People who view the blog often will know that recently I have been asking the other people who write here to do a blog which I choose for them - an album they would probably hate & one they would love with a twist. The first person to complete the task was Marc Richardson who picked this album for me to review, The Real Thing by Faith No More. This was their third release in 1989 and their first with Mike Patton. Back when this first came out, the videos for the songs "Epic" and "From Out Of Nowhere" were on heavy rotation on MTV (back when it was a music channel and not a reality TV shite fest that it has became) and it made them international superstars. They were all over the place and everybody who was cool had a back patch of the flame coming from water on their jacket or bag.
Now to put this in context, you have to remember at the time there was not too much like this out there at the time in the mainstream. Because these guys used a bit of funk metal they were lumped in with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana were just another punk band starting to make a noise, hair metal like Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue ruled, Metallica were just about to start their journey away from trash metal and Napalm Death were still doing what they did best before their experimental period. It was a different age and this was like a shot in the arm for people. I still love "Surprise....Your Dead", "Edge Of The World" the cover of "Wars Pigs" and "Woodpeckers From Mars" - it can be a dark album in places, nowhere near as dark as what would follow. But the seeds were planted with this album.
Now for the confession - As a Faith No More fan, I have to admit that I find this album hugely disappointing. Ok, that is not the best way to describe it - let me start again; I have found the singles disappointing. It is a case of over familiarity with the fact that everywhere people go out for a rock night either "Epic", "From Out Of Nowhere" and "Failing To Piece" are played at least once. So I associate the album just with those songs. I forget the amazing "Zombie Eaters", the subtle building and destruction of "The Real Thing", the glory that is the pop-tastic "Underwater Love" - after the first three tracks, this album starts to deliver and show its charm.
With this album I view it as work in progress. It was Patton's first album with them, and to be honest at the time it is safe to say that the 21 year old had not found his full voice. Patton of later years showed his rich crooning falsetto and almost baritone nature was still not there. Also even thought this was the band's third album, they were still struggling for their own voice. The sign of things to come is shown on "Edge Of The World" and "The Real Thing". However the rest of it (especially the main singles) just feels like they are still working on their first two albums. They got better than this, they got monumentally better than this; but this is an average place to start.
6 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there
You can visit the band's website here
You can purchase the album here on Spotify
You can possibly listen to the album on Spotify here (for some reason - the link was not working for me)
However you can use this one on Spotify which is part on an box set of their albums on Spotify
Here is the video for "Epic"
Here is a clip form their live show in Brixton Academy when they toured this album for "The Real Thing"