To celebrate the release of Faith No More’s new album this week, we’re running a special series of celebratory articles. In this series, we look at each of the Patton-era albums, continuing with 1995′s King For A Day…Fool For A Lifetime!
01. Get Out
04. Gentle Art of Making Enemies
05. Star A.D.
06. Cuckoo For Caca
07. Calho Voador
08. Ugly In The Morning
09. Digging The Grave
10. Take This Bottle
11. King For A Day
12. What A Day
13. The Last To Know
14. Just A Man
Every big band has that one album so often referenced as “underrated but actually my favourite” that you wonder how underrated it actually is. For Faith No More, that album has to be King For A Day…Fool For A Lifetime.
Before I heard it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. On the one hand I was already a huge Patton fan - The Real Thing, Angel Dust, Fantômas, and the Mr. Bungle’s trilogy of albums had ensured that – but on the other, I was sure that one day I would come across the Patton album I didn’t like.
The day I picked up King For A Day was not that day. Even now, it includes one of my favourite straightforward FNM vocal performances in “Last To Know” as well as some of Patton’s craziest moments within the band in “Cuckoo For Caca”. Musically it felt perhaps a bit more cohesive than Angel Dust, while still covering a wide variety of sounds and moods.
King For A Day had more slow songs than previous albums, with “Evidence”, “Caralho Voador”, “Take This Bottle”, large portions of the title track, and “Just A Man” taking a very laid back approach – but Faith No More hadn’t gone soft. “Cuckoo For Caca” had some of the band’s hardest hitting material in it, and the opening salvo of “Get Out” and “Ricochet” are very rocky numbers indeed.
One obvious reason for this change of direction will lie in the departure of long-term guitarist Jim Martin, whose straightforward riffs had been a key component of the early Faith No More sound. His replacement was Patton’s Mr. Bungle cohort Trey Spruance, so it is perhaps unsurprising that King For A Day…Fool For A Lifetime is the most Bungle-esque Faith No More album. Whilst the band’s relationship with Martin was strained to the point of outright hostility, Trey brought his own creative tensions to the mix, and left almost as quickly as he joined, with live duties carried out in the interim by Dean Menta.
Perhaps this feeling of King For A Day being underrated comes from the critical response which was, at the time, mixed to say the least. Nevertheless, the album has lived on in fans’ minds, on their shirts, and as we celebrate its 20th birthday, we can all rejoice that FNM are back – all the while hoping they play “The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies” on some of upcoming tour-dates. That would be sweet.