, Jim Martin's tasty guitar solo, Roddy's beautiful and eerie "fish floppin'" piano outro, and Billy's jaw-dropping bass licks. Influenced Limp biscuit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, P.O.D., Hot Action Cop, and Saliva. 5/5
3)Falling to Pieces- Wonderful song that was awesomely featured in Black Hawk Down. Has funk bass intro, a classic rock verse, a funk bass line pre pre chorus, then a scat/reggae/almost Sugarhill Gang-style rap line(not actual rap!) pre chorus, into an arena rock/funk chorus, all with 80s revolving keys. Very diverse cool song that sounds like it influenced Hoobastank, Incubus, Sevendust, Taproot, etc. 5/5
4)Surprise! Your Dead- Probably the fastest, heaviest FNM song ever other than maybe Malpractice or Ugly in the Morning. Total 80s thrash/metal song that is short and to the point with flashes of Pantera and Anthrax. Could have influenced System of A Down, Corrosion of Conformity, White Zombie, and Marilyn Manson. 4/5
5)Zombie Eaters- Beautifully intense contrasting song that has a gorgeous acoustic first half and a heavy second half with a pompous chanting from Patton. Very Metallica. Has the best lyric on the album: "Nobody understands except the toys in my hands". Could have influenced Staind, Korn, Godsmack, as well as Alien Ant Farm, Days of the New, and Fuel. 5/5
6)The Real Thing- Very underrated epic song that has a major progressive rock/metal feel to it. With a drum beat intro that sounds like Rage Against the Machine might have "borrowed" it for "Killing in the Name of", falsetto vocals on subtle verses, and then heavy mean breaks, this song has all the FNM hot spots. Could have influenced Tool, Meshuggah, Ill Nino, Rage Against the Machine, etc. 5/5
7)Underwater Love- Lightens the mood up as a poppy, catchy, keyboard laden ditty with some more funk bass and guitar lines and funny romantic lyrics. Sounds like it influenced later Chili Peppers songs. 5/5
8)The Morning After- Very cool overlooked song with some great freaky lyrics. Could have influenced some later Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward. 5/5
9)Woodpecker from Mars- Nice Arabian, East-Indian instrumental that shows off Roddy, Jim, and "Puffy" very well. 3.5/5
10)War Pigs- The Black Sabbath cover with Mike Patton sounded exactly like Ozzy and the rhythm section jamming. 4/5
11)Edge of the World- Hilarious swinging jazzy, lounge singing finale that shows their R&B influences with lyrics about a pedophile, ah, the deranged sense of humor was always Patton's forte. Could have influenced Boys II Men, NSynch, and Hanson, as well as Lenny Kravitz and Outkast. Hey, take it or leave it, plus Outkast rules! 5/5
This album is brilliant and infectious. Mike Patton uses many of his different voices on it and there were only more to come. Check out his other voices on "Land of Sunshine", "RV", "She Loves Me Not", "Just A Man", and "Mouth to Mouth". But this album is probably the most consistent and the best place to start.<P(...)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wait, 1989!?!?!?!???, September 22, 2002
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
Wow, what an album. It's hard to accept that this came out 13 years ago, and contains elements of every popular hard rock artist in the past 5 years. Much, much too ahead of it's time. After purchasing Angel Dust and K4AD, I decided to see where it all began.
"From Out Of Nowhere" is an 80's style chugger driven by Roddy's keyboards.
"Epic" is the genre-bending Top Ten single, with the video of the flopping fish and exploding piano at the end. Starts off with some fierce rap from Mike Patton, with a memorable chorus, spiraling guitar solo, classical ending, and clever lyrics.
"Falling To Pieces" is an awesome funk tune with a piano part that accents the music perfectly. It gives the impression of cold. The beginning of the song sounds like the theme to walking in the mountains of Canada or something.
"Surprise, You're Dead!" is an awesome thrash tune.
"Zombie Eaters" starts off with some Metallica-influenced acoustic guitar and crescendoes into a heavy ending.
"The Real Thing" is an epic 8 minute track that employs every different vocal stlye Patton has and every drum beat Mike Bordin, or anyone, can think of.
"Underwater Love" has slightly cheesy lyrics, but the song is good.
"The Morning After," and "Edge Of The World," are awesome funk tunes, the latter being the lighter of the tune, with weirder lyrics.
"Woodpecker From Mars" is an awesome Arabic-sounding instrumental...
and "War Pigs," is the classic Sabbath song, covered excellently by FMN, down to Iommi's guitar trills and everything--courtesy of Jim Martin.
The first successful and 'true' rap-funk-metal fusion. Before RATM, Body Count, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and pretty much...everyone.
What is it? It's it. What is it? It's great. Get it...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, June 25, 2001
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
The first time I reviewed this, I only gave it four stars, because of the rapping. I realize now that that was not at all fair. Besides, I managed to give Papa Roach's "Infest" four stars, and this is certainly a far superior album. This album is, quite simply, amazing. The musicianship is incredible, all across the board. Mike Bordin's drumming is comparable to that of Gene Hoglan or Dave Lombardo, Jim Martin is a bona fide guitar virtuoso, and Bill Gould's basslines are not to be ignored. Then, there's Mike Patton. This guy has one of the coolest voices I've ever heard. He can do it all: rap, sing, growl. And, he's great at all of them. There are also keyboards, which add spooky atmosphere to the music. A very nice touch. "Epic" is the single that everyone has heard (and we all remember that video with the flopping fish and the exploding piano), but that song is hardly what this album is all about. Check out "Zombie Eaters", "Falling to Pieces", "Woodpecker from Mars", and the title track, they are simply amazing. Then, there's the incredible cover of "War Pigs". This has got to be the most perfect cover anyone has ever done. They retain the feel of the original recording, and yet play it as if they wrote it themselves. If you didn't know it was a Black Sabbath song, you would swear it was just one of their songs. And, no offense to Sabbath, but as far as musicianship goes, these guys put them to shame by far, especially Mike Bordin.
Anyway, this album is really great, there is not a bad moment on it. But, I must warn you, with the exception of "War Pigs" and "Surprise, You're Dead", this is not a very heavy album. It's really kind of more like heavy jazz. If an album must be heavy for you to enjoy it, you'd be wiser to go with one of their later albums. If you're expecting this to sound like Limp Bizkit, you might as well just forget it. But, if you want to hear five really talented musicians playing some weird, but very cool music, you should definitely check it out. I wish these guys would get back together. There is certainly a void in the music scene without them. There is nothing around today that sounds like this. Buy this album, I cannot recommend it enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic and eccentric., January 20, 2002
By 
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
Faith No More is one of those uncommon bands who fascinate with their wacky aesthetic and originality but endear because of their topflight songwriting. I remember liking this album years ago, but now I love it. It is so fresh and exciting (even today!) and it accents the grim lack of talent in today's rap-metal waste.
It would appear that Faith No More embraced the rap sensibility before any other hard rock/metal band. The all-encompassing vocalist Mike Patton's orates fierce rap, but he can also sing with a delicate cry or vent a good ol' metal growl, sometimes all in the same song. The epic title track shows his vocal range best. Mirroring Patton's multiform performance, the music wraps up a massive assortment of styles in a weird-but-effective manner. We've all heard the song "Epic," a seamless blend of rap & metal with a suave piano-only outro. "From Out of Nowhere" is the aggressive lead track, with a slick keyboard line and fiery riffs. "Woodpecker from Mars" is a zany instrumental that sounds sort of like Tool-meets-Ozric Tentacles. Gotta love the pseudo-ballad "Zombie Eaters," where the gentle acoustic guitar leads into killer metal riffs that Hetfield and Mustaine wish they could have written. There's also the thumpin' "The Morning After," the vampiric and thrashy "Surprise! You're Dead!", and "Edge of the World," which could almost be smooth jazz music. And don't forget the nuclear cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs"! If the music wasn't enough off-center, check out the lyrics sheet.
With this album, Faith No More gained commercial and critical success. It still sounds original to this day! The Real Thing isn't as artistically bold as the follow-up Angel Dust, but for great and original songwriting, you can't lose by adding this to the collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars falling to peices over this cd, August 16, 2005
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
i got this cd when i was like 12 and thought it was a cool album.and showed me white bands can be just as funky.keep in mind i was spoiled and jaded by living colors vivid album.either way this album brings back a flood of memories as a preteen.and you truely wasn't alternative if you didn't own this album including angel dust or any living color album.i know it might be blasphemy but i think this band is way better than red hot chilli pebbles (though i like that band aswell).in any event living color,and faith no more showed me that rock is what ever you want it to be.they borrowed from different genres and yet sound nothing like them.i really like how mike patton voice changes to a rocking scream,to a rap delivery,and into a soulful croon with ease.i mean he's no rakim on the microphone but he can rap with the best of them.wich is whats actually missing from numetal/rap a lead singer who can actually rap.this album definatley sounds like music thats making a transition from synth 80's rock to 90's pre grunge rock.alot of people got into this album because of epic,but for me falling to pieces is what sold the album to me.all in all if your "alternative" than this should be in you car bumping now as we speak
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Different (No, that's not a bad thing!), July 22, 2000
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
This album (and any other FNM album) is very different and very unusual. And, it's also very good. Mike Patton has an incredible voice. There are several good songs on here, such as "Epic" (everyone knows that one!), "Surprise, you're Dead", and "Zombie Eaters", but I think the track that stands out the most would be their incredible cover of "War Pigs". It's very hard to top the original, but I think they may have done it. Jim Martin is one talented guitarist. After all this praise, one might ask, why only four stars? Well, simply put, I'm just not a fan of rapping in metal, I much prefer Mike's croon or hard growl, but hey, don't let that stop you from buying the album. This is nothing like Limp Bizkit or Rage Against the Machine, in fact he only raps in about half of the songs, and none of them have rapping all the way through. In short, this album is a brilliant display of talent and weirdness, and if you buy it, you will surely not be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith No More's first real step up., April 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Real Thing (Audio CD)
If you have just heard FNM unearthly sound somewhere, this album is definitely the first course in the musical feast that is followed by their next 3 albums. With the departure of their spastic, testosterone-pulsing lead singer, Chuck Mosely, at the fall of 1987, Faith No More were blessed with an equally wild but superior talent in the form of Mike Patton. Much more vocally versatile than Mosely, Patton's unique artistic ideas ensured FNM's survival in the coming years. Though Mike Bordin founded the band, it was Patton who brought vocals that flowed with the instrumentals seemlessly and made FNM what it is today. Truly a welcome departure from Chuck Mosely's tone-deaf moaning. "The Real Thing" is an art gallery of different styles; from the legendary thrash hip-hop onslaught of "Epic" to the hard-to-classify funk of "Falling to Pieces" to the bands excellent rendition of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" which manages to top the original ten-fold. This is what FNM is all about. Enjoy it to it's fullest.
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The Real Thing
The Real Thing by Faith No More (Audio CD - 1989)
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