Ben Folds Gets Retrospective

07/29/2011
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Legacy Recordings have set an October 11th release date for Ben Folds' The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective.

The most comprehensive and definitive Ben Folds collection ever assembled, and first-ever domestic overview of Folds' music, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective is remastered from original master tapes, bringing together Ben's biggest hits, deep catalog fan favorites, hidden treasures, and collectible rarities while premiering the first newly recorded Ben Folds Five tracks in 11 years.

Available as a single disc or in an expanded three disc set, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective features liner notes and track-by-track song annotations by Ben Folds.

"This is the album I will submit for the next Voyager to be launched into space," says Ben Folds in his liner notes for The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. "It's my best shot at an honest assessment of where I was in each period of my career. In the end we tried to put together a collection of the unrepeatable, each recording hopefully representing a moment that was somehow otherwise beyond my ability."

A perfect point of entry for newcomers as well as a treasure trove for the initiated, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective is a carefully curated 18-track distillation of the essence of two decades of Ben Folds music, from the break-out hits "Underground" and "Brick" with Ben Folds Five through solo work and unexpected collaborations ranging from "You Don't Know Me" with Regina Spektor to "From Above" (with lyrics by Nick Hornby, author of "High Fidelity"). Pointing to the future, the disc closes with "House," one of three new Ben Folds Five songs recorded especially for the retrospective.

A bonanza for dedicated Ben Folds aficionados, the expanded three disc version of The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective includes a 24-page booklet and two additional discs containing previously unreleased live and studio material, rare solo and BFF demos and studio outtakes, alternate mixes, scorching concert performances and the debut releases of "Tell Me What I Did" and "Stumblin' Home Winter Blues," a pair of brand new Ben Folds Five tracks, recorded in 2011.

After The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective was assembled from "literally hundreds of recordings," according to Ben, an additional extraordinary fully-realized 55 completed tracks remained. Too many for inclusion on the retrospective and too good to put back on the shelf, the tracks will be available in a special online Ben Folds '55' Vault. Fans purchasing the three-disc expanded edition of The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective will be given an individual code redeemable for a bonus 5 song downloadable EP from the Ben Folds '55' Vault in addition to access to 50 Ben Folds ultra-rarities available for purchase exclusively on the site.

Along with his first major career retrospective arriving in October, Ben Folds is reprising his role as celebrity judge on "The Sing-Off," the a cappella singing competition series returning for its third season as part of the NBC Fall line-up beginning September 19 (check your local listings). This fall Ben is also producing the upcoming EP from Sara Bareilles, who joins him as a judge on "The Sing-Off" panel this season.


Disc One - The Best Imitation of Myself
01. Brick (Radio Mix) (with Ben Folds Five)
Taken from Brick single - 1998
02. Annie Waits
Taken from Rockin The Suburbs - 2001
03. Philosophy (with Ben Folds Five)
Taken from Ben Folds Five - 1995
04. Underground (with Ben Folds Five)
Taken from Ben Folds Five - 1995
05. Landed (Strings Version)
Taken from Landed (Digital Single) - 2005
06. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces (with Ben Folds Five)
Taken from Whatever and Ever Amen - 1997
07. Don't Change Your Plans (with Ben Folds Five)
Taken from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner - 1999
08. The Luckiest
Taken from Rockin The Suburbs - 2001
09. Smoke (with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra)
Audio taken from Live in Perth - 2005
10. Rockin' the Suburbs
Taken from Rockin The Suburbs - 2001
11. Kate (with Ben Folds Five)
Taken from Whatever and Ever Amen - 1997
12. Gracie
Taken from Songs for Silverman - 2005
13. Still Fighting It (Extended Version)
Alternate Mix from Rockin The Suburbs - 2001
14. You Don't Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)
Taken from Way To Normal - 2008
15. There's Always Someone Cooler Than You
Taken from Supersunnyspeedgraphic, The LP - 2006
16. Still
Taken from Over The Hedge-Music From The Motion Picture - 2006
17. From Above (with lyrics by Nick Hornby)
Taken from Lonely Avenue - 2010
18. House (with Ben Folds Five)
New Track - 2011

Disc Two - Live (1997 - 2011)
All tracks previously unreleased (except where noted)
01. Julianne (with Ben Folds Five)
02. Video (with Ben Folds Five)
Recorded at Studion in Stockholm, Sweden on March 12, 1997
03. Song for The Dumped (with Ben Folds Five)
Recorded for Hard Rock Cafe Live television program on June 12, 1998
Originally released June 20, 2000 on album The Best of Hard Rock Café Live
04. Missing the War (with Ben Folds Five)
05. Mess (with Ben Folds Five)
06. Magic (with Ben Folds Five)
Recorded at Royal Albert Hall in London, UK on December 14, 1999
07. Selfless, Cold and Composed
Recorded at Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY on December 9 2001
08. Zak and Sara
09. Girl
Recorded at Roseland Ballroom in New York, NY on June 13, 2002
10. Just Pretend (with the Bens)
Recorded at Palais Theatre in Melbourne, Australia on March 24, 2003
11. Fred Jones Part 2 (with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra)
Recorded at Kings Park in Perth, Australia on March 12 & 13 2005
Originally released December 6, 2005 on the Epic DVD Live in Perth (EVD 58494)
12. Careless Whisper (featuring Rufus Wainwright)
Recorded at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA on August 24, 2005
13. All U Can Eat
Recorded at Ben's Studio in Nashville, TN on October 24, 2006
Originally released February 27, 2007 on the DVD Live at My Space (EVD 704151)
14. Long Tall Texan
Recorded at the Warehouse in Houston, TX on October 24, 2008
15. Army (with Ben Folds Five)
16. Battle of Who Could Care Less (with Ben Folds Five)
Recorded at UNC Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill on September 18, 2008 for the MySpace "Front to Back" series
17. Kylie from Connecticut
Recorded at the State Theatre, Detroit, MI on October 9, 2008
Originally released on April 7, 2009 on the iTunes release The Sound of Last Night ... This Morning
18. Effington
Recorded at Ax Hall, Seoul, South Korea on June 9, 2011
19. Picture Window
Recorded at HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London, UK on February 20, 2011
20. Sentimental Guy
Recorded at Diamond Hall in Nagoya, Japan on June 7, 2011
21. Not the Same
Recorded at A.E.C. Theatre in Adelaide, Australia on May 22, 2011

Disc Three - Rarities (1991 - 2011)
All tracks previously unreleased (except where noted)
01. Unrelated
Unfinished Song Demo - 1996
02. Best Imitation of Myself
Demo - 1991
03. Rocky
4 Track Home Demo - 1993
04. Boxing
Demo - 1993
05. Julianne (with Ben Folds Five)
Unreleased 1st Album - 1994
06. Evaporated (with Ben Folds Five)
Unreleased 1st Album - 1994
07. Alice Childress
Originally released on Rare on Air 3: KCRW Performances - 1997
08. Barrytown (with Ben Folds Five)
Originally released on Me, Myself and Irene Soundtrack - 2000
09. Amelia Bright (with Ben Folds Five)
Mitch Easter Sessions - 2000
10. Tell Me What I Did (with Ben Folds Five)
New Track - 2011
11. Rock Star
Demo - 2000
12. Losing Lisa
Demo - 2000
13. Break Up at Food Court
Demo - 2000
14. Wandering
Demo - 2000
15. Hiro's Song
Demo - 2000
16. The Secret Life of Morgan Davis
Alternate Mix - 2001
17. Such Great Heights
Alternate Mix from MySpace sessions - 2006
18. B*tches Ain't Sh*t
Originally released as b-side of Landed 7" vinyl single (34 071845)
19. Time
Alternate Version - 2004
20. Sleazy
Originally released on Download to Donate's Tsunami Relief - 2011
21. Because the Origami (with 8in8 - Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and Damian Kulash)
Originally released on Nighty Night - 2011
22. Stumblin' Home Winter Blues (with Ben Folds Five)
New Track - 2011

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