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The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective

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iTunes Review

Assembled by Folds, this retrospective features all aspects of his career with Ben Folds Five and his solo work. The deluxe 72-track edition, with alternate mixes, live tracks, studio outtakes, and home demos, is the far more comprehensive look and a greater value, but either version gives you the insight necessary to see what a talented tunesmith he was from the beginning. The new track “House” is another captivating piano-and-strings piece that shows he’s still operating at full capacity. “Brick” is here in its radio mix. “Landed” features strings, while “Annie Waits” takes Folds’ Elton John influences and crafts them into his own compelling narrative. The remastered sound brings an added punch to classic band tracks such as “Philosophy,” “Underground,” and “Don’t Change Your Plans.” His collaboration with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for “Smoke” points up Folds’ great versatility. This is pop music with great things happening: simple yet complex, always ready with a pop hook without losing its musical soul. The real shockers are the demos, which are slightly rougher in sound but feature performances as accomplished as their studio counterparts.

Customer Reviews

How can you not love Ben?

I highly doubt that I'm the first to review, even though iTunes says I am, but if so, YAY! Anyway, if you love Ben you're going to get this even though you have a lot of the songs, like I do. I'm very excited. I will get anything he puts out forever.

Best $20 I've ever spent on music...

period. 66 songs and 5 music videos. You can't beat it, even if some of the songs on disc 1 are duplicates from other albums or EP's.

"Cologne" or No Cologne - a seriously sizable compilation

I agree with Mr. Thames, I would have liked to have seen "Cologne" on the track list; or better yet, "Before Cologne/Cologne" as a single track. Nonetheless, it's great to see Ben get a career-spanning release of at least most of his most excellent tunes. Keep up the good work, Mr. Folds!


Born: September 12, 1966 in Winston-Salem, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

American singer, songwriter, and producer Ben Folds emerged in the mid-'90s as the leader of the power pop trio Ben Folds Five, before striking out on a successful solo career. Following a late-'80s stint playing bass for the band Majosha, the North Carolina native spent several years in Nashville working largely as a session drummer. Folds dabbled in acting after relocating to New York, while performing solo gigs around the city and further developing his piano and songwriting skills. Moving back...
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The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective, Ben Folds
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