Midlife Crisis

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"Midlife Crisis"
Single by Faith No More
from the album Angel Dust
  • "Midlife Crisis" (The Scream Mix)
  • "Jizzlobber"
  • "Crack Hitler"
  • "Midnight Cowboy"
ReleasedMay 26, 1992 (1992-05-26)
RecordedJanuary–March 1992
StudioCoast Recorders & Brilliant Studios, San Francisco, California
Producer(s)Matt Wallace
Faith No More singles chronology
"Falling to Pieces"
"Midlife Crisis"
"A Small Victory"
Audio sample
Midlife Crisis

"Midlife Crisis" is a song by the American rock band Faith No More. It was released on May 26, 1992 as the first single from their fourth album, Angel Dust, it became their only number-one hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Music and lyrics[edit]

"Midlife Crisis" is an alternative metal[1] and funk metal[1] song, which incorporates progressive rock and hip hop elements.[2]

Mike Patton has denied that the song is about having a midlife crisis, as he did not know what one would feel like, but says that "it's more about creating false emotion, being emotional, dwelling on your emotions and in a sense inventing them"[3] and that:

The song is based on a lot of observation and a lot of speculation, but in sort of a pointed way it's kind of about Madonna... I think it was a particular time where I was being bombarded with her image on TV and in magazines and her whole shtick kind of speaks to me in that way... like she's going through some sort of problem. It seems she's getting a bit desperate.[3]


During production the song was given the working title of "Madonna"[4] which was later maintained as a setlist name during live performances;[5] the drum track for the song contains a sample of the first bar of the song "Cecilia", as performed by Simon and Garfunkel, repeated throughout.About this soundsample [6] The bridge features a sample of "Car Thief" by the Beastie Boys.

Music video[edit]

The video for this song was directed by Kevin Kerslake, who also directed their shoestring video for the song "Everything's Ruined"; the version on the Who Cares a Lot?: Greatest Videos collection is uncensored and contains shots during the bridge which show a man being stretched by four horses (alluding to an old punishment for regicide, known as "quartering") – the censored version uses additional shots of choirboys running to a large cross instead. Singer Mike Patton can also be seen dancing around holding a spade.

For the video, the sound mix of this song is slightly different than the album version (on certain promotional releases it is referred to as 'The Scream Mix'). For the DVD re-release of Who Cares a Lot?: Greatest Videos, the album version of the song is used instead, with the accommodating edits made.

Appearances and covers[edit]

"Midlife Crisis" has featured on the soundtrack for the videogames Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the fictional radio station Radio X. It is a master track song on Rock Band 3, with the fade-out ending edited for gameplay reasons.

The song has been covered on industrial metal band Bile's 2002 album The Copy Machine, it was covered by American rock band Disturbed twice: the first time for a Faith No More tribute album, which was instead released through the Internet; the second time as a B-side to their fourth studio album Indestructible. This re-recorded version was released on Covered, A Revolution in Sound and re-mastered for a third release on their B-side collection album The Lost Children.[7]


Track listing[edit]

1."Midlife Crisis" (The Scream Mix)Patton
  • Bottum
  • Bordin
  • Gould
  • Patton
  • Martin
  • Patton
3."Crack Hitler"Patton
  • Gould
  • Bottum
  • Bordin
4."Midnight Cowboy"InstrumentalBarry4:13
Australian edition
1."Midlife Crisis"Patton
  • Bottum
  • Bordin
  • Gould
  • Patton
  • Martin
  • Patton
3."As the Worm Turns" (re-recording)Mosely
  • Bottum
  • Gould
  • Mosely


Chart (1992) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 31
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 9
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 39
European Hot 100 Singles (Music & Media)[11] 61
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 32
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 36
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 32
Poland (PL)[16] 49
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 10
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[18] 32
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[19] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Terich, Jeff; Blyweiss, Adam (October 3, 2012). "10 Essential Alternative Metal Singles". Treblezine. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Grierson, Tim. "Faith No More - 'Angel Dust' Review". About.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Q30 on the FAQ on the Faith No More website
  4. ^ The Making of Angel Dust. MTV. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  5. ^ "Faith No More FAQ, Q32". FNM.com. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Q40 on the FAQ on the Faith No More website
  7. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – MASTODON, DISTURBED Featured On 'Covered, A Revolution In Sound'". Roadrunner Records. January 13, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Faith No More – Midlife Crisis". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Faith No More – Midlife Crisis" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Faith No More – Midlife Crisis" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  11. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. June 20, 1992. p. 17. Retrieved August 10, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Faith No More – Midlife Crisis". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Faith No More". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Faith No More – Midlife Crisis" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – Faith No More – Midlife Crisis". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |".
  17. ^ "Faith No More: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  18. ^ "Faith No More Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "Faith No More Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 26, 2016.

External links[edit]