FAITH NO MORE | Kerrang! | Issue 552 | 01.07.1995

Kerrang! | Issue 552 | 01.07.1995
Who's Fooling Who | Neil Jeffries

FAITH NO MORE'S 'King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime' album is being re-released as seven 7" vinyl records complete with rarity B-sides and band interviews. What does this add to the mix? Precisely nothing according to NEIL JEFFRIES.

IS THIS mad or what? Five months after the original album release, London Records are rereleasing 'King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime' plus four Bsides and five, six-minute interviews, one with each band member - as a boxed set of seven 7" EPs.

Cynics (and there are always cynics at times like these) would have to say that this is an unlikely way to attract new Faith No More fans and so the potential customers are almost certainly the people who already purchased one of the normal formats as well as the single Bsides. And what about those fans and collectors who want the interviews, but can't play vinyl? London Records should and do know that even for rock fans, vinyl is an increasingly unpopular minority medium to collect.

But rather than race on up to the moral high ground and spit fire and brimstone down on London Records, let's retrace the story of the music.

In terms of songwriting and performance this is Faith No More'sbest album. Although it may be less instantly appealing than their 1989 breakthrough, 'The Real Thing', it is surely destined to be recognised as far superior. If all was fair in the world of rock n' roll, it would already be a massive hit But it ain't. It has sold okay in the UK and Germany, but pretty much stiffed in the States. How come?

Perhaps FNM fans were so disappointed by the uncomfortably varied highs and lows of their last album the angst-ridden 'Angel Dust', made as much as an antidote to 'The Real Thing' as a natural follow-up that they didn't trust its eventual successor.

Perhaps they were put off by the change in line-up, but FNM knew they had to improve or implode. Getting rid of guitarist Jim Martin prevented the latter and the hiring of guitarist Trey Spruance to record the album signalled the former. His playing on (King For A Day...' added a new dimension to Faith No More's already eclectic sound. His subsequent refusal to commit to touring and his replacement with Dean Menta (who worked only on the B-sides that are now part of this package) was a strange step that are now park of this package) was a strange step forward - even in the Twin
Peaks-like world of Faith No More. But 'strange' is what floats their boats and besides - amidst all this smokescreen sat the album itself, awaiting and deserving serious attention.

It has to be said, this bizarre new format doesn't make it any easier, with the running order completely revamped and interrupted by interviews and less worthy tracks (especially 'I Wanna F**k Myself')... but then who, in all honesty, will bother to play all seven discs one after the other anyway?

The cynics are, of course, right. This is purely an exercise in marketing, hoping the fans' devotion stretches to wanting to hear Bill Gould conclude that the album is "like a cabinet" or Patton talk sensibly - honest! About how individual ideas "get raped" by the rest of the band. Roddy is thoughtful, deep and intelligent, Mike Bordin is irrepressibly enthusiastic, while Dean Menta tells the best story: how he got to join the band.

But the truth is that the interviewer follows a predictable line of questioning and the answers will quickly pale in their interest. Of much more lasting value would be a discussion of why London didn't flex Its marketing muscle a little more effectively five months ago and make the original album the hit it so richly deserves to be.


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