"Everybody's Fool" is a song by American rock band Evanescence. Wind-up Records released the song on June 7, 2004, as the fourth and final single from their debut studio album, Fallen. It was written by Amy Lee and Ben Moody and it was produced by Dave Fortman. According to Lee the song talks about celebrities like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, who strip and sell their bodies. Inspired by her sister's love for music artists who had false images, Lee wrote the song five years before the release of the album.
Critical reception towards "Everybody's Fool" were mixed to positive with critics praising the nu metal sound of the song. The accompanying music video for "Everybody's Fool" was filmed in April, 2004 and it was directed by Philipp Stölzl. It showed Lee in the role of a model who had a completely false image for her life. It focused on the struggles that Lee's character suffers because of her modelling career and her opposite lifestyle. "Everybody's Fool" was included in the set list of the Fallen tour. A live version was also available on their first live album, Anywhere but Home (2004).
"Everybody's Fool" was written by Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges and produced by Dave Fortman. The Millennium Choir performed background vocals for the song. According to Lee, the song talks about celebrities who have completely false images. It has been misinterpreted as a message against Christian faith, due to the band's denial of being a Christian band. During an interview, Lee explained: "My little sister was really getting into these, I don't want to offend anyone, but like really fake, cheesy, slutty female cracker-box idols, and it really pissed me off. She started dressing like them and she was like 8 years old. So I gave her the talk and I wrote a song." She later revealed that the song was written for American pop singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera adding, "At this point, everybody knows that Britney is fake. The song is not about Britney Spears; it's about a lot of people in this industry. It's so fake, the whole Hollywood thing. 'Look at how perfect I am!' Nobody looks like that. It's all fake and it's really hurting a lot of girls' and women's self images. Where are all the normal people?". According to the sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing at the website Musicnotes.com, "Everybody's Fool" is written in the key of F major. It is set in a time signature of common time and performed in a tempo of 92 beats per minute. Lee's vocals in the song range from the note of A3 to the note of D5. After the third single from Fallen, "My Immortal" continued to grow successfully, Lee revealed that "Imaginary" would become the band's next and final single from the album stating, "I think it's very epic. It's one of those big Aerosmith or Black Sabbath kind of songs. It's like an opus, with the choir and the rock and the programming. I love that song." However, the release of "Imaginary" was scrapped and "Everybody's Fool" was released as the fourth single from Fallen on June 4, 2004, while a maxi single was released on April 28, 2004.
Johnny Loftus of Allmusic classified "Everybody's Fool" as a nu metal song. Adrien Begrand of PopMatters concluded that the song "take[s] things to a more over-the-top, theatrical level." Scott Juba of The Trades rated the song with A, and wrote: "As far as the band's single, 'Everybody's Fool', is concerned, it is a song about the stinging betrayal of deception and the refusal to become blinded by deceit any longer. There is a defiance in Lee's voice that gives the track a bold edge, and the song's heavy drums and soaring guitars further enhance the strong sound. The band surely has another chart topping hit on their hands." Simon Cusens of ABC Online gave the song 3 out of 5 stars calling it "a cold, sad and angry song that I would only like to listen to without it being repeated again." Joe D'Angelo of MTV News wrote that "rolling acoustic guitar and billowing synthesizers pave the way for the harsh power chords that open the song" adding that Lee's voice was "disembodied" in the opening lines "Perfect by nature/ Icons of self-indulgence/ Just what we all need/ More lies about a world that/ Never was and never will be."
The song peaked at number 36 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart on May 8, 2004. On June 13, 2004, "Everybody's Fool" debuted at number 23 on the Australian Singles Chart which later became its peak position. It spent five weeks on the chart appearing at number 42 in its last week on July 11, 2004. On the UK Singles Chart, "Everybody's Fool" debuted at number 24 on June 12, 2004 which later became its peak position. The next week, it fell at number 40 and it was last seen on the chart on June 26 at number 49. It also charted in other European countries upon its release.
The accompanying music video for "Everybody's Fool" was directed by Philipp Stölzl and it was filmed in Los Angeles, California in mid-April 2004. Talking about the filming and the development of the video, Lee said: "There's this one scene with everybody on motorbikes that every time I see it I just crack up. It's the slow-mo scene where I take off the helmet and swoosh my hair and look at the camera ... and it kills me. It's so hilarious, it's ridiculous. [...] It's a really different thing for us to do because it's not performance at all. Everybody was laughing at me the whole time. I was just like, 'Please don't laugh at me. Just give me five minutes so I can do this.'" Lee added that the message of the video is in the name of the products her character is advertising, each of which are called "Lies" because according to her "[... the] whole life is a lie. Every smile, that's a lie."
Lee conceptualized the video around the lyrics to the song: "It's kind of about exposing that it's fake. And the video's more along the lines of exposing the real behind-the-scenes [lives] of some of these people. It's basically showing the glamorous lifestyle and the depressed, selfish misery behind it. [...] It's like beating a dead horse at this point, but at the time Britney Spears was just coming out. But I still think it's relevant." Joe D'Angelo of MTV News wrote that "fans will get to see Amy Lee like never before. Instead of her homemade wings and signature gothic garb, the clip finds Lee dressed alternately as a wholesome teenager, a kitschy pop idol and a softly lit glamazon." Amy Lee portrays the life of a model who promotes products by a company called "Lies". The music video focuses on the struggles that Lee's character suffers with because of her modeling career and her opposite lifestyle.
Before the music begins, Lee appears with blond hair, a baby-blue blouse and a long white skirt and emerges from the kitchen holding a fresh-from-the-oven frozen pizza, in a TV commercial. She presents the pizza to her family and, as the camera zooms in for a close-up, the brand name on the pizza box is visible and it is called Lies. "There is nothing better than a good lie," Lee says cheerily, through a smile. Scenes of Lee in her hotel room follow as she removes her makeup. Those scenes are followed by Lee with "luxurious auburn tresses and dangling diamond earrings" as she plays a glamorous spokesmodel who violently scribbles and scratches out her picture in magazines after the photo shoot has finished. She also portrays a motorcycle girl in a commercial who drinks a soft drink called "Lies" that affords its drinker the opportunity to "Be somebody."
In a Japanese-style commercial, with both Japanese and English texts, she plays a Barbie-like doll with pink hair. Each scene ends with Lee crying. During the bridge, two girls in an elevator are seen laughing at the model's appearance, stating that she looks much older than they thought she was. Next scene, she is shown in a bathtub singing the song to herself. Another segment shows her breaking a mirror with her bare hand, which starts to bleed uncontrollably. In the final scene, she stands on the balcony of a building, crying and screaming at a billboard featuring one of her advertisements, saying that the model side of her isn't "real and you can't save me", and that the public is oblivious to how she really lives.
The song was part of the set list of Evanescence's first worldwide tour, Fallen Tour. An acoustic version is performed on the behind-the-scenes section on their first live album, Anywhere but Home (2004) and another live version of the song from Le Zénith, Paris is also placed on the album. Johnny Loftus of Allmusic said that "when the guitars do show up (like on 'Everybody's Fool'), Lee matches their power easily."
Credits for "Everybody's Fool" are taken from Fallen's liner notes.
- "Everybody's Fool" (album version) – 3:15
- "Taking Over Me" (live from Cologne) – 4:06
- "Whisper" (live from Cologne) – 5:22
- "Everybody's Fool" (instrumental version) – 3:15
The song was made available to download on April 3, 2012 for play in Rock Band 3 Basic and PRO mode utilizing real guitar/bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits/keyboards plus vocal harmonies.