The Luckiest - Ben Folds

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Description: Formed in 1994 in the keyboard-unfriendly environs of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Ben Folds Five started out with one big advantage over rival piano-led rock quintets; there were only three of them. Inspired by Nirvana's sinewy example ("They were great! It was like having The Who or someone around again"), this was a power trio with not an ounce of spare fat.Already lean and hungry from making repayments on Ben Fold's baby grand piano: Folds, bass-player Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee grew ever leaner and hungrier from carrying it up and down the stairs into smokey after-hours juke-joints. Not since Jimi Hendrix' Band of Gypsies had a three piece sounded so sweet. And they proved it with a barnstorming live cover of 'Crosstown Traffic' - in the long and proud tradition of piano-led Hendrix covers, this one stood alone.Signed to Caroline records, the Fives first single - the sublimely sarcastic anti-underground piano anthem 'Underground' - broke into the UK top 40 in late summer 1996. Even the enthusiastic patronage of Chris Evans' Radio One Breakfast Show could not diminish this songs toxic allure. All of a sudden Alice in Chains and Shed Seven were no longer hip - Billy Joel and Steven Sondheim were the new names to drop. And with the release of Ben Folds Fives irresistible eponymous debut album, a generation too young to know the joy of Elton John's 'Captain Fantastic' was soon learning to play the air piano.'One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces,' 'Missing the War,' 'Song for the Dumped' - is this more of the delightfully acerbic story - telling that made Ben Folds Five a set text for GCSE Bitter and Twisted. "There's a little more 'I' going on in the new songs probably" Folds explains. "It was good to get a feeling of a story, but people weren't understanding how personal it was. And I wanted to prove that I could still be a valid songwriter without having to be so fucking clever all the time.""It's pretty ambitious musically as well" he continues. "One song will have fuzz-bass and a polka band, the next will have a string section, and then there'll be one with our band as it normally is - just the basic piano, bass and drums."The magnificently petty 'Song for the Dumped' and the anti-cool 'Battle of Who Could Care Less' pick up where 'Where's Summer B?' and 'Underground' left off, but the parts of 'Whatever and Ever Amen' that Folds is happiest with are the ones where his band go places their debut couldn't reach. Songs like 'Brick' and 'Evaporated' are so personal that their author "prefers not to be in the same room when people are listening to them."Ben Folds Five peacefully broke up in 1999. Ben Folds has since released two albums: Rockin' the Suburbs, which features 12 new songs including "Fred Jones Part 2" (Cigarette from Ben Folds Five album Whatever and Ever Amen being Fred Jones Part 1) and Ben Folds Live which features live recordings of both Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five songs, old and new.LyricsI don't get many things right the first timeIn fact, I am told that a lotNow I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and fallsBrought me hereAnd where was I before the dayThat I first saw your lovely face?Now I see it everydayAnd I knowThat I amI am, I amThe luckiestWhat if I'd been born fifty years before youIn a house on the street where you live?Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bikeWould I know?And in a wide sea of eyesI see one pair that I recognizeAnd I knowThat I amI am, I amThe luckiestI love you more than I have ever found a way to say to youNext door there's an old man who lived to his ninetiesAnd one day passed away in his sleepAnd his wife, she stayed for a couple of daysAnd passed awayI'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belongThat I knowThat I amI am, I amThe luckiest

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The Luckiest - Ben Folds

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