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Ben Folds Five

692 Ben Folds Five by Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds Five

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Caleb Southern
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The Ben Folds Five debut album exposed a new generation to the piano rock of Billy Joel and Elton John with Gen X sarcasm and wit

Author & Special Guests

It's hard to imagine a piano-led trio playing power-pop and 70s singer-songwriter influenced songs making headway in the sea of sorrow that was the first half of the 90s. Maybe it's better Ben Folds Five made their debut in 1995, when labels abandoned looking for the next Pearl Jam or Nirvana and went after anyone with a radio-friendly song that could pair with an MTV video. Boasting Billy Joel and Elton John-style piano flourishes over fuzzed out basslines and active drums, the trio move deftly through a dozen tracks of "punk rock for sissies" with smarts and savvy, keeping the songs tight with memorable melodies throughout. Though they would shoot into the mainstream on their follow-up, the self-titled debut effort shows the band had the songwriting chops from the start.

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Songs in this episode

  • Intro - Jackson Cannery
  • 21:55 - The Best Imitation of Myself
  • 38:32 - Video
  • 44:47 - Underground
  • Outro - Philosophy

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Ben Folds Five