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Ben Folds

Singer/pianist Ben Folds (born September 12, 1966, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is best known as the leader of the power pop trio Ben Folds Five, but has also struck out on his own as a solo artist. Despite playing in bands in high school, his musical career didn't really get off the ground until the late '80s, as a bassist for Majosha (the outfit issued such obscure releases as Party Night: Five Songs About Jesus and Shut Up and Listen to Majosha). Proving his multi-instrumental talents, Folds also played drums as a session musician in Nashville. After relocating to New York, Folds started acting again (he'd previously done some theater in high school) and signed a publishing deal with Sony Music.

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. The band was signed to the independent Caroline Records shortly afterward, resulting in its self-titled debut one year later. Due to airings of the humorous anthem "Underground" (which poked fun at the politics of the punk/alternative scene) on MTV's 120 Minutes) and constant touring, quite a buzz was stirring for the band by the time of its second album.

Released in 1997, Whatever and Ever Amen was pure pop perfection -- easily one of the year's best releases and perhaps the best power pop release of the '90s. The band's songwriting and sound had improved even further, as evidenced by such gems as "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces," "Fair," "Kate," and "Battle of Who Could Care Less," plus their whimsical tribute to breakups, "Song for the Dumped." But it was the ballad "Brick" that broke the band commercially -- 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 (it has been speculated that the tale was autobiographical for Folds). The single didn't hit until several months after the album was released, which meant that the band stayed on the road for well over a year, playing with such notables as Dave Matthews, Beck, and as part of the 1997 H.O.R.D.E. festival -- earning Whatever platinum status.

While 1998 didn't see a new studio album by the band, Ben Folds Five's former label issued a 16-track rarities collection (Naked Baby Photos) as Folds released his first solo album, Volume 1, under the pseudonym Fear of Pop. Although the album went largely unnoticed, it included the song "In Love," which included overly dramatic vocals from none other than Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner (comparable in approach to Shatner's must-hear 1968 album, The Transformed Man) 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, although the energetic leadoff single, "Army," showed that Folds' humorous approach hadn't dulled at all.

Folds officially went solo again in 2001 with Rockin' the Suburbs. A series of EPs followed, with the new long-player Songs for Silverman dropping in 2005. He released Supersunnyspeedgraphic: The LP in 2006, followed by the full-length Way to Normal in 2008. In 2009 Folds contributed two songs to University A Cappella!, a collection of covers of some of Folds' best tracks by various university groups. 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. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I love the acapella versions of his songs! :D
First saw Ben in concert at a little club in '97, his music has been the soundtrack to my life the last nearly 20 years!
he's so good on so many levels, adore him!
amber8080
You Don't Know Me!!!!!!
Kiss your left hand 15 times, say your crushes name close your hand and say a school day than open your hand and post this on 15 other songs and that day that you said u crush will ask you out.
Hes from Winston-Sale m ? Thats awesome! Newfound love for Ben Folds.
wonder if Ben Folds laundry
This is so freaky how much this works so don't this! If u copy and paste this on 10 other songs will have the best day of ur life but if u don't u will see a dead little girl in room tonight sorry.
neeley011502
i like this song
amazing
I can relate to this song
Really chill
to624
Haha
Why can't everyone be as amazing as him? I mean he just has an amazing, whispering, tone. Love hike too much. He so refreshing as a vocalist.
shortmey
Follow me on Instagram @supersonics p i f f
bc12786
I really haven't heard much of this artist besides the lovely depressing song brick.... Which is a good one
Perfect
I miss this music..
YOU AINT KNOW ME
pavanna101
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
ahhh I love this song
Am I the only one who notices the guy in the crowd on the album cover giving us the middle finger haha classic
I love this song except for the F***. Can't listen to it at home with kids around.
i absolutely love this song!!!!! if there were a double thumbs up or a favorite this would so be it!!!!!
I've been listening to him since I was two
My dad was always playing Ben folds and for that I I'm so thankful
Follow me I follow back It might take a bit though
sandratrevin o 7
I love how he just goes FUUCK!!
skh.stonelak e
Yeah I swear YOU DON'T KNOW ME none of you know me, seriously I swear 0.0 and if you do then you're a stalker
This song soooo explains my current relationship . :p
Haha right back at you! You don't know me;-p
U don't know me!!��
Don't read this because it really works. You will be kissed by the love of your life on the nearest possible Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. But if you don't post this you die in two days. Now you have started reading so don't stop. Put this on at leats 5 songs in 143 minutes and when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. It's scary because it works
He's so clever:)
I love this song. It describes something with me personally i couldnt describe on my own i like a guy he like me but we were stangers
:)
i love the song from over the hedge Rockin the Suburbs
I love Ben Folds
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this comment on at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't 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
This sounds like show tunes :)
B**ches ain't S**t!
Saturnman who u Callin a b**ch???
You don't know me at all!!! Haha love this song!! Love their voices<3 ;)
I want my money back you b**ch!
kat2207056
I like his voice very much :)
I feel that I just about lived this song today. Yeah... Wasnt the best day ever.
MUST READ!!!!! Stupid people who post stupid chains are a waste of space and need to get a life. I didn't die by reading your stupid post and not kissing my hand. Been married to the same man for 25 years and didn't have to do stupid crap like this to get his attention. In fact, you are probably driving away people by posting stupid things like this. Try being normal for a change!!!! It just might work for ya!!!!
<3
You F**king go man




can tell one without even know in who it is!
you just can't get a white boy that I have ever seen to just to good diction comin out of those white boys
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