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Ben Folds Five


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Audio CD, July 25, 1995
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Ben Folds Five + Whatever And Ever Amen (Remastered Edition) + The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 25, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Passenger
  • ASIN: B000000IDJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jackson Cannery
2. Philosophy
3. Julianne
4. Where's Summer B.?
5. Alice Childress
6. Underground
7. Sports & Wine
8. Uncle Walter
9. Best Imitation Of Myself
10. Video
11. The Last Polka
12. Boxing

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Like the best guitar heroes, Ben Folds, pianist and leader of a guitarless trio called the Ben Folds Five, commands and fuels his small, tightly wound ensemble with an authoritative, nearly virtuosic style. Folds, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, borrows from everywhere but lends new inspiration and insight to the instrument's possibilities--he's the Jimi Hendrix of the baby grand. His frenetic keypounding eclipses old-time styles from honky-tonk to Jerry Lee Lewis rag, and he outplinks megastars such as Elton John and Billy Joel while sifting them both through the mondo hammerings of classic pop-loving alternative keyboard bashers like Todd Rundgren and Squeeze's Jools Holland. To complement Folds-the-pianist's clean and bright ivory tinkerings, Folds-the-singer's clear and dynamic tenor swirls through Folds-the-songwriter's very capably crafted, sugary pop gems. "Philosophy" starts with a rolling Joel-like intro, slips into a Rundgrenish verse and chorus--complete with the perfect Beatlesque harmonies of bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee--and then breaks out in an overdriven piano quote from Gershwin in the climactic solo. "Underground" Sgt. Peppers us with faux theatrics and then plunges into a soul-gospel groove about the joys of the alternative rock scene. "Uncle Walter" is a character sketch Ray Davies wishes he wrote but couldn't; "Boxing" is an imagined confab between Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell that Tom Waits wishes he wrote but wouldn't. The rest of Ben Folds Five's debut achievement just does what any other timeless summer record should: it makes you feel sunny enough inside to last all through the year. --Roni Sarig

Customer Reviews

This is one of the best albums I have ever purchased.
Daniel Patterson
This is the first album from Ben Folds Five, and while thier hit cd is "Whatever and Ever Amen" this cd i believe is equally as good.
The man
What a great album...every track hooks you from the first listen, and guaranteed it doesnt leave your player for ages.
Daniel Cherney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth S. Rose on March 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ben Folds Five's first self-titled album is a homage to what seems to be a new stage in life: 20-Somethinghood, the period between adolescence and "real life." Many albums have covered adolescence, dating, cliques, fashions, finding yourself amid changes. But Ben Folds attacks the period after when all these questions are supposed to be dealt with, but in today's world a lot still go unanswered.

You think you have a secure identity, but you find the people around you changing until you second guess yourself. It's a time when you have your closest friends, but they always seem to slip in and out of your life as everyone tries to make their path. Everyone keeps moving, including yourself. You chase "the" relationship. You pass from crappy job to crappy job. You try to finally conquer the demons of High School. You try to regain your lost childhood.

Many of Ben Folds's lyrics read like letters, especially the brilliant "Alice Childress" and "Where's Summer B?" songs so intimate you think you've opened someone's mail. Ben sprinkles his songs with delicious humor as on "Juliane," a celebration of a mistake of a one-night stand, and "Uncle Walter," a song about a tongue scolding Ben receives from an absent girlfriend's drunken uncle. Ben assaults the trends of the mid-90's, the Grunge Era in "Underground" and Yuppie Psuedo-sophisticates in "Sports and Wine." Ben has a wonderful flair for making the little things people take seriously seem absolutely ridiculous and the tiny minutiae seem incredibly profound and intimate. All this culminates in "Best Imitation of Myself," where he simultaneously proves and debunks his own genius.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Rolling Stone called this album "pop bliss," and they certainly weren't kidding. Ben Folds Five, comprised of piano, bass guitar, and drums, is one of the most original sounds out there, helping to make this certainly one of the best, if not the best CD I own. The first 8 tracks are all light hearted, head bobbin' fun, from the kiss-offish "Philosophy" to "Underground" to "Uncle Walter," a character whom I believe everyone can relate with. The band gets a little more introspective on "Best Imitation of Myself," then slows things down with "Video" and "The Last Polka." The final track, "Boxing," is one of the best songs I have ever heard - period. So, if you want an excellent debut album that you won't want to take out of the CD player for months upon months, I strongly urge you to check this album out, you won't regret it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Shaffner on November 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I love all sorts of music-- from Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx, to Dave Matthews and Jon Mayer, to Sum 41 and Queens of the Stone Age, to Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, to Fatboy Slim and DJ Shadow, to Ella Fitzgearld and Norah Jones, to Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and beyond. But this is my favorite. Of EVERYTHING. In the whole world. Ben Folds Five was an amazing band, and to this day I internally weep at the fact that they are no longer together, because though Folds himself is a fabulous solo performer, the music is always stronger when performed with all the instruments intended to be used in the songs. But if you are only going to buy one Ben Folds or BFF cd, this should be it. It makes you smile, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think. But most of all, it makes you happy-- to know that in this day and age musical prodigies do still exist.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas B. Lamb on August 29, 2011
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This is literally the worst vinyl pressing I have ever purchased. The sound is wretched. As soon as I finished listening to the album I hit the internet to see if anyone was complaining about the label's vinyl quality and sure enough people are trashing Plan Recordings pressings left and right. Don't buy this if you're expecting it to sound like vinyl should, it sounds like a crappy MP3 pressed to vinyl. If you just want a copy of the album and don't care about the sound, have at it.

STAY AWAY FROM PLAIN RECORDINGS VINYL!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mattaca on June 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This CD is an incredible wonder, from a band who was underappreciated by all the fans of "Brick", which is by far from the Five's best song. I heard "underground" on the radio sometime in 96 and tracked them down for the next year. Thanks to a helpful lyric by Adam Duritz of Counting Crows ("I got Ben Folds on my radio right now"--Monkey, from Recovering the Satellites) my friend decided if Ben was good enough for Adam, he was good enough for us too, and bought the CD having never before heard it. When I realized I had found the band behind "underground" my friend must have thought I was having a seizure.
It took me a week for him to let me borrow it. I still remember sitting in bed trying to go to sleep as I listened, and being absolutely still so that I could hear the lyrics. By the time I reached "The Last Polka" and "Boxing" I was so far from sleep I was practically stuck to the ceiling. Adam may have made a mistake, as my favorite band soon switched to Ben and crew.
The reasons Ben Folds Five are so great:
1. The call themselves five, when there are only three. (Ha!) 2. They have no lead guitar, and head out with a totally original line up of only piano, drums, and bass. 3. The lyrics are golden-way too quotable. 4. The swing songs (Sports and Wine, Steven's Last Night in Town) are as impressive as the ballads (Boxing, Selfless, Mess, etc.), a feat rarely accomplished. 5. Ben's voice could tame a German Shepard.
If you have never experienced Ben Folds Five, this CD is the least professional (concerning studio recording quality), but also the most hearful, and my personal favorite.
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