Best Imitation of Myself

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For the compilation album, see The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective.
"Best Imitation of Myself"
Song by Ben Folds Five from the album Ben Folds Five
Released August 8, 1995 (1995-08-08)
Studio Wave Castle, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Genre Alternative rock
Length 2:37
Label Passenger/Caroline
Writer(s) Benjamin Scott Folds
Producer(s) Caleb Southern
Ben Folds Five track listing
"Uncle Walter"
"Best Imitation of Myself"

"Best Imitation of Myself" is a song from Ben Folds Five's 1995 self-titled debut album.[1] It was written by Ben Folds.[2] The song is a lyrical essay of sorts on expectations and the preconceived notions of a person by others.


In the early 1990s, Ben Folds was shopping his talents as both musician and songwriter to various record labels, eventually signing a publishing contract with Sony Music.[3] During this time, Folds came to find a trend with a number of the record executives he'd meet: they had a notion of Folds' personality and songwriting style based on demos and live performances. These executives expected him to live up to this notion with no deviation and to market him accordingly. Folds wrote this song in response. A similar attitude appears in the song "One Down".

Additional versions[edit]

The song was written by Folds and recorded as a demo during studio sessions in Nashville, Tennessee in the fall of 1990, prior to forming Ben Folds Five. The demo version is roughly similar to the version that would appear on the band's debut album. The significant differences are more sparse instrumentation and Folds providing both main and backing vocals. Timing and certain phrasing are different as well, with the demo version stretched a bit longer and slower than the eventual album version.

A live version of the song, recorded at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City on June 13, 2002, appears on the 2002 album Ben Folds Live.[4]


The song has not been released as a single and does not appear in a studio or live version as an additional track on any other single release.

Compilations and soundtracks[edit]

No versions of the song appear on any non-Ben Folds compilation album or soundtrack.




  1. ^ Amazon: Ben Folds Five
  2. ^ BMI Repertoire Listing[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Official Bio of Ben Folds at
  4. ^ Amazon: Ben Folds Live

External links[edit]