CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Faith No More – “King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime” Turns 25

What if there’s no more fun to have?” This seems to be a common sentiment among many when looking at the state of the world these days. Here at Ghost Cult, we’re hoping to bring a little joy, perhaps, dare I say, a will to live? If you’re anything like me, music is as essential to you as the air that you breathe, the blood in your veins, or Matt Pike’s lack of a shirt.

So, how about we take a look a gem that’s turning 25 this year while modern civilization collapses around us? In case the opening sentence to this didn’t already give it away, I’m talking about the fifth studio album from Faith No More; King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime (Slash/Reprise). This album constantly fights with The Real Thing (Slash) and Angel Dust (Slash/Reprise) over the number one spot in my heart and for good reason.

I don’t know if I’m the right person to writing something like this. I’m a bit of a fangirl and I’d be hard-pressed to find any of their work that I didn’t enjoy at least a little. Some divide between the Chuck Mosley and Mike Patton era material but there’s value in it all and don’t try to talk to me if you can’t appreciate ‘Chinese Arithmetic’. I probably could say a little something about every individual song on KFAD but then we’d be here all day and no one wants that. Instead, here are some of my favorite tracks off of this album.

Let’s start with a crowd favorite, ‘Evidence’. This song just oozes lust and the bass line gets me every time, almost as much as Patton’s sultry voice does. Whether you’re enjoying some quality time with a special friend or simply lounging around, this song hits the spot. I have it on a relaxation playlist alongside a few other songs, including sister track ‘Caralho Voador’. That said, I’ve always preferred to attach my own meaning to songs and don’t bother to actually look them up so this will always be about glory hole adventures gone wrong in my mind. Still groovy as hell.

Next up we have ‘Cuckoo for Caca’. Why do I love this song? It’s energetic, a little heavier, and even a touch creepy. I’ve always been a fan of Patton’s weird noises and that organ gives me life. If I’m being chased by a serial killer or trapped in a murder house, this better be playing as I draw my final breaths. Maybe it’s because the first time I heard this song I was running through a dungeon in a long-forgotten video game and being massacred by the monsters within. Everyone needs a soundtrack to die and respawn to.

Our title track ‘King for a Day’ is one of my favorite songs to drive to. It’s very easy to just get lost in your own head and wind up on some unfamiliar road. I have a habit of clinging to a line here or here, a little something that just resonates with me for whatever reason. With ‘King for a Day’, it’s the last few words; “Don’t let me die with that silly look in my eyes”. Maybe it’s because my goth ass spends entirely too much time contemplating mortality, but I can understand that desire to meet a hopefully honorable end. Or perhaps it’s the emotional depth of a pairing breaking down, coming undone, and leaving you looking like a fool. Then again, maybe I’m just reading too far into things.

Our final stop on this stream of consciousness journey brings us to ‘Just a Man’. This is one of my favorite songs in the band’s entire catalog. It’s Faith No More’s version of gospel music. It’s so dramatic and I just eat it up. I think the only other FNM track that supersedes this one is ‘Matador’ off of Sol Invictus (Reclamation Records/Ipecac Recordings). They both turn me into a weeping mess but, before ‘Matador’, we had ‘Just a Man’. I’m rather introspective and like using music as a tool in self-reflection because I was clearly a terrible philosopher in a past life. This is a perfect bookend for KFAD. It’s soothing while smacking you in the face and forcing you to think if you let it.

Music moves us, it shapes us, it changes us. We’ll always remember the excitement that KFAD stirred up when it was first announced or the impact that it had on us during that first listen. More importantly, this is one release by a band that resonated with and influenced multitudes and continues to live up to the hype to this very day whether it be through a studio recording or if you have or have had the chance to see them live.

The truth is that nothing I say will ever encompass just how much this record means to Faith No More fans. I could go on and on about my personal relationships with the rest of the songs on this record and foolishly attempt to neatly categorize such a primal connection to music. But me, I am just a woman.

Catch Faith No More on their upcoming tour with Korn this summer/fall. I’ll see you in Mansfield!