Real Real Real

Album: Doubt (1990)
Charted: 19 4

Songfacts®:

  • The lyrics for "Real Real Real" don't seem to say anything particularly meaningful or even coherent. That's not really the point of the song, though.

    In the song, Jesus Jones frontman Mike Edwards doubts the things being told him by some unnamed person and asks if that unnamed person feels real. He then makes the provocative suggestion that he doesn't feel real himself and would like to know how to do so.

    Real, real, real
    Do you feel real?
    And if so I'd like to know
    How to feel real real
    Do you feel real?
    And if so I'd like to know


    The song makes most sense when looked at in the context of its place and era. As part of the Madchester sound (discussed in more detail below), Jesus Jones' music was created in and for the dance clubs of Manchester, England. This was club-drug territory. The scene has been dubbed the "Second Summer of Love" (in reference to the 1967 hippie-fest of Haight Ashbury, California).

    "Real Real Real" might be discussing thoughts and feelings had while dancing on ecstasy or MDMA. Or it might not. Either way, the song was tailored specifically for the club crowds that made up most of Jesus Jones' fanbase.
  • This is the second-biggest American hit by Jesus Jones, with the biggest being "Right Here, Right Now," which reached #2.

    "Real Real Real" was the bigger hit in their native UK, where it climbed to #19 versus the #31 slot attained by "Right Here, Right Now."
  • Phil Harding and Ian Curnow mixed the song. Starting their partnership in 1986, the UK duo has worked with dozens of prominent artists, including Elton John, Depeche Mode, Donna Summer, and 911.
  • Before it appeared on the album Doubt, "Real Real Real" was released on a compilation album titled Happy Daze in 1990, which showcased the biggest names representing the Madchester sound that came out of Manchester, England in the late 1980s. The style combined rave music, alternative rock, acid house, and psychedelic. It was popular in the dance clubs of the era, which were marked by ample usage of head drugs.

    The scene and the sound petered out by the early '90s, but it did impact the broader music scene. U2 frontman Bono, for instance, cited its influence on the sound for "Mysterious Ways."

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