|Single by Ben Folds Five|
|from the album Whatever and Ever Amen|
|B-side||"Smoke (Live), "Kate (Ska remix)," "Mitchell Lane"|
|Released||January 1, 1998|
|Recorded||Sep 1996-Oct 1996|
|Genre||Piano rock, alternative rock|
|Writer(s)||Ben Folds, Darren Jessee|
|Ben Folds Five singles chronology|
"Brick" is a song performed by Ben Folds Five released on their 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen and later on Ben Folds Live. The verses were written by Ben Folds about his high school girlfriend undergoing an abortion, and the chorus was written by the band's drummer, Darren Jessee. "Brick" was one of Ben Folds Five's biggest hits, gaining much mainstream radio play in the USA, the UK, and Australia in 1998.
On the album Ben Folds Live, Folds explained: "People ask me what this song's about... I was asked about it a lot, and I didn't really wanna make a big hairy deal out of it, because I just wanted the song to speak for itself. But the song is about when I was in high school, me and my girlfriend had to get an abortion, and it was a very sad thing. And, I didn't really want to write this song from any kind of political standpoint, or make a statement. I just wanted to reflect what it feels like. So, anyone who's gone through that before, then you'll know what the song's about."
On Folds' recent iTunes Originals compilation, he confesses that he had attempted to write a song about the abortion for quite some time, but he had trouble getting the song finished because it was too literal, but thanks to Darren Jessee's chorus, the song was given just enough mystique to be the hit that it was. (Folds even jokes that "I've never understood a hit chorus. I wish I did.")
In his iTunes Originals interviews, Folds addresses his fanbase's disapproval: "When you have a hit song, much of your fanbase and people that listen to your music... their opinion is gonna be loud and clear that they feel that you've abandoned the fanbase; you've written something that's not for them, it's for everybody else, you've 'sold out', all kinds of things like that... That was the overwhelming vibe... 'What is that crap?'... because we'd been playing silly, up-tempo... we were the piano band that rocks... We couldn't even fit the song into a show."
He goes on to explain in the same interview that he was not put off by the fans: "When I look back on it, I think that the fact that that song was a hit gives me some confidence in pop music because the song is completely honest, what it is, it's crafted well, it's relaxed, it's recorded in a way that we'd never recorded a song before, which was absolutely live, three or four microphones in a bedroom. The song cannot have more integrity than it had."
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay||19|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40 Tracks||11|
|U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||6|
|U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream||17|
The music video features the band performing in front of a film projected on a screen on a wall, with several inches of water covering the floor.
Actress and artist Ariana Richards appears as a pregnant teen in the music video of the song.
- "Brick" - 4:43
- "Smoke" - 4:52
- "Kate" - 3:14
- "Fair" - 4:43
- "Mitchell Lane" - 3:40
- Amazon.com listing of album tracks
- SongFacts: 'Brick' by Ben Folds Five, retrieved 2008-07-04.
- The Bens with Ben Folds on acoustic guitar - Brick (live 2003), retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Countdown | Hottest 100 - Of All Time | triple j". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2012-01-04.