The Real Thing

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2006, 2019

Faith No More’s The Real Thing recalled on thirtieth anniversary

June 20th, 2019|Faith No More, News|12 Comments

Faith No More released The Real Thing 30 years ago today, and, in tribute, here’s a look back on the album as told by the band members in Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More.

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From Out of Nowhere

Bill Gould: “That song came from Roddy. That’s completely Roddy’s melody, so maybe it was deliberately pop. But it was originally called “The Cult Song”, because it reminded me of The Cult.”


Mike Bordin: “Quickly, Bill and I wrote the grove, the rhythm for ‘Epic’. We knew it was cool, and it was good, and it was fun, and it was natural. We’d played it and said ‘Wow, that’s just so massive’, it’s just this huge broad, wide, open powerful thing, it’s epic.”

Bill Gould: “The name has to do with how it felt to play. It was epic because of the horns. The parting of the Red Sea. That was the visual imagery.”

Bill Gould: “The video is horrible. I’m embarrassed about it. I never liked it. The ending is Las Vegas shit.”

Falling To Pieces

Roddy Bottum: “We called it “Madonna”, because it seemed to have pop potential. I always like to steer things in that direction.”

“Surprise! You’re Dead!”

Mike Bordin: “It’s important to look at “Surprise! You’re Dead!” in terms of a song that it just came after. Faith No More isn’t just about “Surprise! You’re Dead!” It’s also about “From Out Of Nowhere” and “Falling To Pieces”. The heavier stuff is getting heavier, the aggressive stuff is getting more aggressive, and the melodic stuff was getting more properly melodic. The variety was working well.”

Zombie Eaters

Mike Bordin: “It is highly, highly creative; it’s maybe that’s the first instance of Mike playing characters. A song from the point of view of an infant—Who does that?”

The Real Thing

Matt Wallace: “What Patton did lyrically was well beyond his years as a nineteen-year-old. There’s a tremendous amount of wisdom. It is visceral. Resonant.”

Underwater Love

Matt Wallace: “For me one of the biggest challenges with Patton, and probably that he had with me, is that there’s a lot of darkness in the stuff. When he brought “Underwater Love” to me, I think out of concern, I said, “Oh, you can’t have all these songs about death, and killing people.”

The Morning After

Mike Patton: “Patton said: ‘Fear is a big part of it, a real influence for me. It’s probably the most important emotion there is. Why do you walk down a certain side of the street?”

Woodpecker from Mars

Bill Gould: “It started with Roddy just playing the violin part on keyboard and me and Puffy just coming up with rhythms that went with that. I like that song, it never gets old for me. It’s a really cheesy violin sample too, but that’s all right. It works.”

War Pigs

Bill Gould: “We were waiting around for something to start, and Roddy hadn’t shown up yet, so we just started playing “War Pigs”. We played it through without having to rehearse it. We didn’t think of it as a thing, like it was going to be a hallmark of the band. It was kind of a joke.”

Edge of the World

Roddy Bottum: “There were so many different colours or characters on this record. A lounge bluesy one for this song seems crazy now but we liked the idea of focusing the piano in a spotlight. It seemed audacious.”

Read the definitive guide to the making of The Real Thing as all Faith No More’s music in Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More, out now on Jawbone Press.

Get it here:

Barnes and Noble

Faith No More Followers have marked the anniversary with a Q and A with the band and an in-depth interview, complete with new photos from the studio, with Matt Wallace.

And, of course, this post marks a return for the blog and me after a long hiatus. I’m also back on Twitter with a new handle of @AHarte6




906, 2015

GUEST POST: Sonic comparison of new Angel Dust and The Real Thing re-issues

June 9th, 2015|Faith No More, News|4 Comments

Friend of the site, über Faith No More fan and musician in his own right Ben Mitchell has kindly agreed to supplant my cloth-eared enthusiasm with his expert ears and way with words for a guest post peering into the re-mastering of the new Faith No More Rhino Records re-releases, The Real Thing and Angel Dust. More details and how to buy here.

This week saw the reissue of Faith No More’s two most arguably ‘classic’ albums, the eventual-breakout “The Real Thing” and the ageless masterwork “Angel Dust”. These ‘Deluxe’ editions have been dismissed by some as cynical gash-grabs from Rhino, and certainly haven’t been endorsed by the band themselves. Probably in their presentation they aren’t representative of how Faith No More would prefer people to experience these albums for the first time. But to the seasoned consumer and borderline mentally-ill FNM collector such as I, they scratch a certain completest itch and at the very least suggest that Rhino regard the band as still artistically valuable.

Gone are the days old-timers like me remember of tracking down that rare and elusive b-side or EP in the HMV singles section, and loading up a bonus disc of assorted miscellany is a fair enough way to get people to buy and hear former-rarities only available on eBay or YouTube. Liner notes and nicely-reproduced vinyl single artwork (along with the original 12” front and back art, disparate tracklistings and all) have been thrown in the mix to give new fans an idea of what once was.

The bonus discs are fairly thorough, though it’s worth noting some conspicuous absences: Live versions of “Woodpecker From Mars”, “Epic” and “The Real Thing” (from the “From Out of Nowhere” single) failed to make the cut; the ever-elusive “Virus”/”Shuffle”/”Seagull Song” is still ensconced away from greedy fans like me by the band (very possibly Rhino don’t even have a version of it themselves) and the various “Angel Dust”-era live tracks have been isolated from one another with all onstage banter – to this day I’ll never know if Laura Schumacher got her wallet back – edited out.

Mainly my interest in these releases is hearing what sonic improvements, if any, there might be over the originals. I have no gripe with “The Real Thing” – it precedes an era of FNM’s true genius and artistry in my mind, but that doesn’t stop it being a very solid, immensely listenable and fun record – though as the years wear on its overall production does struggle to hold up, falling even behind “Introduce Yourself”. Fortunately this new version does bring things up a notch.

Listen to comparison

The best way to demonstrate is to show you rather than attempt to explain with whatever patchwork of a proper musician’s lexicon I’ve cobbled together over the years. Have a listen:

The video above is a quick comparison of the mastering approaches taken between the original releases of “The Real Thing” and “Angel Dust” and the subsequent releases:

“Angel Dust: Original Master Recording” (2008)

From Mobile Fidelity’s series of classic album reissues, I suppose this isn’t as much a remastering as an un-mastering, transferred ‘directly from the original master tape’ to ensure…something I’m sure the eagle-eared will regard as a massive improvement on the sonics of the original release. There is a more thorough comparison here:

that points out what many of these actually are, though despite the reduced hiss the overall effect to me is a quieter, damper sound than the original. This one is more a collectable for the nice packaging – despite crediting drummer Mike Mordin (sic) – and its 2XLP 12” companion is, to date, the crispest sounding vinyl version of the album I know, beating out the more recent Music on Vinyl release which had some inexplicable transfer issues.

“The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection” (2009)

After a long and unnecessary history of post-split compilations (alluded to in a typically FNM piss-take of an album title), this is the only one aside from “Who Cares A Lot?” that seemed to make any effort and, most importantly, gave a proper CD release to a handful of rarities that had been vinyl-only for many a year. The mastering on this is certainly more dynamic although it perhaps indulges too much low-end boost at times.

“Midlife Crisis: The Very Best of Faith No More” (2010)

This was, bafflingly, the seventh FNM compilation that appeared between “Album of the Year” and “Sol Invictus”, and without including anything new as some prior compilations had taken the initiative to, the only way to justify a release so redundant might be to give the tracks a nice bit of spit and polish. The issue in this case is that whoever took the reins on the remastering front bypassed the ‘less is more’ approach and boosted the living Christ out of the tunes. Coupled with an unhealthy dynamic range compression this results quite frequently in peaking and fuzzy moments, plus some bizarre lo-v-high end distortion especially prevalent on “Everything’s Ruined”. Some tracks have been spared this excessive treatment, such as “The Real Thing” itself which you’ll hear doesn’t share the same boosted levels.

“The Real Thing: Deluxe Edition” (2015)

As much of an easy cash-grab as this reissue was, it can’t be denied that a fair and considered job has been done with the remaster here. In terms of overall loudness it falls between the 2009 and 2010 attempts but holds back on the compression to avoid any of the major issues the latter suffers from. It doesn’t necessarily right the wrongs that Matt Wallace has taken issue with himself in hindsight (ultimately he’d have to remix it completely to remedy those) but it gives the tracks enough oomph to more comfortably sit alongside those of the subsequent albums as part of a playlist.

“Angel Dust: Deluxe Edition” (2015)

Interestingly, despite also boasting the same remastering credit, this version of “Angel Dust” sounds virtually indistinguishable from the original release, not just to my ears but to my audio software; Inverting the waveform of a track from the original release and mixing it together with the same track from this edition results in silence, which indicates that, intents and purposes, the sound is indeed identical. In the comparison video I’ve bookended each “Angel Dust” track with the original release to highlight the similarity to the 2015 edition. But why improve on perfection anyway?

About the author

As well as being a connoisseur of all things FNM, Ben is also an accomplished musician himself. He had the audacity to release his own LP on the same day as Sol Invictus last month. Get it here.

Check out more Ben on Soundcloud here

906, 2015

LISTEN: Faith No More Angel Dust rarities from Rhino re-issue

June 9th, 2015|Faith No More, News|3 Comments

To mark the 23rd anniversary of seminal Faith No More record Angel Dust, Rhino have released a re-issue of it and also its predecessor The Real Thing.

Listen to the rarities from Angel Dust below.
More details and how to buy here.

106, 2015

LISTEN: Faith No More rarities bonus disc from The Real Thing re-issue on Rolling Stone

June 1st, 2015|Faith No More, News|0 Comments

The re-issued and in no way band-endorsed release of Faith No More’s The Real Thing is available through Rhino on 9 June and you can stream all 11 tracks through Rolling Stone – or below – now.

The album is available to pre-order on Amazon now.

2304, 2015

Rhino to re-release The Real Thing and Angel Dust with bonus discs in June

April 23rd, 2015|Faith No More, News|14 Comments

Rhino have just announced that they will be releasing The Real Thing and Angel Dust with bonus discs on 9 June.

(via Ned Raggett)

The Rhino release reads:

Double-Disc And Vinyl Deluxe Editions Packed With Rarities Coming For The Real Thing And Angel Dust On June 9

The Band Will Release A New Album And Tour North America This Year
As Faith No More prepares to unleash its first new album in nearly 20 years this May, Rhino Records celebrates the back-to-back classic albums that helped establish the band’s vital and visceral musical legacy with Deluxe Editions of THE REAL THING and ANGEL DUST.

Each album will be offered as a two-disc set that includes the original release accompanied by a second disc filled with rarities related to the album. Both will be available on June 9 at retail outlets for $19.98. The collections will arrive soon after the band concludes an extensive North American tour.

In addition to the CD set there will also be a double LP, 180 gram heavyweight black vinyl format of each album, featuring the original album and a selection of the rarities related to each. The release date of the vinyl formats is planned for August.

Like all bands who transcended their time to become cornerstones of an era, Faith No More sounded like nobody else. The group’s commercial breakthrough came in 1989 with the release of THE REAL THING. It was the band’s third album, but the first to feature the line-up of Mike Bordin (drums), Roddy Bottum (keyboards), Bill Gould (bass), Jim Martin (guitars), and Mike Patton (vocals).

The album was incredibly diverse, yet every song was linked by the band’s own developing style. It peaked at #11 on the charts and was certified platinum, spawning the singles, “From Out Of Nowhere” and “Falling To Pieces,” as well as “Epic,” which was ubiquitous on radio and MTV.

The bonus disc puts a different spin on many of the album tracks with remixed versions of “Epic” and “Falling To Pieces,” as well as live performances of “Surprise You’re Dead,” “Underwater Love” and the Black Sabbath classic “War Pigs.” The disc also includes the b-sides “Cowboy Song” and “The Grade.”

After extensive touring, the band returned in 1992 with ANGEL DUST. It climbed to #10 on the U.S. album charts and would later be recognized as one of the most influential releases of the era. The album swings between extremes-aggressive and disturbing, but also beautiful and soothing-showing off every facet of the band’s quirky eloquence on such diverse tracks as “Midlife Crisis,” “Jizzlobber,” “R.V.” and “Small Victory.”

Among the nine tracks featured on the bonus disc is a mix of “Midlife Crisis” by the band’s longtime producer Matt Wallace, a trio of live recordings from a concert in Munich, Germany, as well as covers of the Dead Kennedys’ “Let’s Lynch The Landlord” and the band’s unforgettable take on the Commodores’ “Easy.”

Track listing

Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album
1. “From Out Of Nowhere”
2. “Epic”
3. “Falling To Pieces”
4. “Surprise You’re Dead”
5. “Zombie Eaters”
6. “The Real Thing”
7. “Underwater Love”
8. “The Morning After”
9. “Woodpecker From Mars”
10. “War Pigs”
11. “Edge Of The World”

Disc Two: Bonus Disc
1. Sweet Emotion (Taken from Kerrang! Flexible Fiend)
2. Epic (Radio Remix Edit) (Taken from the ‘Epic’ Promotional CD single)
3. Falling To Pieces (Matt Wallace Remix) (Taken from the ‘Falling To Pieces’ 12″ single)
4. Cowboy Song (B-side) (Taken from the b-side of ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ single)
5. The Grade (B-side) (Taken from the b-side of ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ 12″ single)
6. From Out Of Nowhere (Extended Remix) (Taken from the ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ 12″ single)
7. War Pigs (Live Berlin 11.9.1989) (Iommi/Ward/Butler/Osbourne) Westminster Music Ltd.
(Taken from the b-side of ‘Epic’ 12″ single)
8. Surprise You’re Dead (Live Sheffield) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Epic’ 12″ single)
9. Chinese Arithmetic (Live Sheffield) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Epic’ 12″ single)
10. Underwater Love (Live at Brixton Academy, London 28 April 1990) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Falling To Pieces’ 12″ single)
11. As The Worms Turns (Live at Brixton Academy, London 28 April 1990) (Taken from the video for “You Fat B**tards”)

Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album
1. “Land Of Sunshine”
2. “Caffeine”
3. “Midlife Crisis”
4. “R.V.”
5. “Smaller And Smaller”
6. “Everything’s Ruined”
7. “Malpractice”
8. “Kindergarten”
9. “Be Aggressive”
10. “A Small Victory”
11. “Crack Hitler”
12. “Jizzlobber”
13. “Midnight Cowboy”
14. “Easy”

Disc Two: Bonus Disc
1. Easy (Cooler Version) (Lionel Ritchie) (Taken from the ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
2. Das Schutzenfest (German version) (Taken from the ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
3. As The Worm Turns (Mike Patton vocal / Japan bonus track) (Taken from the Japanese edition of “Angel Dust”)
4. Let’s Lynch The Landlord (B-Side) (Jello Biafra) (Taken from the ‘A Small Victory’ single)
5. Midlife Crisis (The Scream Mix) Remixed by Matt Wallace (Taken from the bonus 12″ included with “Angel Dust” LP)
6. A Small Victory (R-Evolution 23 (Full Moon) Mix) (Taken from the ‘A Small Victory’ 12″ single)
7. Easy (Live Munich 9th November 1992) ((Lionel Ritchie) (Taken from the ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
8. Be Aggressive (Live Munich 9th November 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
9. Kindergarten (Live Munich 9th November 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
10. A Small Victory (Live Munich 9th November 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)]
11. Mark Bowen (Live Munich 9th November 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
12. We Care A Lot (Live Munich 9th November 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘I’m Easy’ CD single)
13. Midlife Crisis (Live Dekalb, Ill. 20th September 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Everything’s Ruined’ CD single)
14. Land Of Sunshine (Live Dekalb, Ill. 20th September 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Everything’s Ruined’ CD single)
15. Edge of The World (Live St. Louis 18th September 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Everything’s Ruined’ CD single)
16. R.V. (Live Dekalb, Ill. 20th September 1992) (Taken from the b-side of ‘Everything’s Ruined’ CD single)
17. The World Is Yours (Outtake from Angel Dust sessions) (Taken from the album “Who Cares A Lot? The Greatest Hits)

Vinyl Format

LP One (as per 1989 LP)

Side One
1. From Out Of Nowhere 3:19
2. Epic 4:51
3. Falling To Pieces 5:12
4. Surprise! You’re Dead! 2:26
5. Zombie Eaters 5:57

Side Two
1. The Real Thing 8:10
2. Underwater Love 3:50
3. The Morning After 3:40
4. Woodpecker From Mars 5:38

LP Two

Side Three Studio Non-LP tracks
1. War Pigs (studio)
2. Edge of the World
3. Sweet Emotion 4:52
4. Falling To Pieces (Matt Wallace Remix) 4:31

Side Four Live Bonus Tracks
1. War Pigs (Live in Berlin 1989) 7:59
2. Surprise! You’re Dead! (Live in Sheffield 1990) 2:52
3. Chinese Arithmetic (Live in Sheffield 1990) 4:16
4. Underwater Love (Live at Brixton 1990) 3:33
5. As The Worm Turns (Live at Brixton 1990)

2106, 2009

Twenty years since The Real Thing

June 21st, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the release of Faith No More’s breakthrough album The Real Thing. The album was the first to feature the vocals and songwriting of Mike Patton and spawned the hit single Epic. The album peaked at number 11 in the Billboard US album charts and  number 30 in the UK. Once more I’m grateful to the Metal Hammer blog archive for another excellent Behind the Music-style article on the genesis of the album. Sample quote: “It was a great time for us,” recalls [Mike] Bordin. “We never had any of the issues that were to cause such problems later on in our career. We were getting along really well, and I think the music reflects that sense of belonging together. And I am so proud what we did back then, and how we did it. Without taking the easy route.”

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