Ben Folds Five (album)

Ben Folds Five is the self-titled debut studio album by American alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, released in 1995. A non-traditional rock album, it featured an innovative indie-pop sound, and excluded lead guitars completely.[1] The album was released on the small independent label Passenger Records, owned by Caroline Records, a subsidiary of Virgin/EMI. Ben Folds Five received positive reviews, and spawned five singles. The record failed to chart, but sparked an intense bidding war eventually won by Sony Music.[2] Several live versions of songs originally released on Ben Folds Five reappeared later as b-sides or on compilations.

Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 8, 1995
RecordedWave Castle, North Carolina, February 1995
ProducerCaleb Southern
Ben Folds Five chronology
Ben Folds Five
Whatever and Ever Amen
Singles from Ben Folds Five
  1. "Jackson Cannery"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Underground"
    Released: April 8, 1996
  3. "Where's Summer B.?"
    Released: June 7, 1996
  4. "Philosophy"
    Released: 1996
  5. "Uncle Walter"
    Released: 1996


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Chicago Tribune    [3]
Drowned in Sound9/10[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[6]
Rolling Stone     [9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [10]

Ben Folds Five received positive reviews from NME, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Entertainment Weekly. Michael Gallucci praised the album as "a potent, and extremely fun collection of postmodern rock ditties that comes off as a pleasantly workable combination of Tin Pan Alley showmanship, Todd Rundgren-style power pop, and myriad alt-rock sensibilities."[1] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice selected "Boxing" as a "choice cut".[11]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Ben Folds, except where noted.

1."Jackson Cannery" 3:23
2."Philosophy" 4:36
3."Julianne" 2:30
4."Where's Summer B.?"Folds, Darren Jessee4:07
5."Alice Childress"Folds, Anna Goodman4:34
6."Underground" 4:11
7."Sports & Wine" 2:58
8."Uncle Walter" 3:51
9."Best Imitation of Myself" 2:38
10."Video" 4:07
11."The Last Polka"Folds, Anna Goodman4:34
12."Boxing" 4:45



  • Producer: Caleb Southern
  • Mixing: Marc Becker
  • Photography: Alexandria Searls



  1. ^ a b c Gallucci, Michael. "Ben Folds Five – Ben Folds Five". AllMusic. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  2. ^ Kurutz, Steve. Ben Folds Five at AllMusic. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  3. ^ Stewart, Allison (November 30, 1995). "Ben Folds Five: Ben Folds Five (Caroline)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Smith, Jon (November 29, 2001). "Album Review: Ben Folds Five – Ben Folds Five". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  6. ^ Mirkin, Steven (July 28, 1995). "Ben Folds Five". Entertainment Weekly: 62. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  7. ^ "Ben Folds Five: Ben Folds Five". NME: 53. April 27, 1996.
  8. ^ Schreiber, Ryan. "Ben Folds Five: Ben Folds Five". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 11, 2000. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  9. ^ Cohe, Jason (October 5, 1995). "Ben Folds: Ben Folds Five". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 15, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Sarig, Roni (2004). "Ben Folds Five". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Ben Folds Five: Ben Folds Five". Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  12. ^ " Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  13. ^ "ベン・フォールズ・ファイヴ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of Ben Folds Five by Ben Folds Five]. (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > May 1997 > Certified Awards (March 1997)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.