Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Wednesday Top 5

Another week and another top 5.

As mentioned last week Ben Folds it will be.

Many many years ago whilst working in a certain Telford music megastore I was entrusted twice and only twice to deal with a rep and buy music, on one of those occasions I was cajoled by said rep into buying a number of Farley Jackmaster Funk CD singles, that remained in the store unsold until its refurbishment many many years later, the other time was a single by Ben Folds Five, Underground. Its fate wasn’t as negative as Farley Jackmaster Funk, however the amount ordered far outweighed the amount sold.
I cursed Ben Folds Five, for they had damned me to a life of servitude in the record shop business and my record buying career was dead in the water. I was a dab hand at putting out CD’s though and knew my folk from my bluegrass, usually involved if the person on the sleeve was wearing a Stetson.
That all said, subminally Ben Folds, Five and Fiveless was always in the back of my mind, I kind of liked subsequent singles I heard up until I heard a track of his being used on a Channel 4 documentary and then I decided that it was time to investigate further, and further investigation was had.
I realised relatively recently that Ben Folds is perhaps one of my favourite artists, in the same way that Eels are, it kind of snuck up on me.

So today’s top five is Ben Folds’ 5.

Easily his best track and the song that I heard on the Channel 4 documentary is Brick. The story of an abortion and you think how can a song about abortion be beautiful? I don’t know, maybe its because maybe it’s Ben and a piano, maybe because you believe what he is saying, maybe its because you get to dip in and hear the vast majority of the story. I wonder if it is autobiographical, and if so, the lady involved, what her thoughts are on having such a private experience being made so public.

Brick by Ben Folds Five

Following that is a track from the album Songs For Silverman, and that track is Late, a tribute to Elliott Smith. Folds clearly is a fan and it is from a fans perspective, drawing touring parallels and the impact that Smiths life and indeed death had on Folds, and how much his music meant to him. Songs for Silverman is a consistently good album and Late is by far the best work on there.

That is what would be number two if I had the video to back it up with, as I haven't here is a video of Ben doing Smoke.

Smoke by Ben Folds

Lightening the mood somewhat after those two is a song from a later EP called, There is always someone cooler than you. Wise words. If you had a virtual pot of Ben Folds songs and they were arranged in tempo, I would wager there are very few of the more uptempo songs that I would listen to prior to something such as Brick, or Smoke or any of the more down beat, slower songs, There is always someone cooler than you is an exception, initially getting a limited release until the ep’s were collected and released in a longer form.

There is always someone cooler than you by Ben Folds.

Number 4 is a track from the Ben Folds Five era, and its Philosophy from the debut album, Ben Folds Five. This took on a life of its own when I saw it performed live, totally different feel to it and certainly a fan favourite if not THE fan favourite.

Philosophy by Ben Folds Five.

That is if it wasn’t for number 5, Rock this bitch is to Ben folds what Suburban Rhythm is to Reel Big Fish, I feel guilty for putting it on this five as he has a million songs better, but it sort of highlights the juxtaposition between something like Brick and this. Rock this bitch alters on any given night, only to be sampled live.

Rock this bitch with WASO by Ben Folds.

Rock this bitch by Ben Folds

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