King of Fools (album)

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This article is about the Delirious? album. For the Edguy EP, see King of Fools (EP).
King of Fools
King Of Fools.jpeg
Studio album by Delirious?
Released 16 June 1997

December 1996 - January 1997

Beltwood House (London, U.K.)
Genre Rock, Christian rock
Length 61:34
Label Furious? Records
Producer Andy Piercy and Delirious?
Delirious? chronology
Live & In the Can
King of Fools
Singles from King of Fools
  1. "White Ribbon Day"
    Released: 17 February 1997
  2. "Deeper"
    Released: 5 May 1997
  3. "Promise"
    Released: 14 July 1997
  4. "DeEPer EP"
    Released: 3 November 1997

King of Fools is an album by British rock band Delirious?, initially released in June 1997.[1] The full-length project showcased a new mainstream sound, whilst retaining many of the core themes found in their Cutting Edge EPs. Stylistically, the album epitomises the band's similarity to U2, an influence which was highlighted by several critics on release. King of Fools reached No. 13 in the UK album chart, a career high for the band, and produced four singles. The second, "Deeper", peaked at No. 22 on the UK singles chart on 11 May 1997. It also includes what is possibly the best known Delirious? song, "History Maker", which the band regularly played live throughout their whole career. The album was listed at No. 85 in the 2001 book, CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. The album was nominated for a Grammy.[2]


Delirious? were originally known as "The Cutting Edge Band" before 1996. They played regularly at the "Cutting Edge" Christian events held in their hometown of Littlehampton. In August 1995, a major car accident involving lead singer Martin Smith, his wife, and bassist Jon Thatcher, left the former was badly injured. The song "August 30th" was inspired by these events. Smith went through a period of depression,[3] before being partly inspired by Bill Flanagan's book U2: At the End of the World, which he read in hospital, to take the band full-time. The members of the band decided to resign from their respective jobs and become professional musicians. Delirious? soon began working on songs for their first full studio album.

Recording and release[edit]

After making their first release as Delirious?, a live album titled Live & In the Can, the band set up recording equipment in Beltwood House, London. The album was recorded between 1 December 1996 and 28 January 1997 using an Otari Radar. The album was produced by Andy Piercy, who had previously produced the band's four Cutting Edge EPs. After the release of two singles, the latter of which, "Deeper", stayed in the UK singles charts for three weeks running, the band released the full-length album to the UK market in June 1997. After this, Delirious? took part in an extensive promotional campaign which included playing to 50,000 fans at London's Wembley Stadium, and an appearance on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast programme. The record charted at No. 13 in the UK charts, having held the widweek position of No. 10. It dropped to No. 58 in its second week, before charting at No. 70 in its third week.[4]

In 2007, the band took the decision to re-release some of their earlier albums as two-disc 'fuse boxes'. One of these albums included King of Fools, which was paired with the 1996 live album, Live & In the Can.


The album spawned four singles. The band released their very first mainstream single in the UK during February 1997, several months before the release of the album. "White Ribbon Day" was a song inspired by the political situation occurring in Northern Ireland at the time.[5] Distribution problems partly led to the single charting at No. 41, meaning that it narrowly missed out on the UK Top 40 chart show on BBC Radio 1. However, "White Ribbon Day" remained in the top 75 for a second week, charting at No. 75.[4]

In May, the band released "Deeper", their highest selling single.[6] The song charted at No. 20, and BBC Radio 1 dubbed the band "pop's best kept secret".[7] "Deeper" remained in the top 40 for a second week, charting at No. 39. It remained in the charts for a third week, charting at No. 65 before dropping out of the charts completely by the end of the month.[4]

The band chose to plan a third single after the June release of the album. In July, "Promise" was released as a two-disc set. This technique, aimed at boosting sales, was frequently used by the band after this. The single entered the charts at No. 20, before dropping to No. 48 in its second week.[4]

During their November UK tour, Delirious? promoted a re-release of "Deeper", which arrived in the form of a four track EP. The DeEPer EP only narrowly scraped into the UK top 40, charting at No. 36 during its first week, before dropping to No. 69 in the second.[4]

Music videos were filmed for "Deeper" and "Promise" to coincide with their respective single releases.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 4/5 stars[8]
Cross Rhythms (10/10) [9][10]
HM (not rated) [11][12]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars [13]
MTV (Mixed) [14]
The Phantom Tollbooth 4.5/5 stars [15]

King of Fools was positively received by both mainstream and CCM publications. Crosswalk praised the album, stating "...if you're looking for something tame and lacking originality, you're in the wrong place!"[16] Cross Rhythms rated the album as ten out of ten, and argued that it showed the "...versitility of the band."[10] Jesus Freak Hideout called it " overlooked but excellent musical achievement."[17] Many critics noticed the U2 influences on the record. MTV noted that "King of Fools has echoes of '80s U2, but the band accentuates the Christian undertones in Bono's lyrics, creating a modern rock record that resonates with spirituality."[18] HM Magazine called the project "the U2 album fans have been waiting for..." [12]


Delirious? supported the album by launching a ten date tour of the United Kingdom during October and November 1997.[19] Titled the 'd:tour', shows sold out at venues in Folkstone, Leicester, Grimsby, Manchester, London, Leeds, Wolverhampton, Cornwall and Exeter before finishing in front of a packed crowd in Southampton Guildhall, near the band's hometown of Littlehampton. The gigs were advertised every morning by Virgin Radio during their 'gig guide'.[20] The Southampton gig was recorded as a live album, d:tour,[21] and a live video, "A View from the Terraces".[22] Both projects were released in 1998.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sanctify" Stu Garrard, Martin Smith 4:13
2. "Deeper" Smith, Garrard 4:20
3. "Revival Town" Smith, Garrard 5:44
4. "All the Way" Garrard, Smith 4:15
5. "August 30th" Smith, Garrard 6:17
6. "Promise" Smith 4:14
7. "King or Cripple" Smith 4:37
8. "Hands of Kindness" Smith 4:45
9. "White Ribbon Day" Smith 6:47
10. "King of Fools" Garrard, Smith 4:00
11. "History Maker" Smith 6:33
12. "What a Friend I've Found" Smith 5:49


  • The American re-release adds a remix of "Louder than the Radio" between "Hands of Kindness" and "White Ribbon Day".



Additional personnel

  • Andy Piercy – production, engineering
  • Jussy McLean - backing vocals on "August 30th"
  • Gerard Le Feuvre - cello on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Nick Evans-Pughe - violin on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Rosalind McIntosh - violin on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Jonathan Josephs - violin on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Sebastian Fenton - viola on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Sarah Robson - viola on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What A Friend I've Found"
  • Paul Kimber - double bass on "Sanctify", "All the Way", "King of Fools", "History Maker" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Paul Burton - engineering
  • Mike Roberts - engineering, loops and programming on "Deeper", "Revival Town", "August 30th", "King of Fools" and "History Maker"
  • Danny Bowater - engineering
  • Mark Edwards - loops and programming on "White Ribbon Day"
  • The Tehilla! Choir - backing vocals on "Revival Town", "White Ribbon Day" and "What a Friend I've Found"
  • Richard Swan - arrangement and conduction of string section and choir
  • Ray Staff – mastering



Country Peak position Certification
UK Album Chart 13 Silver[23]
US Heatseekers 13 -
US Billboard Hot Christian Albums 7 -


Year Title Peak Chart Position
UK Singles Chart
1997 "White Ribbon Day" No. 41
"Deeper" No. 20
"Promise" No. 20
"DeEPer EP" No. 36
2010 "History Maker" No. 4


  1. ^ "Albums - King of Fools". Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  2. ^ Furious? Records Grammy Nomination
  3. ^ Interview With Martin Smith
  4. ^ a b c d e "DELIRIOUS? – full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Fan Page Discography - White Ribbon Day
  6. ^ "Singles - Deeper". Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  7. ^ Delirious? Fan Site - Flyer
  8. ^ review Archived 19 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Cross Rhythms review". 1997-06-01. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ a b Rimmer, Mike (June 1997). "Delirious? - King Of Fools". Cross Rhythms (39). [dead link]
  11. ^ "link". 2001-07-13. Archived from the original on 13 July 2001. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  12. ^ a b Van Pelt, Doug (July–August 1998). "Album Reviews: DELIRIOU5? King of Fools". HM Magazine (72). 
  13. ^ "Jesus Freak Hideout review". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  14. ^ "MTV review". 1998-05-01. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  15. ^ "The Phantom Tollbooth review". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  16. ^ Crosswalk Review
  17. ^ JFH Review
  18. ^ MTV Review
  19. ^ Rimmer, Mike (June 1998). "Delirious? - D:tour: 1997 Live". Cross Rhythms (45). 
  20. ^ Delirious? Fan Site News Story - d:tour gig guide
  21. ^ Delirious? Fan Site Discography - d:tour Live 1997
  22. ^ Delirious? Fan Site Discography - View From The Terraces
  23. ^ Silver Certification - Furious? Records