Happy Anniversary: Faith No More, King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime
21 years ago today, Faith No More released their fifth album, their first since the departure of guitarist Jim Martin from their ranks, and no matter whether it was intentional or incidental, you have to admit that it was a bit of an eyebrow-raising decision for the band to kick off King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime with a song entitled “Get Out.”
Martin, who had been with the band since 1983 and had played on We Care a Lot, Introduce Yourself, The Real Thing, and Angel Dust, but after the release of the latter album, he bid the band adieu over a variety of matters – he discussed them in a 2012 interview with Loudwire – but it’s probably best summed up with these two sentences: “It was my choice to either play their game, fight with them and let the press spin it, or leave them to play with themselves and allow you to make a decision based on the work I left behind. In an effort to avoid the negativity, I chose the latter.”
With Martin gone, Trey Spruance – from Mike Patton’s side project, Mr. Bungle – took over on guitar for the King for a Day sessions, though not for the subsequent tour. (That task would fall to Dean Menta.) The combination of writing and rehearsing took eight or nine months, and the actual recording process took an additional three months, with the end result being an album which met with mixed reviews, most of which seemed insistent on the band maintaining more of a sonic consistency with their material. Clearly, Faith No More were beholden to no one but themselves, but their fans still seemed to be enjoying what they were doing, enjoying the singles “Digging the Grave,” “Richochet,” and “Evidence,” all of which made it into the Top 40 in the UK.
Alas, the same can’t be said for King for a Day in the US: although it hit #31 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, none of the singles charted in America, not even on the Alternative Singles chart. As such the album remains somewhat of a cult classic, so if you’re a Faith No More fan who’s never heard it, you’d better remedy that now, lest you be remembered as a fool for a lifetime.