Ben Folds Five is the self-titled debut album by Ben Folds Five, released in 1995. A non-traditional rock album, it featured an innovative indie-pop sound, and excluded lead guitars completely. The album was released on the small independent label Passenger Records, owned by Caroline Records, a subsidiary of Virgin/EMI. Ben Folds Five received positive reviews, and spawned five singles. The record failed to chart, but sparked an intense bidding war eventually won by Sony Music. Several live versions of songs originally released on Ben Folds Five reappeared later as b-sides or on compilations.
The album received positive reviews from NME, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Entertainment Weekly. Allmusic gave Ben Folds Five 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "a potent, and extremely fun collection of postmodern rock ditties that comes off as a pleasantly workable combination of Tin Pan Alley showmanship, Todd Rundgren-style power pop, and myriad alt-rock sensibilities."