}} The Real Thing is the third album by Faith No More, released in 1989. It was their first record with Mike Patton and became their breakthrough. On this album, Faith No More advanced their sound range combining heavy metal, Progressive metal, hip hop, funk, jazz, and soul. The music recording was complete by the time Patton (the singer for experimental/thrash/funk band Mr. Bungle) came on board. Patton wrote the lyrics and recorded them over the already finished music.
Most known for its tracks "Falling to Pieces," and "Epic," whose video featured a fish flopping about on the ground, the album's "Falling to Pieces" also became popular (its video was a favorite of MTV's Beavis and Butthead). The video for "Epic" was subject to controversy because of the perceived treatment of the fish, which appears to be dying—it was in fact slow motion footage; the fish was returned to its tank alive. Reportedly, keyboardist Roddy Bottum stole the goldfish from Icelandic singer Björk at a party she was throwing. He returned it to her after the shoot, which lasted mere seconds. Mike Patton claimed during the band's "Live at the Wireless" performance for Australian radio station Triple J, in 1990, that the title track was "Written after my girlfriend left me for Sebastian Bach."
The Real Thing is Faith No More's best selling album, selling 2 million copies in the US alone and around 4 million worldwide. Singles released were "Epic", "From out of Nowhere", "Falling to Pieces" and "Edge of the World" of this album. "Epic" also ranked #30 in VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs in May 2006.
The album also features "War Pigs," a cover of the anti-war protest song by Black Sabbath, as well as "Edge of the World," a jazzy piano ballad about a paedophile. "Surprise! You're Dead!" also had a video that never saw much airplay on TV.
Jim Martin's later recorded it in 1997 on his solo release Milk and Blood. The song was later included on the soundtrack for Gremlins 2: The New Batch in 1990 and Faith No More's compilation albums Epic and Other Hits in 2005 and The Works in 2008.
The song also has a black & white music video directed by Billy Gould, but wasn't released officially until the release of Video Croissant. It is speculated whether this had to do with the violent subject matter, although it is most likely because the record label only allowed so many official singles. The video is compiled from footage shot during a South American tour in 1990.
Musically it sounds similar to a heavier version of pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd songs, such as "Interstellar Overdrive", "Astronomy Domine", "A Saucerful of Secrets" and in that context, the title probably refers to mythology, the Woodpecker being the bird of the Roman God Mars.
"Edge of the World" appears on the CD and cassette versions of the album. The song is a piano driven ballad that incorporates heavy influences from jazz and lounge music. It was also released on the band's compilation album The Platinum Collection in 2006. Billy Gould described the song in these word:
This one's real simple. It's all done with fingers. There's no guitar - just piano and bass. The verses are minor and it goes to major for the chorus.It was also released as a promo single in Brazil on CD and 12" vinyl with two tracks; the album version and the live version of the song.
|1989||Kerrang!||United Kingdom||"Albums of the Year"||1|
|1989||Sounds||United Kingdom||"Albums of the Year"||20|
|1989||Villiage Voice||United States||"Albums of the Year"||27|
|1998||Kerrang!||United Kingdom||"Albums You Must Hear Before You Die"||50|
|2001||Classic Rock||United Kingdom||"100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever"||64|
|2005||Rolling Stone||Germany||"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time"||105|
|2005||Robert Dimery||United States||1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die||*|
|2006||Classic Rock & Metal Hammer||United Kingdom||"The 200 Greatest Albums of the 80s"||*|
|Australian Album Charts||2|
|The Billboard 200||11|
|UK Albums Chart||30|
|Swedish Album Charts||38|
|RIANZ Album Chart||48|
|The Billboard 200||41|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions|
|US||US Main||US Mod||AUS||UK|
|1989||"From out of Nowhere"||—||—||—||83||23|
|"Falling to Pieces"||92||40||12||26||41|
|"—" denotes singles that were released but did not chart.|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions|
|The Billboard Hot 100|