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The Complete Sessions at West 54th
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Album: The Complete Sessions at West 54th
# Song Title   Time
1)    Missing the War More Info...
2)    Kate More Info...
3)    Battle of Who Could Care Less More Info...
4)    The Last Polka More Info...
5)    Selfless, Cold and Composed More Info...
6)    Brick More Info...
7)    Steven's Last Night in Town More Info...
8)    Smoke More Info...
9)    Philosophy More Info...
10)    Emaline More Info...
11)    Theme from 'Dr. Pyser' More Info...
12)    One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces More Info...
13)    Underground More Info...
14)    She Don't Use Jelly More Info...
15)    Song for the Dumped More Info...
 

Album: The Complete Sessions at West 54th
# Song Title   Time
1)    Missing the War More Info...
2)    Kate More Info...
3)    Battle of Who Could Care Less More Info...
4)    The Last Polka More Info...
5)    Selfless, Cold and Composed More Info...
6)    Brick More Info...
7)    Steven's Last Night in Town More Info...
8)    Smoke More Info...
9)    Philosophy More Info...
10)    Emaline More Info...
11)    Theme from 'Dr. Pyser' More Info...
12)    One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces More Info...
13)    Underground More Info...
14)    She Don't Use Jelly More Info...
15)    Song for the Dumped More Info...
 
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Performer Notes
  • One of the better episodes of the now defunct late-'90s PBS music show Sessions at West 54th was when Ben Folds Five performed in an intimate setting in support of their second album, Whatever and Ever Amen, back in the spring of 1997. The original episode saw the group share equal billing with Beck, so many of the trio's performances were left on the cutting room floor. But with 2001's The Complete Sessions at West 54th, you finally get to see the complete 15-song Ben Folds Five set, and it proves to be a dandy. While it may lack the zany and unpredictable energy of a BF5 club show, due to the fact that they're performing in a TV studio, Complete Sessions serves as a solid reminder as to how good BF5 were in concert. Drawing from a set list comprised almost equally of ballads ("Missing the War," "Selfless Cold & Composed," and, of course, their big hit, "Brick") and up-tempo pop/rockers ("Kate," "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces," "Underground," "Battle of Who Could Care Less"), there are also several rarities sprinkled throughout, including a deconstructed cover of the Flaming Lips' "She Don't Use Jelly," an outtake from their debut album, "Emaline," as well as a soaring instrumental that became a perennial concert highlight, but never found its way onto an album, "Theme From Dr. Pyser." Included as a bonus on the DVD is a Ben Folds Five biography, plus extra live footage titled Spare Reels, which features the group in their natural concert setting, and contains a pair of songs ("Don't Change Your Plans" and "Army") that would appear on their final album, 1999's The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. The Complete Sessions at West 54th is an essential purchase for any serious fan of the late/great Ben Folds Five. ~ Greg Prato
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