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Ben Folds Five

Led by the pop-minded prowess of their namesake frontman, Ben Folds Five dispelled any misgivings about a band's ability to rock without guitars. Calling themselves "punk rock for sissies," the Chapel Hill natives were often grouped with the nerd rock movement of the mid-'90s, although their debt to jazz music -- not to mention Ben Folds' acerbic spin on the classic pianist/songwriter tradition -- ensured the trio a long-lasting legacy after their split in October 2000. The band also provided a launching pad for Folds himself, who continued releasing piano-based pop songs well into the subsequent years.

The group's story is, in many ways, the story of its de facto leader and namesake, Ben Folds. The son of a carpenter, Folds was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Upon graduating high school in the mid-'80s, the young songwriter drifted from place to place in hopes of discovering a good scene to sow his brainchild. Throughout a decade in which hair bands ruled the airwaves, Folds spent frustrating stints in Miami, Chapel Hill, New York, and Europe before landing in Nashville in the early '90s. In spite the fact that Nashville was a songwriter's mecca, or because of it, Folds found the city's approach to songwriting frustrating and exclusive. While producers and managers wanted obvious hits, Folds wanted, instead, to follow his own muse, and a notoriously eccentric one at that.

When Folds finally drifted back to Chapel Hill in 1994 he formed a piano-based trio with bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee, and within weeks, the band cut an indie single that attracted the attention of Caroline. Their 1995 self-titled debut sold enough copies to warrant the kind of major-label bidding war that young bands fantasize about. Eventually signing with Sony, the group released Whatever and Ever Amen and continued the strenuous touring schedule that the band had become known for. Releasing the singles "Battle of Who Could Care Less" and "Brick" into a climate awash with soundalike guitar bands, Ben Folds Five and their witty, offbeat, piano-based music were a welcome difference and the group became critical and commercial darlings.

Inevitable comparisons to piano composers of yore such as Todd Rundgren, Billy Joel, and Joe Jackson followed, but the group fought hard to maintain their individuality. Over the next two years, Ben Folds Five kept their name in the press by releasing songs on soundtracks, as well as an album of outtakes, B-sides, and early live appearances called Naked Baby Photos. In early 1999 they released their third full-length album, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. In November 2000, Ben Folds Five abruptly announced their split, shocking fans and the media. However, the trio quickly announced that they would be pursuing individual projects. Bassist Robert Sledge was going to put his own group together while balancing his tour efforts with former Squirrel Nut Zippers multi-instrumentalist Tom Maxwell's group the Minor Drag. Drummer Darren Jessee also went after similar opportunities, playing club shows around New York City. Ben Folds didn't stop either, for the singer/pianist contributed "Lonely Christmas Eve" for the Grinch soundtrack, as well as the cut called "Wandering" for the 2000 independent comedy 100 Girls, before releasing a string of successful solo albums. The group re-formed in 2011, contributing a new track to Folds' 18-track The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. They made it official the following year with the release of The Sound of the Life of the Mind, the band's fourth studio album, and first since 1999. ~ Steve Kurutz
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Do It Anyway (Single)

Comments

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I love your song you don't know me Ben!!♡♥♡♥♡♥♡
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So Pandora just stopped doing lyrics. I guess there not an important part of songs anymore.
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Ben Folds Five is one of the best bands ever. You are seriously missing something if you don't see him live. Great ballads and hard driven piano songs laced with acerbic satire. So glad I discovered him.
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Ben Folds Five is my favorite band. These guys combine great musicality with a perfect blend of humor intertwined. Yet their best quality is that they know when to put the jokes down and play a serious song. These guys are the best.
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keegangamer9 0 0 0
He's so cool








































































:)






















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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now that you've started reading don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and and your lovers names will come up in big letters.
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Don't read this it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday. By the love of ur life. However if you don't post this in 2 days you will die. It works. Put this on 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press F6. Your lovers name will come up in big letters
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now that you've started reading don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and and your lovers names will come up in big letters.
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Love the live underground track. so witty and funny!
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Listening to The Sound of the Mind, I really love the song, although I'm not too find of the vocals. I think the lyrics are too annunciated, and I can't seem to get into the music. My only complaint, though, other than that it's great.
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danzigirwin
Ben Folds..... one of the few things I really liked about North Carolina. Great songwriter, great band.
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pianoalex5
Ben Folds has pure talent flowing from him as he creates music
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I have nothing but love for Benjamin Scott Folds!
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Imagine if Ben and otis redding cowrote a song
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b_register
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
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dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
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anyone else notice how the link to Volume I leads to the Tupac artist page? ...lol.
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I used to gank this cd from my kid sisters room...ahh good times...
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k9srockon
JUST saw him in concert. ROCKED!!!!!! ! !
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THE SOUND OF THE LIFE OF THE MIND. YES.
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k9srockon
Yay! Happy birthday ben folds!!!
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So many anthems have come from this band. Beyond excited about the big 2012 comeback! http://bit.l y / R q z s U i
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rogerdalexan d e r
The person that introduced me to Ben Folds told me that whenever she is tired of listening to everyone else in her music collection, she can always put Ben Folds on. I will have to agree with her. And I will have to agree also that he is great in concert. If you have never gone to a Ben Folds concert, you are missing out. He is a true entertainer.
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kmurph26927
He's even better live.
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This song is absolutely beautiful. Ben Folds Five recently reunited on Ben Folds' AWESOME retrospectiv e . One of the songs is called House I must agree with rebel that it is an amazing song, what an amazing comeback song. It's ALMOST as beautiful as Brick.
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flexyabmo
LOVE
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Ben Folds' new album The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospectiv e is sweet. I really dig the new song House off it!
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One of the best artists i have seen live. Ben is a gift, beautiful voice, great lyrics, and just about the best entertainer out there today. Love ya Ben
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Have seen Ben Folds/Ben Folds Five a few times and it's ALWAYS been such a fun time! Love the music and the way he always involves the crowd. Kiss my a**......goo d b y e ! :-)
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Still my all-time favorite band.
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He is a super nice guy for all of his "post modern irony".
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marymurph9
He was born exactly 2 days before me! Virgos united in creativity!
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I have always loved this song...
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Live in NC. Now a piano bar that plays Folds is something that I'm going to have to see.
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Ben Folds swings!
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Ben Folds Rocks!
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@Erik Dantoft- I actually play at a piano bar in Charlotte, NC, and I know about 15 Ben Folds tunes...
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Authentic & creative: powerful combination.
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I just wish people at piano bars could play a little BF5.
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Oh snaps. Forgot all about BF5. He takes the piano and owns it.
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trumpetboy, you can't compare a studio album to a live album.
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not to be hatin on ben, but ben folds five has a fuller sound, especially because of the drums. When comparing all of the songs on ben folds live that are bf5 songs, the songs always sound better when bf5 is performing them
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This man does something to a piano that makes my spine tingle! His live shows are bar none the best shows I've ever seen. His intelligent and humorous lyrics, brilliant compositions and ego-less approach make him one of my absolute favorite artists!
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I love you- you sassy little man! Keep on creating fun, creative, musically-or i g i n a l and classically- i n f l u e n c e d tunes. You are the Billy Joel and Elton John of my day! SWAK!
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Being in my 50's I first hurd of Joe Jackson when living in Madison, Wi. Always being a lover of musical stories, his style and his artistic differences stayed with me and I became a fan. Unfortunatel y for Joe, his music may have been ahead of it'st time and his popularity on a large scale suffered at the hands of artist like Elton John and the other flock of piano singing turbadors at the time. I'm glad his still around and have enjoyed his calaboration with Ben.
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kschuss1
i didn't listen to him at first on principle-- during college it was cool to love ben folds, and that "coolness" tells me 9 times out of 10 that the music is atrocious. but i have to say, i was pleasantly surprised, both at how much ben folds rocks and at the fact that for once the majority of ppl my age actually liked someone who was a GOOD musician.
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chwoodiv
Being from NC just adds to his awesomenocit y . you think he has monster truck?
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Mr Five does a good job, doesn't he?
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Awesome band.
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great
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