Ben Harper Albums Ranked

Benjamin Chase Harper (born October 28, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Harper plays an eclectic mix of blues, folk, soul, reggae, and rock music and is known for his guitar-playing skills, vocals, live performances, and activism. He has released twelve regular studio albums, mostly through Virgin Records, and has toured internationally. Harper is a three-time Grammy Award winner and seven-time nominee, with awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album in 2004 and Best Blues Album in 2013. At the 40th Blues Music Awards ceremony, Harper’s joint composition with Charlie Musselwhite, “No Mercy in This Land”, was named Song of the Year. Here are all of Ben Harper’s albums ranked.

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10. Give Till It’s Gone, 2011

HARPER, BEN - Give Till It's Gone - Music

“Give Till It’s Gone is well-intentioned, wise advice, but when it comes to albums it may be a good idea to gather some songs before giving. That was cheap. It’s not that horrible, but it surely shows us we should measure our expectations, Ben Harper has set his music in an “almost there” place and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. “Don’t Give Up On Me” or “I Will Not Be Broken” show he’s struggling and has lost some of his unwavering faith, which was an essential part of his charisma. Luckily, his worst is still good and there are moments worth the listen.”

9. Both Sides Of The Gun, 2006

Both Sides of The Gun: Ben Harper, Ben Harper: Musique

“Half acoustic, half electric (or eclectic?)… the both side of his musical gun are here! The first half is a little tedious, but the second half contains some of his better “rock” songs ever. Maybe this album won’t help him to find new fans, but old fans will be happy.”

8. White Lies For Dark Times, 2009

White Lies for Dark Times- Buy Online in Samoa at  ProductId : 16329763.

“Relentless7 in their place. The changes that result from this are great, but that is by no means a knock on The Innocent Criminals (see my review of Lifeline for further discussion). However, Ben Harper is a versatile musician, and he has shown that he can deliver in multiple styles with White Lies For Dark Times being the most recent evidence.”

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7. Live From Mars, 2001

Ben Harper - Live from Mars - Music

“These 2 CDs are just an awesome collection of live music from Harper. The first disc, filled with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, just a tight band on stage, the disc does a great job of showing that. Disc 2 is all Ben Harper solo, highlighted by the Verve cover The Drugs Don’t Work – which I’ve always thought of as a great song – just awesome stuff.”

6. The Will To Live, 1997

Ben Harper, The Will To Live in High-Resolution Audio - ProStudioMasters

“The Will To Live may be the obligatory forgotten gem of Harper’s catalogue. Harper’s ability to shift between genres sounds completely effortless. From the balls-out, epic rock of the Zeppelin-sounding opener ‘Faded’, to the dark acoustic reggae in ‘Jah Work’, to the psychedelic funk of ‘Mama’s Trippin’”, to the gentle, mourning bluegrass of ‘Ashes to Ashes’, Harper delivers a complete set, that while hopping all over the place stylistically, manages to sound like a cohesive statement.”

5. There Will Be A Light, 2004

There Will Be A Light: Music

“Truth be told, Ben wasted the talents he had with the Blind Boys of Alabama. He should of put them more front and centre on this record rather than himself. However the Blind Boys of Alabama are as good as you would expect them to be. Overall still a good record.”

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4. Burn To Shine, 1999

Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals – Burn To Shine (1999, CD) - Discogs

“Showing his complete versatility, Ben rocks my world once again. Although some of the styles I don’t like as much on this album, I still greatly appreciate the fact that he does and manages to play it very well. But nonetheless, I love this one, “Woman in You” has got to be one of Ben’s greatest songs ever. so smooth”

3. Welcome To The Cruel World, 1994

Ben Harper – Welcome To The Cruel World (1994, CD) - Discogs

“My favorite of the Ben Harper collection. Contains perhaps the two best Harper songs – Forever and Waiting on an Angel. It’s predominantly an acoustic album with cruisey laid-backbeats. The production is beautifully basic. You can feel every breath and every touch of the strings.”

2. Fight For Your Mind, 1995

Ben Harper's "Fight for Your Mind" album cover : CrappyDesign

“Fight for Your Mind is a really good album. There are some really good moments of folk tunes with reggae influences, but, I’ve got to be honest: I’m kinda allergic to some of the Christian lyrics. But, being tolerant, undoubtedly this is a remarkable album, with eclectic sounds that go from folk to reggae to alternative rock to funk to hard rock.”

1. Diamonds On The Inside, 2003

Ben Harper - Diamonds On The Inside Artwork (1 of 7) |

“Ben Harper: The new century’s Bob Marley with many other influences. The album begins with the reggae tinged ‘with my own two hands’ and ends beautifully with the ballad ‘She’s only happy in the sun’. Great Stuff.”