King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime
|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|
|Faith No More chronology|
|Singles from King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime|
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, with Rolling Stone calling the result a "genre shuffle". 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. The album's first two singles showed more of the typical heavy metal style while "Evidence" was a departure from the band's typical sound, incorporating jazz and funk elements.
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 Judgment Night. This recording would be the first the band released without guitarist Jim Martin, with bassist Billy Gould recording the guitar parts instead. Martin had already begun skipping practice sessions with the band during the Angel Dust recording sessions, having grown dissatisfied with their new musical directions; he had also reportedly stopped writing new music at this time.
Martin was fired from the band later that year due to musical differences, via a fax from keyboard player Roddy Bottum; 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. 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. Bottum's absence led to the album being written largely without keyboards.
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". 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.
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. The band used art from the graphic novel Flood by Eric Drooker for the album's cover and those of its singles.
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. The single reached number 16 on the UK Singles Chart, and number 12 on the Australian ARIA Charts. It featured on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head in August 1995, and was included on the soundtrack of the 1996 Italian film Jack Frusciante è uscito dal gruppo. A video for the song was recorded, directed by Marcus Raboy, and filmed in San Francisco. and was later included on the collection Who Cares a Lot?: The Greatest Videos.
"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. The song peaked at number 27 on the UK charts and number 58 in Australia. The song was also included on the soundtrack to the 1996 PlayStation game Fox Hunt. A video for "Ricochet" was filmed in Paris and directed by Alex Hemmings. It does not appear on the video collection, Who Cares a Lot?: The Greatest Videos.
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, which eventually peaked at number 32 in the UK and number 27 in Australia. A video was made for the song, directed by Walter A. Stern.
A total of twenty tracks were recorded for the album, with only fourteen making the final listing. 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; whilst covers of "I Started a Joke" and "Greenfields" were included as B-sides to the single "Digging the Grave"; and covers of "I Wanna Fuck Myself" and "Spanish Eyes" were both included as B-sides to the singles "Ricochet" and "Evidence".
"Just A Man" was influenced by Chinese classical music, Patton's vocal track being based on the style of Anthony Newley. "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".
|The Buffalo News|||
|Los Angeles Daily News|||
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". 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". Metal Hammer acknowledges that the album was met with "crushing disappointment", but praised its diversity. 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". 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.
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". New York magazine described the album as "baroquely, nightmarishly weird", praising Mike Patton's vocals. 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. 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".
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. However, neither nomination was won; Gould lost out to Les Claypool of Primus, while the album itself was beaten by Green Day's Insomniac. In 2005, Germany's Visions magazine ranked King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime 37 in their list of "150 Albums for Eternity"  and in 2014, it placed fourth on the Alternative Nation site's "Top 10 Underrated 90’s Alternative Rock Albums" list. 
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. 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.
|Standard track listing|
|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|
- Mike Bordin – drums
- Roddy Bottum – keyboards, guitar
- Billy Gould – bass guitar
- Mike Patton – vocals
- Trey Spruance – guitar
- Andy Wallace – producer, engineer, mixer
- Clif Norrell - engineer
- Chris Laidlaw – assistant engineer
- Howie Weinberg – audio mastering
- Melinda Maniscalco – art direction and design
- Robin Whiteside – production design
- Eric Drooker – illustration
- Marko Lavrisha – photography
|Chart||Peak||Weeks in chart|
|U.S. Billboard 200||31||8|
|UK Albums Chart||5||6|
|New Zealand RIANZ||3||20|
|Title||Peak chart positions|
|"Digging the Grave"||16||12||16||23||—||39||11||42|
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