Both Sides of the Gun

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Both Sides of the Gun
Ben Harper - Both Sides of the Gun.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 21, 2006
Recordedat The Boat Studios, Silver Lake, California by Danny Kalb
GenreSoul rock
Funk rock
Hard rock
Jam rock
ProducerBen Harper
Ben Harper chronology
Live at the Apollo
Both Sides of the Gun
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars link
Rolling Stone4/5 stars link

Both Sides of the Gun, is a Ben Harper album released in 2006. Split into two discs, the title suggests the two sides of Harper's musical nature.[1] The first disc ("White") is made of mostly acoustic and string-driven songs hinted at on the last track ("She's Only Happy In The Sun") of Harper's previous album Diamonds on the Inside. The second disc ("Black") is made up of the more rock and upbeat material and touching on genres such as hard rock, funk and gospel.

A number of tracks on "Both Sides of the Gun" crackle with intensity and outrage over the political climate in the United States, particularly "Black Rain," the lyrics to which Harper posted last September on his official Web site. The cut lashes out at President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, proclaiming, "Don't speak to us like we work for you / Selling false hope like some new dope we're addicted to / I'm not a desperate man but these are desperate times at hand / This generation is beyond your command."[1]

The first disc delves into a variety of styles, from the swaggering, Black Crowes-style rocker "Get It Like You Like It" to the raw blues of "The Way You Found Me" and the slow-burning, largely instrumental jam "Serve Your Soul" that closes the side.[1]

The second half of "Both Sides" is a much quieter, intimate affair. It opens with the wistful, string-addled ballad "Morning Yearning" and moving on to the Nick Drake-influenced solo guitar confessional "More Than Sorry" and the unabashedly sentimental closer "Happy Everafter in Your Eyes," an ode to Harper's wife, actress Laura Dern.[1]

The album saw Harper playing the majority of the instruments on both discs; an approach that he had rarely used on his previous albums. However, the Innocent Criminals would appear on a few tracks whilst his later band, Relentless7, would appear together for the first time on "Serve Your Soul", the last track on the second disc.

The album became Harper's first US top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 200 album charts, peaking at number seven. [2] As of April 2007, it has sold 126,000 copies in United States. [3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Ben Harper, except as indicated.

Disc 1 - "White"

  1. "Morning Yearning" – 4:09
  2. "Waiting for You" (Ben Harper, Michael Ward) – 3:34
  3. "Picture in a Frame" (Ben Harper, Michael Ward, Juan Nelson, Oliver Charles, Jason Yates, Leon Mobley) – 4:36
  4. "Never Leave Lonely Alone" – 2:51
  5. "Sweet Nothing Serenade" – 2:44
  6. "Reason to Mourn" – 4:26
  7. "More Than Sorry" (Ben Harper, Danny Kalb) – 3:24
  8. "Cryin' Won't Help You Now" – 2:35
  9. "Happy Everafter in Your Eyes" – 2:31

Disc 2 - "Black"

  1. "Better Way" – 3:58
  2. "Both Sides of the Gun" – 2:44
  3. "Engraved Invitation" – 2:55
  4. "Black Rain" (Ben Harper, Jason Yates) – 2:57
  5. "Gather 'Round the Stone" – 3:08
  6. "Please Don't Talk About Murder While I'm Eating" – 2:34
  7. "Get It Like You Like It" – 3:27
  8. "The Way You Found Me" – 2:53
  9. "Serve Your Soul" – 8:22

Disc 3 (Special Edition package only)

The album was also released as a limited special edition box set including a bonus CD featuring four alternate mixes and two live tracks.

  1. Gather ‘Round The Stone (Alternate Version Mix)
  2. Reason To Mourn (Alternate Mix)
  3. Get It Like You Like It (Live, Acoustic)
  4. Waiting For You (Alternate Mix)
  5. Morning Yearning (Alternate Mix)
  6. Beloved One (Live)



Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
2006 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[4] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[5] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[6] Platinum 200,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[7] Gold 15,000^

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


  1. ^ a b c d McClean, Craig (19 March 2006). "Two 'Sides' Of Ben". Billboard. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  3. ^ Pélican, Mélanie (21 April 2007). "Ben Harper passera à Paris cet été". Charts in France. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  4. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Ben Harper – Both Sides of the Gun". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  6. ^ "French album certifications – Ben Harper – Both Sides of the Gun" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  7. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Ben Harper; 'Both Sides of the Gun')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 January 2019.