# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Faith No More - King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime

  by Aaron Brown

published: 16 / 11 / 2004

Faith No More - King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Aaron Brown reexamines Fairth No More's much misunderstood and underacknowledged 1995 album, 'King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime'

Recently a down market pretentious music rag declared Faith No More “metal losers”, when they did a ‘being a rock star on a budget’ feature. Not taking this seriously as the only losers were the people who buy that particular magazine, I thought, maybe I should write something about the band, Faith No More. To call them metal, well that’s just some ignorant tosser who’s into flavour of the month bands and thinks music began with 'Nevermind'. Faith No More were never really metal. Hailing from the musical hot bed of San Francisco, they had folk, the acid craze, disco, funk and punk, to let's say inspire them. I admit that 'The Real Thing', their 1989 breakthrough album, while it sounded good at the time, is dated, kind of like 80's rap. But everything Faith No More did after that sounds as fresh and inspiring as the day and hour the band said:”Let’s make a new album”. And this brings me on to Faith No More’s 1995 masterpiece, 'King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime'. For anyone, and I mean anyone just getting into rock music and wanting to avoid mainstream pop, this album is for you. For anyone who always over looked this album, or were never a major fan of the band or always thought their much-acclaimed 1992 album, 'Angel Dust' was their best record, how wrong are you? Where do I start? When I first heard this album I thought it was the biggest pile of crap. No joke. I mean a rock act playing jazz and funk. Jazz odyssey anyone? It took me a further two years to listen to it the whole way through and then it started growing on me. My closed mind's thought that rock bands should stick to playing rock music began to fade. As I listened more and more, I realised what a fool I had been. I mean a rock act playing jazz and funk and not screwing up, that’s talent. That’s showing everyone else, fuck you, we’re not playing by your rulebook anymore. We’re taking your rulebook and burning it. Who needs guitar solos ? We aren’t Kiss. The band was by no means a happy family for this record. Plagued by internal friction, which was pretty much usual for Faith No More, guitarist Jim Martin, due to creative differences, quit the band just prior to its recording, while keyboardist Roddy Bottum was, how do the Red Hot Chilli Peppers put it, suffering from nervous exhaustion? To top this off they were in a near fatal car crash during recording. Talk about being hexed ! Yet, like predecessor, 'Angel Dust', it incorporated so many different styles of music you couldn’t pinpoint it as a rock album. Mr Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance’s talents were hired for this record. I’ve a feeling with this move singer Mike Patton performed coup d’etat, gaining more of a Mr Bungle influence over the final outcome. 'King for a Day' is the more schizophrenic jazz influenced son of 'Angel Dust', which was a heavier driven album. Tracks like opener, 'Get Out' ; 'The Gentle Art of Making Enemies and 'Ugly in the Morning' show you what heavy rock is all about. They, however, give the false impression; you’re now listening to a rock album. Tracks like 'Evidence', 'Take This Bottle' and the gospel inspired 'Just a Man' show that the band could write easy listening music and were not afraid what their peers thought. Like on 'Angel Dust' the band weren’t afraid to write songs about their experiences in a biographical sense. 'Get Out', as its name suggests. was written in the wake of Jim Martin leaving the band. If you can’t start a mosh to 'The Gentle Art of Making Enemies' then get off the dance floor. It’s still as fresh today as it was nine years ago. The jazz influence rears its head a lot. When I first heard 'Evidence' I wasn’t too sure at first who the song was by. My first thoughts were that it was a cover and that Spandau Ballet had finally written a decent song. 'Star AD' is a big band jazz track reminiscent of some Las Vegas Casino show from the 50's complete with a funky bass and horn section. And you can hear the Mr Bungle influence a mile off. A song about the music business obsession with death. How many metal bands do you know could record a song like this with conviction and still hold their heads up high? Probably my favourite track, the title song, is a beautiful, semi-acoustic driven piece. It gives you the hope, that yes you can be king for a day, but ultimately, you’re a fool for a lifetime. I have a feeling the band thought their fifteen minutes were up. This record was a statement, yes we can write good radio friendly songs, but we can also write songs that can damage your hearing up too. King for a Day is an amazing album. If you don’t agree with me, take your Dillinger, Incubus and System albums and sell them to Smack Generator. You’ve no taste. As Tim Leary would put it, open your mind. If you’re haven’t listened to Faith’s albums since they broke up, or you’re just getting into rock I recommend this album.

Track Listing:-

Picture Gallery:-
Faith No More - King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime

Faith No More - King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime

Faith No More - King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime

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