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Ben Folds

American singer, songwriter, and producer Ben Folds emerged in the mid-'90s as the leader of the power pop trio Ben Folds Five, before striking out on a successful solo career. Following a late-'80s stint playing bass for the band Majosha, the North Carolina native spent several years in Nashville working largely as a session drummer. Folds dabbled in acting after relocating to New York, while performing solo gigs around the city and further developing his piano and songwriting skills.

Moving back to North Carolina, in 1994 Folds formed Ben Folds Five, a trio that also included bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee. Whereas most alternative bands of the '90s specialized in distorted teen-angst rock, the guitarless trio was a refreshing break from the norm, its sound akin to such past power popsters as Todd Rundgren, Jellyfish, and early Joe Jackson, and such piano-driven artists as Billy Joel and early Elton John. But like punk bands, Ben Folds Five put on a high-energy, blistering live show. Their self-titled debut arrived in 1995 on Caroline Records, yielding their first cult hit, "Underground." With some help from MTV's 120 Minutes and plenty of touring, the band generated enough buzz to land a deal with Epic Records, which released their follow-up.

Released in 1997, Whatever and Ever Amen proved to be Ben Folds Five's commercial breakthrough, thanks in part to the single "Brick." Unlike the majority of Ben Folds Five's material, which was upbeat, the song contained melancholic music and vocals, as the lyrics told the story of a teenage couple who decides to get an abortion, a story later confirmed by Folds to be autobiographical. Eventually going platinum in the U.S., Whatever also fared similarly abroad, particularly in Australia and Japan.

While 1998 didn't see a new studio album by the band, their former label, Caroline, issued a 16-track rarities collection (Naked Baby Photos), while Folds released his first solo album, Volume 1, under the pseudonym Fear of Pop. Although the solo effort went largely unnoticed, it included the song "In Love," which featured some melodramatic vocals from none other than Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, and which was performed on The Conan O'Brien Show shortly after the album's release. Ben Folds Five regrouped with 1999's The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, which was a more mature work than its predecessors, and featured some of Folds' strongest songwriting to date. It would also prove to be the band's last record for over a decade.

Folds made his official solo debut with Rockin' the Suburbs, a more diversely arranged set that arrived in late 2001. A 2003 live effort, Ben Folds Live, was followed by a series of EPs before Folds returned to the piano trio format with the introspective Songs for Silverman in 2005. He released Supersunnyspeedgraphic: The LP in 2006, followed by the full-length Way to Normal in 2008. That same year saw a reunion show by Ben Folds Five during which they performed their third album in its entirety. In 2009, Folds contributed two songs to University A Cappella!, a collection of covers of some of Folds' best tracks by various university groups. Continuing to branch out in various directions, Folds joined NBC's a cappella talent show The Sing Off as one of the judges, a job he would hold for three seasons. Lonely Avenue, a collaboration with British novelist/essayist Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy), arrived in 2010, followed by the 18-track Retrospective: The Best Imitation of Myself 1995-2011, which represented Folds' first U.S. career overview. The compilation included a new song with the original Ben Folds Five, who re-formed the following year and released their fourth studio album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, followed by Ben Folds Five Live in 2013.

In 2015, Folds released So There, an eight-track collection of chamber pop originals that he recorded with New York City-based classical sextet yMusic. The album also included a performance of his "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra," with the Nashville Symphony. The album reached number one on Billboard's classical and classical crossover charts. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: In Concert 2015 - 2016 (With YMusic) (Live)

1. Not A Fan (With YMusic) (Live)

2. Erase Me (With YMusic) (Live)

3. Capable Of Anything (With YMusic) (Live)

4. Phone In A Pool (With YMusic) (Live)

5. Steven's Last Night In Town (With YMusic) (Live)

6. So There (With YMusic) (Live)

7. I'm Not The Man (With YMusic) (Live)

8. Effington (With YMusic) (Live)

x

Track List: Songs For Goldfish (Live)

1. In Between Days (Live)

2. Gone (Live)

3. Hiro's Song (Live)

4. You To Thank (Live)

5. Weather Channel Music (Live)

6. Evaporated (Live)

7. There's Always Someone Cooler Than You (Live)

8. Rockin' The Suburbs (Remix '06) (Live)

9. Radio Jingles For Tokyo's Inter-FM

10. Side Of The Road

x

Track List: So There

1. Capable Of Anything

2. Not A Fan

3. So There

4. Long Way To Go

5. Phone In A Pool

6. Yes Man

7. F10-D-A

8. I'm Not The Man

9. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra, Movement 1

10. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra, Movement 2

11. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra, Movement 3

x

Track List: Vault Volume III (2004-2011)

1. In Between Days (Live In Pennsylvania 2005-Edit)

2. Jesusland (Stadium Version-Live Hammersmith Apollo London, 5/31/05)

3. Side Of The Road (Alternate Cello Version)

4. Radio Jingles For Tokyo's Inter-FM

5. Prologue (Outtake From "Over The Hedge")

6. Heist

7. Lost In The Supermarket

8. Family Of Me

9. Rockin' The Suburbs (Remix '06)

10. Mess (Live In Boston With Neil Hannon)

11. Cologne (Piano Orchestra Version, Seeds Album Version)

12. Dr. Yang (Live Leuven, Belgium, 11/23/2008)

13. Free Coffee (Live In Mousonturm Frankfurt, Germany, 11/26/08)

14. Say Yes (Live At The Onion's AV Undercover 2010)

15. Wild Mountain Thyme (Alternate Version)

16. B**ch Went Nutz (Paradiso Amsterdam, Holland 3/7/11)

17. Hiro's Song (Shaker Version, Palais Theatre St. Kilda, Australia, 5/20/11)

18. Jesusland (Live In Kartini Jakarta, Indonesia, 5/26/2011)

19. Adelaide (Live In Adelaide 2011)

20. You To Thank (Live In AEC Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, 5/22/11)

x

Track List: Speed Graphic

1. In Between Days

3. Protection

4. Dog

5. Wandering

x

Track List: Way To Normal (Stems And Seeds) (Explicit)

1. Effington

2. The Frown Song

3. Dr. Yang

5. Free Coffee

7. B**ch Went Nuts

8. Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)

9. Kylie From Connecticut

10. Errant Dog

11. Brainwascht

x

Track List: Way To Normal (Explicit)

1. Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)

2. Dr. Yang

3. The Frown Song

5. Before Cologne

6. Cologne

7. Errant Dog

8. Free Coffee

9. B**ch Went Nuts

10. Brainwascht

11. Effington

12. Kylie From Connecticut

x

Track List: You Don't Know Me (Feat. Regina Spektor) (Explicit)

1. You Don't Know Me (Feat. Regina Spektor)

x

Track List: Supersunnyspeedgraphic - The Lp

1. In Between Days

2. All U Can Eat

3. Songs Of Love

5. Learn To Live With What You Are

6. B**ches Ain't S**t

7. Adelaide

8. Rent A Cop

9. Get Your Hands Off My Woman

11. Dog

12. Still

x

Track List: Landed

x

Track List: Super D

1. Get Your Hands Off My Woman

2. Kalamazoo

3. Adelaide

4. Rent A Cop

5. Them That Got

x

Track List: Sunny 16 EP

1. There's Always Someone Cooler Than You (EP Version)

2. Learn To Live With What You Are (EP Version)

3. All U Can Eat (EP Version)

4. Rockstar (EP Version)

5. Songs Of Love (EP Version)

x

Track List: Rockin' The Suburbs

1. Annie Waits

2. Zak & Sara

3. Still Fighting It

4. Gone

5. Fred Jones Pt 2

6. The Ascent Of Stan

7. Losing Lisa

8. Carrying Cathy

9. Not The Same

10. Rockin' The Suburbs

11. Fired

12. The Luckiest

x

Track List: You Don't Know Me (Radio Single)

Comments

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____________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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schoenhardt1 1
Don't read this you will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Now that you've started this don't stop this is so freaky. But if you read this and ignore this you will have berry bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When your done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear on the screen this is so freaky it really works
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Okay...
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.*°••~ ❤~••°*.
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Ben Folds is a genius- I can never get enough of his music. See him live- he is the sh*t. Amazing show and great with the audience. Song is pure live as well as on album. Keep going Ben! Best when he's with Robert Sledge, and Darren Jessee.
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saw him Saturday solo in Burlington, VT and I'm still smiling!
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Love your music!!!!!!!
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When I am not listening to Weezer he is my go to musician
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His songs are awesome he played a demo live online and the piano they provided him was completely destroyed and out of tune
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I've seen him in concert all over the place with symphonies, solo, with the five, indoors and out, and I've loved every one of those shows!! He is the mango
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Bibonnit you are WRONG this is awesome! Love the song! LOVE Ben!♥
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@bobonnit Droll means curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement ....?
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Droll and depressing. Thumbs down loser
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whoa cool song
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You don't know me :b
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(Insurance commercial with little kids being repeatedly disappointed )
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Great song. Even like the commercial he sold the song to.
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Saw him live at the Sydney Opera house earlier this year, and he was amazing. One of the top 5 best concerts I've ever seen!
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He is the best artist!
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Brings tears.....
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so catchy and fun! I accidentally posted it to my profile like 6 times
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Good song
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I love this song
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He. Is. The. King. I would kill to have just one piano lesson from him.
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I love you uuuuuu uuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuuuu u uuuuuuuuu uuu
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You don't know
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I know Jared Reynolds and his daughter,we are family friends!
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You tom
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sydneyreyes8 8 4 1 8
Wow this sounds great!
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Learn to Live With What You Are... truer words have never been spoken
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bizzybodies2 8
I remember hearing this about the time it came out, and it was the day after Christmas, alone, doing laundry, after a breakup. It nails that sense of being suspended there, after part of your life ends, before another one begins.
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I've never heard this from Ben before, but this type of misery music sometimes just makes things a bit better to handle for the moment!!
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Luv me sum ben
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His collab with Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and various others on the "8 in 8" album is so worth checking out.
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87maranda87
ha wasn't expecting that f* bomb at the end and was blasting this in the living room~ got some looks from my parents
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Akira
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U don't know me at all!!!
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nysfinest211 2
Ben folds is a gangsta. Best musician there is. Im sorry but when u can play piano without hitting a key you are hands down the boss. Legend
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Ben Folds is by far the most talented man on this planet!
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Great music! Wow he is 48 years old
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we are playing ben fold five stuff in my marching band! and we have gotten second in lower state!
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~d(-_-)b~ non of y'all's knowz me!!!!!!!!! Maw hahahahaha*c o u g h * *cough* yup
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Nobody knows me at all DX
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I saw Ben Folds perform with Contemporary Youth Orchestra, and it was so amazing!!
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No
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My favorite ben folds song is a tie between prison food and philosophy
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This is my fav ben folds album
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zane182
Great songwriter
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Rocking the suburbs has to be my fav. Ben folds song
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This reminds me of habbo, people who want to date online LOOOOOOL
Show more

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