Whatever and Ever Amen
|Whatever and Ever Amen|
|Studio album by|
|Released||March 18, 1997|
|Recorded||September–October 1996, Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
|Label||550, Caroline Rec, Epic|
|Producer||Ben Folds, Caleb Southern|
|Ben Folds Five chronology|
|Singles from Whatever and Ever Amen|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|Los Angeles Times|||
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.
Title, recording and cover
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.
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.
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.
The album was recorded in the front room of a house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Folds said, "You can't go for perfection in a house. The spiritual comet of the song comes by every so often and lots of technical things are going to be going wrong when that happens. Our producer, Caleb is very good at knowing when the ghost blew through the house. People don't buy records for the accuracy." The first release for their new label, Epic, Folds said the record company did not get to hear the recording until it was finished, saying, "they knew what they were getting into".
Near the end of the Nerdist podcast #132, 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.
An early mix of "Song for the Dumped" appeared on the soundtrack album for the movie "Mr. Wrong", but the song did not actually appear in the movie. The soundtrack was released on February 6, 1996, a full year before the release of "Whatever and Ever Amen".
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."
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!" A short video clip of this is featured in the video "A Video Portrait" released alongside the album.
|1.||"One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces"||Ben Folds||3:52|
|3.||"Brick"||Folds, Darren Jessee||4:43|
|4.||"Song for the Dumped"||Folds, Jessee||3:41|
|5.||"Selfless, Cold, and Composed"||Folds||6:10|
|6.||"Kate"||Folds, Jessee, Anna Goodman||3:14|
|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|
|Bonus tracks on remastered version|
|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|
- Ben Folds - Piano, lead vocals, electric piano, melodica
- Darren Jessee - Drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Robert Sledge - Bass guitar, double bass, backing vocals
- John Catchings - Cello on 5 and 12
- Alicia Svigals - Violin on 9
- Matt Darriau - Clarinet on 9
- Frank London - Trumpet on 9
- Caleb Southern - Hammond organ on 3
- Norwood Cheek - Synthesizer space sound on 1
- Caleb Southern - Producer, Engineer
- Ben Folds - Producer, Engineer
- Andy Wallace - Mixing
- Steve Sisco - Mixing Assistant
- Howie Weinberg - Mastering
- John Mark Painter - String arrangements
- Leigh Smiler - Cover Design
- Chris Stamey - Pro-Tools
- The Klezmatics - Special Contributor
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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