Faith No More's third studio album The Real Thing was released on June 20th 1989.
The record may be revered over thirty years later by critics and fans, however initially it took over a year to achieve success.
Slash Records learnt from previous errors with the release off Introduce Yourself and arranged a star studded launch party at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Executives from the record company, MTV, members of Def Leppard, Guns 'n' Roses and Courtney Love were all in attendance.
Despite this illustrious introduction to the world's press few reviews were published and word of the new FNM album was not spread. Those who did write about The Real Thing issued positive analysis with some heralding FNM as the 'next big thing'.
Faith No More then took to the road in the USA and then the UK. In August the band released From Out Of Nowhere as their first single from the album and supported Metallica for a month on tour in the US. This did not do a great deal to sell records as the majority of crowd weren't ready to appreciate FNM's genre mixing.
In January 1990 the FNM released Epic as their second single which was accompanied by a promo video directed by Ralph Ziman. The song was picked up by radio stations and featured heavily on MTV earning the band a Grammy nomination. Coupled with a third tour of the UK, press coverage, TV spots and more aggressive promotional techniques (including endorsements from Metallica and Guns 'n' Roses) the album found huge success in the UK and Europe and eventually in the U.S. This led to headlining performances at major festivals and The Real Thing went platinum on September 26, 1990.
By the end of 1990 The Real Thing was Kerrang! and RIP's number one album of the year and featured in Sounds album of year list.
The album has since become a classic, has been described as a seminal record, credited with inspiring a generation of new music and cited as a defining influence on many artists. The Real Thing has been voted by many publications as one of the greatest albums of all time.
THE REAL THING. No we aren't taking about soft drinks. That's the title of Faith No More's new vinyl opus, the band's first album in two years and the first to feature new vocalist Mike Patton. A 21 year old mosh God from San Francisco, Patton packs the pipes to equal Fnm's monumental slabs of metal/punk/rap grandeur.
Faith No More has never made a habit of adhering to the dictates of 'playing the game'. They are a scruffy, maverick bunch too cocksure of themselves to pay much heed to convention. Whatever sounds right - brash, loud and challenging - is the path to follow. No gimmickry or rip-offs to be found. This brothers and sisters is the 'Real Thing'.
Band chemistry has rarely been so crucial to an act's development as with FNM. Five distinct personalities playing off, and more often than not, clashing with one another, gives this band it's brutal competitive edge. Jim Martin was weened on Black Sabbath and similar corrosive outfits and spent the early 80s trading lethal guitar with the late Cliff Burton and as part of SF metal marauders, Viscous Hatred. Keyboardist Roddy Bottum joined FNM after 10 years of classical piano training. Billy Gould picked up the bass during the punk heyday of the late 70s and cites the Sex Pistols and the Germs as early role models. Drummer Mike Bordin can ease into a reggae groove just as easily as s metal workout, and was studying African rhythms when he was inducted into FNM. Mike Patton, the new kid on the block, got his musical start as front-man for the Bay Area based funk outfit Mr Bungle.
The instrumentalist foursome of FNM banded together with original vocalist Chuck Mosley in 1982. A debut album surfaced on Mordam Records in 1985 and the band's first your was spent crisscrossing the U.S. in a 66 Dodge and s stolen trailer. Roadwork eventually paid off with the widespread college acceptance of the LP title track 'We Care A Lot',
a street-smart anthem set to an obnoxiously catchy chorus and a rap meets metal back beat.
'We Care A Lot' was re-recorded with updated lyrics for 'Introduce Yourself', 1987 FNM's debut platter for Slash Records. It's hit potential was once again evident as the track went top ten in CMJ and peaked at #11 in the rock-pool dance charts. The Faith took to the road again in the States, headlining and also providing support for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But no one foresaw the rapturous response when the band headed overseas. Packed concert houses awaited across Europe and the usually fickle British music press were left swooning. Melody Maker and Sounds both plastered FNM on their covers in lurid full color detail.
One aspect of FNM that featured predominantly in the English papers was inner conflict. Personality clashes among members were so frequent, and increasingly bitter, that writers were predicting and encroaching rift in the lineup. Score one for the Brits. After a second tour of Europe in the spring of 88 - that included dates in Holland, Germany and Belgium - singer Mosley was handed his walking papers. Evidently his unpredictable behavior onstage and off took its toll on the band's collective sanity.
Fortunately his absence wouldn't prove a fatal blow. The group headed back to SF with ideas to whip into new songs. Auditions for a new singer got off to a quick start and ended just as abruptly with the recruitment of 21 year old Mike Patton. He was an immediate asset, offering a fresh vocal style and lyrical approach that brought new vitality to the act.
'The Real Thing', the initial fruit of this collaboration, is a razor sharp collection that renders the competition impotent. Old fans of The Faith I'll be treated to a more pronounced metal edge, featured to staggering effect on the radio friendly 'From Out Of Nowhere' and the blood curdling 'Surprise! You're Dead!' Rap is where it's at and FNM are hip to that fact on 'Epic' and 'Falling To Pieces'. Then there are the tender love ballads, the raging African poly-rhythms, the slinky cabaret jazz, and other moments that boast the full bodied sweep of a film soundtrack. Quite simply this act laughs at easy categorization.
Faith No More. Devastating, articulate, innovative. In short, 'The Real Thing'. Accept no substitute.
Bam Magazine | February 1989
Let’s move on to the new Faith No More album, finished but as yet untitled, though it’ll be in stores by March. The songs are quite brilliant, singer Mike Patton being an outstanding addition, and the power quota is disgustingly huge all the way, thick and rippling with punch. The guitars ride higher than on previous vinyl and that’s a damn fine thing.
Kerrang! | Issue 242 | June 10th 1989 ★★★★
Teach The World To Thing
Hell, Faith No More have done it again and produced a fully-fledged rock pigeon which refuses to be put in a hole. Effectively mixing disparate styles, 'The Real Thing' alternately gets your foot tapping, head nodding and backbone shivering.
The diverse and unconventional - in rock - rhythms of drummer Mike Bordin and funky bass of Bill Gould are expertly blended with the crunchy rock guitar of Jim Martín.
As such, this album follows in the footsteps of '88's 'Introduce Yourself but with an overall slicker and tighter sheen.
In Mike Patton they seem to have found a fitting vocalist, both musically and personality- wise. I guess however much I miss Chuck Mosley's style and haircut, his voice did grate just a teeny bit now and then, and if the band are happier now so much the better.
Though whether the band's new-found professionalism is due to Chuck's departure and less 'inner conflicts' or just a natural progression I wouldn't know.
As usual, expect the unexpected. From the rock-out of single 'From Out Of Nowhere' through 'Surprise! You're Dead' - a real tight Hardcore Metal Thrash with class - to quick-slow instrumental 'Woodpecker From Mars' they always keep you on your toes.
Then there s the hard-hitting rap/rock of 'Epic', and 'Zombie Eaters' which lulls you at the start as an acoustic love song with soaring keyboards (hi Derek!), but in true FNM or Metallica style jerks you to life with menace and aggression, it's around this point on the album that the 17 universes really do intersect for me. And don't forget the teasing build-ups and off-beat rhythms (again) on 'The Real Thing'.
My personal niggle with the FNM sound is the keyboards, courtesy Roddy Bottum, for instance on the title track and the bubbling 'Underwater Love', though that's not to say you won't love 'em - and it's certainly not enough for me to drop that last kerrlassic K. And
just as I get to thinking they've lost that raw edge, that urgency and roughness I loved about 'introduce Yourself, they kick back and shut me up.
Watch out for two extra tracks on the CD and cassette versions - a phenomenal cover of 'War Pigs' and a laid-back ambling swing with plonking piano and nasal 'Edge Of The World'.
It's the Real Thing and it takes some beating.