Ben Folds Announces iTunes First

(PR) Ben Folds and iTunes have teamed up for an innovative program that includes his new album, current tour, live recordings, even an exclusive live album for a new way music is recorded and distributed to music fans worldwide.

Ben Folds fans have been able to pre-order his latest album, WAY TO NORMAL, in conjunction with choice seats to his current tour through an iTunes partnership with Ticketmaster. Upon doing so they immediately received two advance tracks from the album prior to its official release.

During Folds' current U.S. tour, iTunes is introducing a new program called "The Sounds of Last Night...This Morning," for which one live track is being recorded in each of 10 cities and made available the next day exclusively on the iTunes Store.

Tracks are recorded to a Mac, previewed on an iPod, original cover art is made by Folds with Apple's Photo Booth application and sent to iTunes for sale the next day. Following the conclusion of the tour the tracks will be compiled for an exclusive iTunes live album. Fans may purchase the album at a reduced price based on the songs they've already bought via iTunes' Complete My Album feature.

Way to Normal was mostly recorded at Folds' studio in Nashville and produced by Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, The Hives). With Folds on vocals and piano, the album also features long-time bassist Jared Reynolds and drummer Sam Smith as well as a guest vocal from indie pop heroine Regina Spektor on the album's first single, "You Don't Know Me." Folds and band with special guest Spektor appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last night and will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live on November 13.

Way to Normal is Folds' third solo studio release and is dominated by the kind of irresistible hooks and piano-pounding pandemonium that listeners haven't been treated to since his years with his previous band, the platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. The album is an exuberant, raucous, and sometimes profane mix of sure-fire crowd-pleasers ("Hiroshima," "b***** Went Nuts," and the frenetically fuzzed-out "Dr. Yang"), cheerful snark-fests ("The Frown Song," "Brainwascht"), and thoughtful, moving ballads ("Cologne," "Kylie From Connecticut") that Folds wrote at the end of 2007. Paste magazine exclaimed: "These 12 songs are more of an anthropological study of aberrant human behavior, idiosyncratic news stories and bizarre chapters of the musician's own autobiography, all observed with the same unstinting absurdist eye as J.D. Salinger -- his artistry seems fully realized - witty, balanced and highly charged."

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