Citizen King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Citizen King
OriginMilwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Years active1993–2002

Citizen King was an American music group from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whose style was a mix of hip-hop, soul, and punk.[1] They are best known for their top 40 hit "Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)", which peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1999.[2]


The band formed in 1993 after the breakup of their previous band, Wild Kingdom.[1] Both bands received a lot of local recognition for their live shows. While Citizen King's first LP and EP were only commercial successes around Wisconsin, they were well received by critics. They were discovered by Speech from Arrested Development, who produced several tracks on their debut album Brown Bag.[1] They followed up with the EP Count the Days.[1]

They toured with Fishbone, and executives at Warner Bros. Records signed them after attending their show at the South by Southwest convention.[1] The band's 1999 release Mobile Estates received moderate commercial success. The album's hit song "Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)" was played in the pilot episode and the series finale of Malcolm in the Middle.

Their first single and biggest hit was "Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)." It became a Top 40 hit and went gold in the summer of 1999. It was also ranked on other Billboard charts, including peaks of No. 3 on Modern Rock, No. 33 on Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales, and No. 1 on Top 40 Recurrents.[2] The band performed as part of Humble & Fred Fest at Fort York in Toronto that year.[3]

A remix of "Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)" was used in the 2000 movie Gone in 60 Seconds, and the original version was used in the video game, Street Sk8er 2, along with "Under the Influence". "Salt Bag Spill" was featured on The Animal soundtrack in 2001. The band was managed by Jeff Castelaz, who later founded Dangerbird Records, and continues to manage keyboardist Dave Cooley in his work as a producer and mixer.

Despite the success of the album and the high charting Better Days, plus the constant touring, the band's popularity eventually dropped off, and Citizen King disbanded in 2002.

Cooley continued his career as a producer and has produced records for such artists as Silversun Pickups, Local Natives, Eulogies, Darker My Love and The Polyphonic Spree. Cooley also became a mastering engineer for Stones Throw Records, overseeing most of the albums by J Dilla and the label's founder Peanut Butter Wolf.[4]


  • Mount Sims – lead vocals (1993–2002), bass (1997–2002)
  • Kristian Riley – guitar (1993–2002)
  • Dave Cooley – keyboards (1993–2002)
  • Malcolm Michiles – turntables (1993–2002)
  • Gintas Janusonis - drums (1993-1994)
  • DJ Brooks – drums (1994–2002)
  • Sage Schwarm – bass (1993–1995)
  • John Dominguez - bass (1995)
  • Cory Coleman – bass (1995–1997)



Extended plays[edit]

  • Sydney Hih (1997) (collection of demos and b-sides from 1993-1996)
  • Count The Days (April 2, 1996)


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album


"Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)" 1999 25 3 11 86 20 95 Mobile Estates
"Under The Influence"
"Long Walk Home" 2000
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c d e Bush, John. "Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  2. ^ a b "Billboard singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-02-22..
  3. ^ "Live Reviews: Humble & Fred Fest August 28, 1999 Historic Fort York, Toronto"[usurped]. Chart Attack, Howard Druckman, August 28, 1999
  4. ^ Boddie, Bo (17 October 2012). "From Crate Digger to Producer to Mastering Engineer: Dave Cooley & Elysian Masters". Sonic Scoop. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
  5. ^ "Billboard albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  6. ^ "Better Days - Hot 100 peak". Billboard. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  7. ^ "Better Days - Modern Rock peak". Billboard. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Better Days - Mainstream Top 40 peak". Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  9. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 59.
  10. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 69, No. 16, August 09 1999". RPM. Archived from the original on 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
  11. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Citizen King / Single". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved June 8, 2016.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]