Faith No More – The Real Thing (1989)
“10 years ahead of time, or about 1 year behind”
– Sloan, Right or Wrong.
Well I think I’ve finally figured it out: The Real Thing is both.
The fast-paced intro riff from the album opener, From Out of Nowhere, could have been a blueprint for the self-titled debut from the Queens of the Stone Age. That album would arrive near the end of the following decade.
Track two, Epic, planted the seeds of the rap-metal genre, a genre whose commercial peak would also coincide with the lead-up to Y2K.
However, on the cheerfully titled Surprise! You’re Dead! and Zombie Eaters, one could (and I will) argue that they were about a year behind Metallica’s …And Justice For All. A year in arrears when it came to blending heavy riffs & imagery with enough melody to keep it aggresive yet accessible.
Though overall, The Real Thing has a vastly superior mix: …and Justice‘s lack of bass has been well documented. Bill Gould’s bass is more prominent here, his bottom-end notes are fat enough to make the rockin’ world go ’round.
I was pleased to find a cassette version of this, boasting two bonus tracks not found on the initial vinyl pressing. The jazzy Edge of the World & the solid War Pigs cover provide additional diversity to an already strong and varied set. I’ve been defending the cassette medium for years and it’s starting to pay off: Cassettes 1, Vinyl ∞ …well, at least cassettes are finally on the board!
This really is among the most difficult records yet to classify. How many other records feature Rock, Jazz, Metal, Funk, Rap, even a bit of Prog?
Thousands of reviewers have probably beaten me to the punchline but I’ll join them in risking Coca-Cola lawsuits: if it’s a rock/jazz/metal/funk/rap/prog album you seek, you can’t beat The Real Thing.
From → 1980s