The Real Thing (Faith No More album)

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The Real Thing
The Real Thing album cover.jpg
Studio album by Faith No More
Released June 20, 1989
Recorded December 1988 – January 1989 Studio D in Sausalito, California
Length 55:18
Label Slash
Faith No More chronology
Introduce Yourself
The Real Thing
Angel Dust
Alternative cover
The un-cropped 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: 1990

The Real Thing is the third studio album by the American rock band Faith No More. It was first released through Slash Records on June 20, 1989. It was the first release by the band not to feature vocalist Chuck Mosley. Instead, the album featured Mike Patton from the experimental band Mr. Bungle. On this album, Faith No More advanced their sound range combining heavy metal, funk and rock.[4][5]

On March 2, 2015 a deluxe edition containing previous unreleased tracks was released via Slash Records.


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.[6]


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[7] in the 1970s, while he was guitarist for Agents of Misfortune who also featured Cliff Burton in the line up.[8] 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.[9]

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.

Touring and support[edit]

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 did with Mike Patton. 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.[10] He was able to use his hand again after it healed, but he has no feeling in it.[11]


30 second sample from Faith No More's "Epic".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

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.[12] 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.[4][13] "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 then provided the band's first number one hit single, on the ARIA Charts,[14] and their only top ten single on the Billboard Hot 100, making it to number nine.[15]

"Surprise! You're Dead!" had a music video produced for it, that was directed by bassist Billy Gould featuring footage shot in Chile during a South American tour in 1991, but never saw release as an official single and the video wasn't 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 live at Brixton Academy version as the second track, in a yellow slipcase with basic black text.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[16]
Robert Christgau B−[17]
Pitchfork Media (7.6/10)[2]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars

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 didn't enter the Billboard 200 until February 1990,[18] after the release of the second single from the album, "Epic". The album eventually peaked at number eleven on the chart in October 1990,[19] 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.[20] and Canada[21] as well as being certified Silver in the United Kingdom.[22]


"Epic" was ranked number thirty on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs,[23] and number sixty-seven on their 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders list.[24]

Compilation appearances[edit]

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[edit]



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.


Year Publication Country Accolade Rank Ref.
1989 Kerrang! United Kingdom "Albums of the Year" 1 [29]
1989 Sounds United Kingdom "Albums of the Year" 20 [30]
1989 Village Voice United States "Albums of the Year" 27 [31]
1998 Kerrang! United Kingdom "Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" 50 [32]
2001 Classic Rock United Kingdom "100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever" 64 [33]
2005 Rolling Stone Germany "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" 105 [34]
2005 Robert Dimery United States 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die * [35]
2006 Classic Rock & Metal Hammer United Kingdom "The 200 Greatest Albums of the 80s" * [36]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Mike Patton, except "The Real Thing" by Patton/Gould, "Surprise! You're Dead!" by Patton/Martin and "War Pigs" by Geezer Butler

No. Title Music Length
1. "From Out of Nowhere"   Gould, Bottum 3:22
2. "Epic"   Gould, Bottum, Martin, Bordin 4:53
3. "Falling to Pieces"   Gould, Bottum, Martin 5:15
4. "Surprise! You're Dead!"   Martin 2:27
5. "Zombie Eaters"   Gould, Bottum, Martin, Bordin 5:58
6. "The Real Thing"   Gould, Bottum 8:13
7. "Underwater Love"   Gould, Bottum 3:51
8. "The Morning After"   Gould, Bottum, Martin 3:43
9. "Woodpecker from Mars" (Instrumental) Martin, Bordin 5:40
10. "War Pigs" (Black Sabbath cover, non-vinyl track) Butler, Iommi, Osbourne, Ward 7:45
11. "Edge of the World" (Appears as track 6 on cassette editions, non-vinyl track) Gould, Bottum, Bordin 4:10



  • Matt Wallace – producer, engineer
  • Jim "Watts" Vereecke – assistant engineer
  • Craig Doubet – assistant engineer
  • John Golden – mastering
  • Lendon Flanagon – photography
  • Jeff Price – artwork
  • Terry Robertson – CD design

Chart performance[edit]


Chart Peak Ref.
Australian Album Charts 2 [14]
United States Billboard 200 11 [15]
UK Albums Chart 30 [12]
Swedish Album Charts 38 [38]
New Zealand RIANZ Album Chart 38 [39]

Year end[edit]

Chart Peak Ref.
United States Billboard 200 41 [40]


Year Title Peak chart positions
US Main US Mod AUS
1989 "From Out of Nowhere" 83 23
1990 "Epic" 9 25 2 1 25
"Falling to Pieces" 92 40 12 26 41
"—" denotes singles that were released but did not chart.

Year end[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions
The Billboard Hot 100[41]
1990 "Epic" 75


  1. ^ PopMatters review
  2. ^ a b c Berman, Stuart (June 10, 2015). "Faith No More: The Real Thing / Angel Dust". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ Angel Dust Turns 20. Stereogum
  4. ^ a b Lowell, Travis (20 June 2001). "Faith No More: The Real Thing Review". Toxic Universe. Archived from the original on February 22, 2006. Retrieved 2014-12-28. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ FAQ
  7. ^ "The Real Thing Bass Guitar Transcription Book". Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  8. ^ "Cliff Burton in 1974 playing with his FIRST band!". Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  9. ^ Jem Aswad (June 1992). "Faith No More: Angel Dust in the wind". Issue 25. Reflex Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  10. ^ Chirazi 1994, p. 60
  11. ^ Epstein, Daniel Robert (29 May 2006). "Mike Patton Interview". Suicide Girls. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  12. ^ a b c "Faith No More UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Inventory: 9 Music Videos Featuring Animals In Prominent Roles". A.V. Club. 9 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  14. ^ a b c "Discography Faith No More". Steffen Hung, Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  15. ^ a b c " - Artist Chart History - Faith No More". Nielsen Company, Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  16. ^ Allmusic review
  17. ^ Robert Christgau Review
  18. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-11-20. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 5, 2013. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  20. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  21. ^ "CRIA: Certification Results - Search Certification Database". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  22. ^ "The BPI - Certified awards database". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  23. ^ "VH1 40 Greatest Metal Songs", 1–4 May 2006, VH1 Channel, reported by; last accessed September 10, 2006
  24. ^ "VH1 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders", VH1 Channel, reported by
  25. ^ Kerrang! issue 1164 June 20th 2007
  26. ^ Thompson, Paul (September 16, 2008). "Love Is All Cover Faith No More". Pitchfork (Pitchfork Media, Inc.). Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  27. ^ a b "A Tribute of the Year: Tribute to Faith No More - Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  28. ^ "The Undercover Sessions - Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  29. ^ "Kerrang! - Albums of the Year". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  30. ^ "Sounds - Albums of the Year". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  31. ^ "Village Voice - Albums of the Year". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  32. ^ "Kerrang! - Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  33. ^ "Classic Rock - 100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  34. ^ "(Germany) The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone (Germany). Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  35. ^ Dimery, Robert - 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die; page 856
  36. ^ "Acclaimed Music - Classic Rock and Metal Hammer 200 List". Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  37. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Real Thing [Deluxe Edition] - Faith No More". AllMusic. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Discography Faith No More". Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  39. ^ "Discography Faith No More". Steffen Hung, Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  40. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Nielsen Company, Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-29. [dead link]
  41. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Nielsen Company, Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-29. [dead link]

External links[edit]