Whatever and Ever Amen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Whatever and Ever Amen
Studio album by Ben Folds Five
Released March 18, 1997
Recorded September–October 1996, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Genre Alternative rock
Length 49:20
Label 550
Producer Ben Folds, Caleb Southern
Ben Folds Five chronology
Ben Folds Five
(1995)
Whatever and Ever Amen
(1997)
Naked Baby Photos
(1998)
Singles from Whatever and Ever Amen
  1. "Battle of Who Could Care Less"
    Released: 1997
  2. "Kate"
    Released: 1997
  3. "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces"
    Released: 1997
  4. "Brick"
    Released: January 1, 1998
  5. "Song for the Dumped"
    Released: 1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars [2]
Entertainment Weekly A [3]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars [4]
Pitchfork Media 7.6/10 [5]
Q 4/5 stars [6]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention) [7]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars [8]
Spin (9/10) [6]

Whatever and Ever Amen is the second album by Ben Folds Five, released in 1997. A remaster was made available on March 22, 2005. All of the extra tracks had been previously released (as b-sides, soundtrack contributions, etc.) except for a cover of the Buggles song "Video Killed the Radio Star", which is a staple of Ben Folds Five's live show.

Album recording[edit]

The entire album was recorded in a two-bedroom house Ben Folds rented in Chapel Hill. Due to this fact, the album has several lo-fi occurrences. A phone ring can be heard at approximately 2:56 in "Steven's Last Night in Town;" Ben Folds has said the ring was a friend calling from Minnesota, but it came at such a perfect timing, the band decided to leave it in the song. Robert can be heard laughing slightly after it rings as well. Crickets can also be heard in the background of "Cigarette."

Title and cover[edit]

Title[edit]

While recording the album, Folds told the Sheffield Electronic Press in November 1996 that the album would likely either be titled Cigarette or The Little Girl With Teeth.[9]

The title Whatever and Ever Amen comes from a line in the song "Battle of Who Could Care Less." Helped by a comedic video directed by Norwood Cheek, "Battle of Who Could Care Less" helped the band break through in the UK in early 1997.

Cover[edit]

The album's original cover featured individual photos of Folds, Sledge, and Jessee, along with a hand-drawn Ben Folds Five logo, and a hand-drawn "Whatever and Ever Amen." The 2005 remastered version shuffled these photos around, and added a fourth photo of all three bandmates sitting together.

Track notes[edit]

Near the end of the Nerdist podcast #132, Ben Folds mentioned that the lyrics for "Cigarette" were taken from a newspaper article about a man who sought a divorce from his wife after finding out she had a brain tumour, on the basis that she was not the same person he had married. The "sequel" track, "Fred Jones Part Two", is on Folds' first solo album, Rockin' the Suburbs.

The track "Steven's Last Night in Town" was written about Ben Folds' friend Stephen Short, a Grammy-Award winning record producer and manager.[10]

Hidden tracks[edit]

The first pressing of Whatever and Ever Amen features a clip of an actual argument in the studio between Folds, Sledge and Jessee, inserted between "Brick" and "Song For the Dumped". Speaking to The Shrubbery in 1999, Folds said that the clip "was a painfully documented real argument that kept bringing up bad feelings. We decided to get rid of it and let the first pressings be collectors... Better to keep the band together. It was ugly."[11]

The first pressing featured another hidden track, on the album's last track, "Evaporated", and in the negative space of track 1 on the Digitally Remastered version. The clip is at a live concert, where band roadie Leo Overtoom yells out, "I've got your hidden track right here: Ben Folds is a fuckin' asshole!"[12] A short video clip of this is featured in the video "A Video Portrait" released alongside the album.

Legacy[edit]

Nick Hornby writes one of his essays in the book 31 Songs about "Smoke".

Track listing[edit]

Original release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces"   Ben Folds 3:52
2. "Fair"   Folds 5:55
3. "Brick"   Folds, Darren Jessee 4:43
4. "Song for the Dumped"   Folds, Jessee 3:52
5. "Selfless, Cold, and Composed"   Folds 6:10
6. "Kate"   Folds, Jessee, Anna Goodman 3:14
7. "Smoke"   Folds, Goodman 4:52
8. "Cigarette"   Folds 1:38
9. "Steven's Last Night in Town"   Folds 3:27
10. "Battle of Who Could Care Less"   Folds 3:16
11. "Missing the War"   Folds 4:19
12. "Evaporated"   Folds 4:28
Bonus tracks on remastered version
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Video Killed the Radio Star"   Geoff Downes, Trevor Horn, Bruce Woolley 3:40
14. "For All the Pretty People"   Robert Sledge 3:21
15. "Mitchell Lane"   Folds, Jessee 3:40
16. "Theme from "Dr. Pyser"" (Brendan O'Brien Studio version) Folds 4:28
17. "Air"   Folds, Jessee, Sledge 3:20
18. "She Don't Use Jelly" (Lounge-A-Palooza version) Wayne Coyne 4:11
19. "Song for the Dumped (Japanese version) (金返せ Kane Kaese?, literally 'Give me back my money')"   Folds, Jessee 5:03

Personnel[edit]

The band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[13] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[14] Gold 50,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[15] Platinum 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Owens, Thom. Whatever and Ever Amen at AllMusic
  2. ^ Caro, Mark (1997-03-21). "Review: Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen (Epic)". chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  3. ^ Willman, Chris (1997-03-28). "Whatever and Ever Amen Review". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  4. ^ Nichols, Natalie (1997-03-16). "In Brief: Ben Folds Five, "Whatever and Ever Amen,"". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  5. ^ Schreiber, Ryan (2005-03-22). "Ben Folds Five: Whatever and Ever Amen". Pitchfork Media. 
  6. ^ a b "Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Ben Folds Five: Whatever and Ever Amen". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  8. ^ Moon, Tom (1997-03-17). "Ben Folds: Whatever and Ever Amen : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  9. ^ michaelbluejay.com: "Sheffield Electronic Press, Nov 1996.
  10. ^ Nuvo article: "Review: Ben Folds with the ISO."
  11. ^ The Shrubbery: "The Big, Exciting Interview with Ben Folds.
  12. ^ Magical Armchair: May 1998.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  14. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  15. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > June 1997 > Certified Awards (April 1997)". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-02-18.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  17. ^ "australian-charts.com Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  18. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 66, No. 26" (PHP). RPM. 1998-03-23. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  19. ^ "ベン・フォールズ・ファイヴ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five]. oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  20. ^ "Chart Stats - Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  21. ^ "allmusic ((( Whatever and Ever Amen > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  22. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  23. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 1998". aria.com.au. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  24. ^ "Billboard.BIZ - Year-end Charts - Billboard 200 - 1998". billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-02-19.