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Album: Here's to Future DaysReleased: 1985Charted:
This song finds Thompson Twins frontman Tom Bailey
singing about a disillusioned girlfriend that he loves so much, that he would give up all the riches and power in the world to make her happy.
The song nicks a line from The Beatles "All You Need Is Love
" when Bailey sings, "Love is all we need to get us through." Explaining how this line is key to the song, Bailey told us: "The message was curiously derived from the '60s, that love is all you need, and despite all these problems, that's what we should emphasize."
Here's To Future Days was originally produced by Alex Sadkin, who had helmed the band's previous two albums. However after vocalist/guitarist Tom Bailey was diagnosed with nervous exhaustion and ordered to rest by doctors, the Thompsons reconsidered the entire project, and scrapped most of the material. Once Bailey was better, they recruited Chic's Nile Rodgers to take over production.
Two different recordings of "King For A Day" were released: The UK single version featured the band's older, more synth-based sound, whilst the American and album versions was the guitar-led Rodgers production and featured some axe work from the Chic leader himself.
This was the second US single from the LP Here's To Future Days. It was the last Thompson Twins song to break the Top 10 in America, although they scored minor hits with "Get That Love" (#31, 1987) and "Sugar Daddy" (#28, 1989).
Here's To Future Days marked the last album for the group as a trio, as Joe Leeway departed, leaving just Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie, who were a romantic couple and would get married in 1991.
Tom Bailey stopped performing Thompson Twins songs in 1987, and didn't play them again until 2014 when he headlined the Retro Futura tour with Howard Jones. Bailey took a fresh look at his classic hits and decided that this one was key to the setlist, as it helped explain his absence.
"In a way, 'King For A Day' is a song that explains why I've been missing for 30 years," Bailey told us. "It kind of says the whole fame and fortune game doesn't ultimately satisfy me, and I got distracted by other things. So although I'm glad to be back and sorry about being away for so long, this is my excuse."
On the tour, Tom played a new arrangement of the song, which was slower and considerably longer than the original.