King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime

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King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime
Studio album by Faith No More
Released March 28, 1995
Recorded 1994 at Bearsville Studios in New York
Genre Various
Length 56:46
Label Slash
Producer Andy Wallace
Faith No More chronology
Angel Dust
(1992)
King for a Day,
Fool for a Lifetime

(1995)
Album of the Year
(1997)
Singles from King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime
  1. "Digging the Grave"
    Released: February 28, 1995
  2. "Ricochet"
    Released: May 1, 1995
  3. "Evidence"
    Released: May 8, 1995

King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime is the fifth studio album by San Francisco-based band Faith No More, released on March 28, 1995. It was their first album recorded without longtime guitarist Jim Martin. The album showcased a greater variety than the band's usual heavy metal leanings,[1] with Rolling Stone calling the result a "genre shuffle".[2] The album spawned three singles—"Digging the Grave", "Ricochet" and "Evidence".

Following Martin's departure, Trey Spruance was brought on to perform on the album, having also been in Mr. Bungle with singer Mike Patton. Production of the album was further marred by the band suffering a car accident, and by the absence of keyboard player Roddy Bottum, who had been affected by the deaths of both his father and Kurt Cobain, whose wife was Bottum's close friend. Spruance was replaced on the supporting tour by the band's former roadie Dean Menta. However, Spruance did play live with Faith No More for the first time in November 2011, playing the entire album during a show in Chile.

Critical reception to the album has been mixed, with its varied genres being cited as a detraction by several reviewers. The album earned the band two Bay Area Music award nominations.

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

After releasing Angel Dust in 1992, Faith No More's next project was a collaboration with Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., contributing the single "Another Body Murdered" to the soundtrack for the 1993 film Judgement Night. This recording would be the first the band released without guitarist Jim Martin, with bassist Billy Gould recording the guitar parts instead.[3] Martin had already begun skipping practice sessions with the band during the Angel Dust recording sessions, having grown dissatisfied with their new musical directions;[4] he had also reportedly stopped writing new music at this time.[5]

Martin was fired from the band later that year due to musical differences, via a fax from keyboard player Roddy Bottum;[4] and Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance was brought in to record their next album. However, Spruance left the band before the subsequent tour, and was replaced by the band's keyboard roadie, Dean Menta. Reasons given for the change differ—the band claim Spruance was unwilling to commit to a long touring schedule in support of the album, whilst Spruance claims he was never meant to be a permanent member in the first place.[6][7] Roddy Bottum also claims to have been mostly absent during this period, owing to the deaths of his father and Kurt Cobain, whose wife Courtney Love was a close friend of Bottum's and one of the temporary lead singers of the band before Chuck Mosely joined.[4][8] Bottum's absence led to the album being written largely without keyboards.[9]

Recording[edit]

King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime was recorded in Bearsville Studios, in Woodstock, New York. Gould has described the remote location of the studio as a form of "sensory deprivation".[4] Writing and rehearsing the songs for the album took eight to nine months, although half of this time was also spent finding a replacement for Martin. Recording the album took an additional three months, for which the band hired producer Andy Wallace. Wallace—unconnected to their previous producer Matt Wallace—had previously worked with Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Slayer. Bottum claimed that the combination of Wallace and Spruance as two new influences helped to create "a real up-in-the-air, what the fuck is gonna happen kind of feel" while recording.[4]

According to singer Mike Patton, the band were involved in a car accident during the recording sessions for the album, while Patton was driving. Spruance and drummer Mike Bordin were also involved, and Patton claimed to have "had to look at a lot of things in the face" as a result.[10] The band hired artist Eric Drooker to illustrate the album's cover and those of its singles.[5]

Singles[edit]

Keyboard player Roddy Bottum (pictured in 2009) was absent for much of the album's recording.

Before the album's release, the song "Digging the Grave" was released as a single on February 28, 1995. That March, the band appeared on the British television program Top of the Pops to promote the single, later performing it on MTV Europe, Canal+'s Nulle Part Ailleurs and The Jon Stewart Show.[11] The single reached number 16 on the UK Singles Chart,[12] and number 12 on the Australian ARIA Charts.[13] It featured on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head in August 1995,[14] and was included on the soundtrack of the 1996 Italian film Jack Frusciante è uscito dal gruppo.[15] A video for the song was recorded, directed by Marcus Raboy, and filmed in San Francisco.[16] and was later included on the collection Who Cares a Lot?: The Greatest Videos.[17]

"Ricochet" was released as the album's second single on May 1, 1995; and was promoted with an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[11] The song peaked at number 27 on the UK charts[12] and number 58 in Australia.[13] The song was also included on the soundtrack to the 1996 PlayStation game Fox Hunt.[15][18] A video for "Ricochet" was filmed in Paris and directed by Alex Hemmings.[19] It does not appear on the video collection, Who Cares a Lot?: The Greatest Videos.[17]

The album's third and final single was the jazz-funk number "Evidence", released on May 8, 1995. The band had made an appearance the previous month on the Australian variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday to perform the song,[11] which eventually peaked at number 32 in the UK[12] and number 27 in Australia.[13] A video was made for the song, directed by Walter A. Stern.[17][20]

Other songs[edit]

A total of twenty tracks were recorded for the album, with only fourteen making the final listing.[4] Cut tracks "I Won't Forget You" and "Hippie Jam Song" both appeared on the later compilations Who Cares a Lot? and The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection;[21] whilst covers of "I Started a Joke" and "Greenfields" were included as B-sides to the single "Digging the Grave";[22] and covers of "I Wanna Fuck Myself" and "Spanish Eyes" were both included as B-sides to the singles "Ricochet" and "Evidence".[23]

"Just A Man" was influenced by Chinese classical music, Patton's vocal track being based on the style of Anthony Newley.[24] "Star A.D." makes an appearance on the 2008 compilation The Works. When asked if the song was a reference to Kurt Cobain, Mike Patton stated "God no! It's about a phenomenon. And if that guy happened to be one, I don't know. It's one of those things that happen; it's a Vegas thing. What could be more shameful than having to change your colostomy bag on stage?! Vegas is great, though. I love it. Welcome to America".[25]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
The Buffalo News 3.5/5 stars[26]
Entertainment Weekly C−[27]
Los Angeles Daily News 2.5/4 stars[28]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[29]
Spin 6/10[30]

Unlike Faith No More's previous albums, initial reception to King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime was mixed. Entertainment Weekly gave the album a grade of C− and called it an "archaic progressive-rock fusion, oddly out of step with the times".[27] Al Wiesel of Rolling Stone gave it a rating of two stars out of five, saying "one hopes that that last song's moving chorus – 'Don't let me die with this silly look in my eyes' – doesn't prove to be Faith No More's epitaph".[29] Metal Hammer acknowledges that the album was met with "crushing disappointment", but praised its diversity.[4] Michael Snyder of the San Francisco Chronicle, however, was more favourable, calling it "an utter triumph", adding that it was "enigmatic, sarcastic, provocative and incisive".[31] Spin magazine's Jonathan Gold rated the album 6 out of 10, praising its "deftness" and its "burnished, jackhammer-sheathed-in-a-lubricated-condom presence", but feeling that its multiple genres were a distraction.[30]

Writing for Allmusic, Greg Prato gave it a more positive rating of three-and-a-half stars out of five, while calling it one of the band's "underrated releases".[1] New York magazine described the album as "baroquely, nightmarishly weird", praising Mike Patton's vocals.[32] Writing for the Los Angeles Daily News, Bruce Warren rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of four, writing that the band "sounds more accomplished than ever", and singling Bottum's keyboards out as particularly noteworthy.[28] Jan Brady of The Buffalo News gave the album a rating of three-and-a-half stars out of five, noting that "Patton still acts wild but has matured as a singer", and describing "Digging the Grave" as a "power pop masterpiece".[26]

King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime was nominated for a Bay Area Music Award in 1995, in the category "Hard Music Album or EP". Bassist Billy Gould also received a nomination for Best Bassist at the same event.[33] However, neither nomination was won; Gould lost out to Les Claypool of Primus, while the album itself was beaten by Green Day's Insomniac.[34] In 2005, Germany's Visions magazine ranked King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime 37 in their list of "150 Albums for Eternity" [35] and in 2014, it placed fourth on the Alternative Nation site's "Top 10 Underrated 90’s Alternative Rock Albums" list. [36]

Release history[edit]

King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime was pre-released as a limited-edition two-record vinyl album, limited to 10,000 copies, two weeks before the album went on general sale.[37] In November 2011, Faith No More reunited with Trey Spruance for a performance at the Maquinaria festival, during which the album was played in its entirety.[38]

Track listing[edit]

Standard track listing
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Get Out"   Patton Patton 2:17
2. "Ricochet"   Patton Gould, Bordin, Patton 4:28
3. "Evidence"   Patton Gould, Bordin, Spruance 4:53
4. "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies"   Patton Gould, Bordin, Patton 3:28
5. "Star A.D."   Patton, Gould Gould, Bordin, Patton 3:22
6. "Cuckoo for Caca"   Patton Gould, Patton, Spruance 3:41
7. "Caralho Voador"   Gould, Patton, Bordin Gould, Patton, Bordin 4:01
8. "Ugly in the Morning"   Patton Patton, Spruance, Gould 3:06
9. "Digging the Grave"   Patton Gould, Bordin, Patton 3:04
10. "Take This Bottle"   Patton, Gould Gould 4:59
11. "King for a Day"   Patton Gould, Bottum, Bordin, Patton, Spruance 6:35
12. "What a Day"   Patton Patton, Spruance 2:37
13. "The Last to Know"   Patton Gould, Patton, Bordin 4:27
14. "Just a Man"   Gould, Spruance, Patton Gould, Bottum 5:35
15. "Absolute Zero" (Japanese bonus track) Patton Patton 4:09
16. "I Started a Joke" (Brazilian bonus track) B. Gibb, R. Gibb, M. Gibb B. Gibb, R. Gibb, M. Gibb 3:00
17. "Evidence (Spanish)" (Argentinian bonus track) Patton Gould, Bordin, Spruance 4:53

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart Peak Weeks in chart
U.S. Billboard 200[39] 31 8
UK Albums Chart[12] 5 6
New Zealand RIANZ[40] 3 20
Australia ARIA[41] 2 26
Switzerland[42] 7 16
Austria[43] 9 16
Netherlands[44] 8 26
Sweden[45] 5 14
Norway[46] 6 10
Finland[42] 2 5
Belgium[42] 6 17

Singles[edit]

Title Peak chart positions
UK[12] AUS[13] NZ[47] FRA[48] NLD
 [44]
SWE
 [45]
NOR
 [46]
CH[42]
"Digging the Grave" 16 12 16 23  — 39 11 42
"Ricochet" 27 58  —  —  —  —  —  —
"Evidence" 32 27 38  — 42  —  —  —

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Prato, Greg. "King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime – Faith No More". Allmusic. Retrieved March 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ Jann S. Wenner (ed.). "Faith No More Biography – Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Chirazi, Steffan; Faith No More (1994). The Real Story. Castle Communications. p. 145. ISBN 1-898141-15-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Metal Hammer: Blog Archive: Story Behind the Album – Faith No More". Metal Hammer. March 13, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Lanham, Tom (April 1995). "Faith No More". CMJ New Music Monthly (CMJ network, Inc) (20): 22–26. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Official Faith No More site :: Biography". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ Jaeger, Barbara (March 19, 1995). "Feinstein's Bow to His Century". The Record. Retrieved July 1, 2012.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ Gargano, Paul (2003). This Is It: The Best of Faith No More (CD booklet). Faith No More. Burbank, CA: Rhino Records. 
  9. ^ Chirazi, Steffan (1998). Who Cares a Lot? (CD booklet). Faith No More. Burbank, CA: Rhino Records. 
  10. ^ Samborska, Agatha (January 2003). "Faith No More Frequently Asked Questions". FNM.com. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Negele, Stefan. "Faith No More TV Appearances". FNM.com. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Faith No More | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d "australian-charts.com – Discography Faith No More". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ Writers: Judge, Mike; Stillman, Joe. Directors: Judge, Mike; Kaplan; Yvette (August 9, 1995). "Close Encounters". Beavis and Butt-head. Season 5. Episode 132. MTV.
  15. ^ a b Agatha Samborska (ed.). "Faith No More Frequently Asked Questions". old.fnm.com. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  16. ^ Russell, Deborah (May 27, 1995). "R'NR Expands on Video Promotion". Billboard 107 (21): 42. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Who Cares a Lot?: The Greatest Videos (Liner notes). Various. Slash Records, Reprise Records & Rhino Records. 1999. 
  18. ^ "Fox Hunt (Original Soundtrack) – Original Soundtrack | AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  19. ^ Attwood, Brett (Jul 8, 1995). "Videos Sprout Up in new Settings". Billboard 107 (27): 35. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ Alex S. Garda (ed.). "mvdbase.com – Faith No more Videography". Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  21. ^ Who Cares a Lot? (Media notes). Faith No More. Slash Records & London Records. 1998. 
  22. ^ "Digging the Grave" (Single notes). Faith No More. Slash Records. 1995.
  23. ^ "Ricochet" (Single notes). Faith No More. Slash Records. 1995.
  24. ^ "Faith No More Takes Leap, Succeeds". The Columbian. June 28, 1995. Retrieved July 1, 2012.  (subscription required)
  25. ^ Carlsson, Martin (January 1995). "Faith No More interview". Metal Hammer. 
  26. ^ a b Brady, Jan (April 28, 1995). "Pulling up Lame Maureen McCormick Stumbles in the Country". The Buffalo News. Retrieved July 2, 2012.  (subscription required)
  27. ^ a b Ehrlich, Dimitri (March 17, 1995). "King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime – Music – EW". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 22, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Warren, Bruce (April 21, 1995). "Sound Check Pop". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved July 1, 2012.  (subscription required)
  29. ^ a b Wiesel, Al (June 1, 1995). "Faith No More: King For A Day/Fool For A Lifetime: Music Reviews:Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Gold, Jonathan (1995). "Platter de Jour". Spin 11 (2). 
  31. ^ Snyder, Michael (March 5, 1995). "KEEPING THE FAITH / Bay Area band revamps and goes back on the road". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  32. ^ Norris, Chris (April 10, 1995). "Recorded Music". New York (New York Media, LLC) 28 (15): 106. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Charlie Hunter tops Bammies nominations". San Francisco Chronicle. December 16, 1995. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  34. ^ Elwood, Philip (March 10, 1996). "Chris Isaak, Inka Inka big winners at Bammies". San Francisco Chronicles. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  35. ^ "150 Alben für die Ewigkeit". Visions (152). November 2005. 
  36. ^ http://www.alternativenation.net/10-underrated-90s-alt-rock-albums/
  37. ^ Sprague, David (February 4, 1995). "Faith No More Seeks Fool's Gold". Billboard 107 (5). 
  38. ^ Rubin, Andrew (September 23, 2011). "Faith No More to Perform King for a Day... at Maquinaria Festival". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  39. ^ "King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime – Faith No More". Billboard. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  40. ^ "charts.nz.org – Faith No More – King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  41. ^ "australian-charts.com – Faith No More – King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  42. ^ a b c d "Faith No More – King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime – hitparade.ch". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  43. ^ "Faith No More – King for a Day – Fool for a Lifetime – austriancharts.at". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  44. ^ a b "dutchcharts.nl – Faith No More – King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  45. ^ a b "swedishcharts.com – Faith No More – King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  46. ^ a b "norwegiancharts.com – Faith No More – King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  47. ^ "chartz.org.nz Discography Faith No More". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  48. ^ "lescharts.com Discographie Faith No More". Retrieved March 23, 2011.