Ben Folds Five
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Ben Folds Five

April 9, 2004

  Song Title
Jackson Cannery
Where's Summer B.?
Alice Childress
Sports & Wine
Uncle Walter
Best Imitation Of Myself
The Last Polka

Product Details

  • Original Release Date: August 8, 1995
  • Release Date: August 8, 1995
  • Copyright: (C) 1995 Caroline Records, inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 46:14
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000SNW0CK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,484 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20-Somethinghood 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
5.0 out of 5 stars S/T rocks! February 19, 2000
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone (with taste) 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 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RATING THE VINYL PRESSING, the music is AMAZING. 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.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give a Masterpiece a Chance December 2, 1999
Format:Audio CD
I followed the popular path of buying an artist's (here, BFF) latest CD (Unauthorized Biography...) and progressing backward in time until I came to the first CD (this self-titled album). What a mistake. Don't get me wrong, I continue to listen to the other BFF CDs just as religiously, but I must say that this CD is by far my favorite. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that it is kind of different than Folds's other albums--here he exhibits his skill at banging out rockin' chords with relatively simple lyrical accompaniment, as opposed to the thoughtful arpeggios on Unauthorized Biography.... Suffice to say, this CD demonstrates Folds's ability to make piano-pop rock. If you enjoy, play, or just have looked at a piano before in your life, give this album a chance (note: the best song, in my opinion, on the CD, The Last Polka, is not available for listening online--take my word for it and BUY THIS CD).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEN MAKE-A ME CRY June 25, 2001
By mattaca
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I missed out
Wow what a great album I missed out when It came out. This album is good from first track to last track
Published 10 days ago by Ethan Horner
4.0 out of 5 stars buy it for it for the rest....
Great collection of upbeat, thoughtful music. As a fan of well written lyrics, I think BFF stands up there with any of the piano greats.
Published 4 months ago by Futureman
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and beautiful music
I live a pretty sheltered life as far as modern music music is concerned. I grew up on the 80s and was quickly shuffled into classical, so I'm catching up now. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lenore Michels
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Vinyl Recording
I concur with others that have dissed this vinyl recording. It has no high end at all, as if the frequency response was cutoff abruptly at 6000Hz. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Doug H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Killer flute player!!!
This is my fish feeding anthem!!! I love playing this cd while I'm running around the house pretending to be a little kitty with short fat, stubby legs! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Adam Maldonado
5.0 out of 5 stars For all vinyl buyers!!!..
Of course the album is a stone cold 90's classic but i felt i needed to mention the vinyl pressing from Plain Recordings as it has been getting a lot of negative reviews on this... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dave C
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as I feared
I would tend to disagree with the other reviewer, it's certainly not the worst vinyl I've ever heard. Read more
Published 21 months ago by C. Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Folds is quite the music man
I own most of his stuff, and can't say he had made a bad one yet.. A+
Published on June 3, 2009 by Harlan C. Huelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ben Folds Ever
This is my favorite Ben Folds CD. I have several others (Whatever and Ever Amen, Rockin the Suburbs, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, Songs for Silverman) but this... Read more
Published on June 2, 2009 by B. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple unabashed, yet thoughtful, catchiness
This is the last Ben Folds Five album I came across. It really is strange how they've evolved yet how familiar it feels. As always Folds throws out hooks like they were nothing. Read more
Published on April 2, 2008 by T. Dye
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