- The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner Studio album by Ben Folds Five Released April 27, 1999 Recorded November 1998 – January 1999 Genre Alternative rock Length 40:29 Label 550 Music Producer Caleb Southern Ben Folds Five chronology Naked Baby Photos
The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
Origins of the album title
The title of the album refers to a name used, as teenagers, by the band's drummer Darren Jessee and his friends, on fake IDs. The band were unaware of the existence of the real Reinhold Messner, the first man to climb solo Mount Everest, and the first to do so without the aid of bottled oxygen, until work on the album had already progressed; they were informed of his existence in 1999 during an interview with DJ Bruce Warren of WXPN radio. In the record's liner notes, Messner is thanked for his understanding and cooperation. He later contacted the band to let them know that he was highly pleased with the album.
Originally, "Don't Change Your Plans" was preceded by a long instrumental passage; Folds credits producer Caleb Southern for helping edit down the song to its final product, and told an interviewer that Southern, "just cut it away and then all of a sudden it was this pop song. And then it was like ‘Oh okay. I see what you’re talking about.’ Cause I didn’t hear it like that at all. I just heard it as this little masterpiece thing.” On the Ben Folds iTunes Originals, Folds explains that the song "Mess" is "loss of innocence song" about having so much baggage that now you are unable to completely explain your history; "you've made a mess."
Folds stated in the iTunes Originals interview about the album: "The 'Reinhold Messner' record was – I think in a way it shows how naïve we were, and idealistic we were as a band to think the music business would care about us extending ourselves and developing and being something different, because that record was a failure – in almost every way that you can fail. As a commercial release, it didn’t sell up to anybody’s expectations; critically, it got sort of lukewarm reviews; and yet, I think that was our best work. I think it’s a great record."
The band recorded the songs "Leather Jacket" (written by Jessee) and "Birds" (an instrumental written by bassist Robert Sledge) during the Reinhold Messner sessions; the songs were not included on the album, but were released as b-sides on the "Army" and "Don't Change Your Plans" singles. "Leather Jacket" would also later appear on the charity compilation No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees.
At least two songs, "Break Up at Food Court" and "Carrying Cathy", were recorded during these sessions, but were neither released nor played live by the band. Folds would later re-record "Carrying Cathy" for his debut solo release, Rockin' the Suburbs.
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  Robert Christgau B  NME Favorable  Pitchfork Media 3.3/10  Rolling Stone 
The record was given generally positive reviews, with AllMusic saying that it's the band's willingness "to forge a unique sound that makes The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner such an interesting album to listen to. There is care to these songs and, what's even more significant and fresh, there is also intelligence." Robert Christgau gave the album a B.
All songs written by Ben Folds except as indicated.
- "Narcolepsy" – 5:24
- "Don't Change Your Plans" – 5:11
- "Mess" – 4:03
- "Magic" (Darren Jessee) – 4:02
- "Hospital Song" – 2:05
- "Army" – 3:25
- "Your Redneck Past" – 3:43
- "Your Most Valuable Possession" (Ben Folds/Darren Jessee/Robert Sledge/Dean Folds/Caleb Southern) – 1:55
- "Regrets" – 4:07
- "Jane" – 2:42
- "Lullabye" (Ben Folds/Anna Goodman) – 3:53
- "(Theme From) Dr. Pyser" (bonus track)
- "Birds" (bonus track)
Ben Folds Five
- Ben Folds - vocals, piano and keyboards
- Robert Sledge - bass, background vocals
- Darren Jessee - drums, background vocals
- Antoine Silverman - violin
- Mark Feldman - violin
- Lorenza Ponce - violin
- Jane Scarpantoni - cello
- Ken Mosher - alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
- Tom Maxwell - tenor saxophone
- Paul Shapiro - tenor saxophone
- Frank London - trumpet
- John Mark Painter - flugelhorn, valve trombone
- Dean Folds - answering machine message on "Your Most Valuable Possession"
- Producer: Caleb Southern
- Mixing: Andy Wallace
Album - Billboard (North America)
Year Chart Position 1999 The Billboard 200 35 Top Internet Albums 3
Singles - Billboard (North America)
Year Single Chart Position 1999 "Army" Modern Rock Tracks 17
- ^ http://www.exit13.net/bff/truth.htm
- ^ The Suburbs.co.uk: "Did You Just Shit Your Pants? Cause I Sure Did."
- ^ MTV News article: "Ben Folds Five Fields Fan Queries While Working On New Album."
- ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r413427
- ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=119&name=Ben+Folds+Five
- ^ http://www.nme.com/reviews/ben-folds-five/947
- ^ http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/15383-the-unauthorized-biography-of-reinhold-messner
- ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/61892/albums/album/178578
- ^ AllMusic:  Review of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner].
Studio albums Compilation & Rarities albumsNaked Baby Photos • The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective Singles DVDs & VideosSpare Reels • Ben Folds Five - The Complete Sessions at West 54th Related articles
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Reinhold Messner — For the unrelated music album, see The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. Reinhold Messner Reinhold Messner in October 2009 Born September 17, 1944 (1944 09 17) … Wikipedia
Messner — is a surname. It is an occupational name of Austro Bavarian origin, in which dialect it means sacristan/sexton. People with the name Messner include: Carrie Messner (born 1977), American long distance runner Franz Josef Messner (1896 1945),… … Wikipedia
Tack piano — The tack piano is a permanently altered version of an ordinary piano, in which tacks or nails are placed on the hammers of the instrument at the point where the hammers hit the strings, giving the instrument a tinny, more percussive sound. See… … Wikipedia
Ben Folds Five — Infobox musical artist Name = Ben Folds Five Img capt = Ben Folds Five on the cover of their Naked Baby Photos album Background = group or band Origin = Chapel Hill, North Carolina Genre = Piano rock Years active = 1993 2000 2008 Label =… … Wikipedia
Ben Folds — Infobox musical artist Name = Ben Folds Landscape = yes Background = solo singer Birth name = Benjamin Scott Folds Alias = Born = birth date and age|1966|9|12 Origin = Winston Salem, North Carolina Instrument = Vocals, piano, guitar, bass guitar … Wikipedia
Darren Jessee — Background information Birth name Darren Jessee Born April 8, 1971 (1971 04 08) … Wikipedia
Naked Baby Photos — Compilation album by Ben Folds Five Released January 13, 1998 Recorded Unknown … Wikipedia
Army (song) — Infobox Single| Released = 1999 Format = Recorded = Genre = Pop Length = Label = 550 Writer = Ben Folds Producer = Artist = Ben Folds Five from Album = The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner Last single = Brick (1998) Name = Army This… … Wikipedia
Magic — Contents 1 Computing 2 Gaming 3 Film 4 Music … Wikipedia
Jane — is a female given name. It is one of the many feminine forms of John. It is also a Catalan last name, spelled as Jané or Janè. For more information on the origin of the name, see Jane (given name).GeneralJane can be used to identify a generic… … Wikipedia