Harper,Ben - Fight For Your Mind
Fight For Your Mind
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Notes / Reviews

Fight for Your Mind is an album by Ben Harper. Released in August 1995, it was his last solo album before adding the Innocent Criminals to his line-up. Reviews were generally very positive, praising Harper's fusion of multiple genres, from folk ("Another Lonely Day"), folk rock ("Gold to Me"), Black Sabbath-style riffing heavy metal ("Ground on Down") and politically-charged reggae ("Excuse Me Mr.").

After Harper's well-received debut, Welcome to the Cruel World, he expanded on his fanbase by touring relentlessly with jam bands like Dave Matthews Band. On this, his second album, Harper added a more refined sense of his own intense spirituality, such as on the gospel-influenced album closers, "Power of the Gospel", "God Fearing Man" and "One Road to Freedom".


The Fight For Your Mind artwork features the use of military roundels from African nations (plus Jamaica) to represent each track on the album. The track corresponding to each roundel is:

*Angola - Oppression fight for your mind roundels.jpgthumb300pxrightAfrican Military roundels (plus Jamaica's) in the Fight For Your Mind artwork

*Cameroon - Ground on Down

*Central African Republic - Another Lonely Day

*Chad - Please Me Like You Want To

*Uganda - Gold to Me

*Jamaica - Burn One Down

*Egypt - Excuse Me Mr

*Niger - People Lead

*Ghana/Guinea - Fight For Your Mind

*Kenya - Give a Man a Home

*Nigeria - By My Side

*Somalia - Power of the Gospel

*Ivory Coast - God Fearing Man

*Ethiopia - One Road to Freedom

Harper has continued to use roundel inspired artwork on his other albums.



*Ben Harper - acoustic guitar, Vocals, weissenborn

*Brett Banduci - viola

*Danielle Charles - violin

*Oliver Charles - drums

*Bob "Stiv" Coke - tabla, tambourine, tamboura, sarod

*Timothy Loo - cello

*Leon Mobley - percussion

*Juan Nelson - bass

*Ervin Pope - organ, Hammond organ


*Producers: Ben Harper, Bob "Stiv" Coke, J.P. Plunier

*Associate Producer: Jeff Gottlieb

*Assistant Producer: Jeff Gottlieb

*Engineer: Bradley Cook

*Assistant engineers: Ryan Boesh, Todd Burke, Paul Naguna

*Mixing: The Dub Brothers, Femi Jiya, Eric Sarafin

*Mastering: Eddy Schreyer

*String arrangements: Ben Harper, J.P. Plunier

*Design: Tom Dolan

*Art direction: Tom Dolan, J.P. Plunier

*Photography: Bob "Stiv" Coke, Jeff Gottlieb

*Research: Ben Elder


Category:1995 albums

Category:Ben Harper albums

Category:Virgin Records albums

fr:Fight for Your Mind

it:Fight for Your Mind

pl:Fight for Your Mind

pt:Fight for Your Mind

This text has been derived from Fight for Your Mind on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

Benjamin Chase "Ben" Harper (born October 28, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Harper plays an eclectic mix of blues, folk, reggae and rock music and is known for his guitar-playing skills, vocals, live performances and activism. Harper's fan base spans several continents. His albums have been commercially successful in North America, Europe and Australia. Harper is a two-time Grammy Award winner as well, winning awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album, in 2005.

Early life

Harper was born in Claremont, in California's Inland Empire. His father, Leonard, was of African-American and Cherokee ancestry, and his mother, Ellen Chase-Verdries, is Jewish. His maternal great-grandmother was a Russian Jewish emigrant from Lithuania. His parents divorced when he was age five, and he grew up with his mother's family. Harper has two brothers, Joel and Peter.

Harper began playing guitar as a child. His maternal grandparents' music store The Folk Music Center and Museum laid a foundation of folk and blues for the artist, complemented by regular patrons Leonard Cohen, Taj Mahal and David Lindley and quotes of William Shakespeare and Robert Frost made often by his grandfather.Appleford, Steve. "I'll Rise: The Music and Message of Ben Harper" Page 5. Essay published in the . Released April 4, 2000. At the age of 12, Harper played his first gig. During the '80s, in his teen years, Harper began to play the slide guitar, mimicking the style of Robert Johnson. Next, Harper refined his style, taking up the Weissenborn.ibid, page 11 Harper broke out of the Inland Empire after being offered an invitation by Taj Mahal to tour with the artist. The 20 year-old Harper and the blues legend then recorded Follow the Drinking Ghour(d) and toured Hawaii.ibid, page 13


Ben Harper FIJM 2003.jpgthumb242pxrightHarper's trademark curtain call; 2003

In 1992 Harper recorded the LP Pleasure and Pain with Folk multi-instrumentalist Tom Freund. After this limited edition record, Harper secured a record deal with Virgin Records, which released his debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World in 1994. This was followed by Fight For Your Mind in 1995, which became a college radio favorite and included several songs that Harper still plays live regularly. His 1997 album The Will to Live was the first to feature his backup band the Innocent Criminals.

In 1999 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Harper met Jack Johnson, who was unknown at the time and had not recorded. Harper obtained a demo tape of twelve of Johnson's songs that he forwarded to his producer, J.P. Plunier, with whom Johnson recorded his first album.

BenHarper.jpgthumb220pxleftHarper playing the weissenborn at Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario.

Early in Harper's career, his music received more attention in Europe and was widely played in Australia (first on Triple J radio). Harper has made comments on a number of occasions that his career was kicked off in Australia. While he was a well-known and respected figure in the United States, he was a star in countries like Australia, New Zealand, France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, receiving a great deal of airplay and critical acclaim. His popularity in Europe is such that he was French Rolling Stone magazine's Artist of the Year (Artiste De L'Année) in 2003, and his Australian tour that year for Diamonds on the Inside was highly successful.

In 2002, Harper was one of the featured singers covering Motown hits by Marvin Gaye in the documentary, Standing in the Shadows of Motown (a history of The Funk Brothers). In October 2004, Harper participated in the Vote for Change concert tour organized to benefit and encourage people in the swing states to vote during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. In the same month, Harper contributed a live recording of the song "Oppression" to For The Lady, a benefit album for jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner and Burmese pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2006, Harper released the double album Both Sides of the Gun which debuted at #7 on the Billboard charts. Though uncredited, he appears briefly in the 2006 David Lynch film Inland Empire, alongside his wife Laura Dern.

After several albums without the Innocent Criminals, Harper reconvened that band for the 2007 album, Lifeline, which was recorded in Paris. Harper also covered John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" on the benefit CD Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Harper is part of the No Nukes group which is against the expansion of nuclear power. In 2007 the group recorded a music video of a new version of the Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth". Harper's collaboration "Boa Sorte/Good Luck" with Brazilian singer Vanessa da Mata peaked at #1 in Brazil and Portugal. In Brazil it also won a highly coveted Prêmio Multishow for "Best Song" in 2008. Also in 2008, Harper participated in the benefit album Songs for Tibet.

While recording Both Sides of the Gun in 2005, Harper met the members who would eventually form his new band, Relentless7, with Texas-based musicians Jason Mozersky (guitar), Jesse Ingalls (bass) and Jordan Richardson (drums). The album White Lies for Dark Times, credited to Ben Harper and Relentless7, was released on May 4, 2009. On July 12, 2009, the band performed the closing concert of the 30th Montreal International Jazz Fest. On January 13, 2010, Harper and Relentless7 appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart together with Ringo Starr to perform "Walk With You" and "With a Little Help from My Friends".http On January 22, 2010, Harper appeared on the last episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien with Beck and Billy Gibbons playing a Will Ferrell-led rendition of "Freebird".http

On August 27, 2010, it was reported that Ben Harper had formed a band called Fistful of Mercy with Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur. Fistful of Mercy released their debut record, As I Call You Down, on October 5, 2010.http

On February 23rd, 2011, Ben Harper's official site announced that Virgin Records will be releasing his next album, entitled Give Till It's Gone, on 17th May 2011. It is not clear whether the album is his first solo effort since 2005's Both Sides of the Gun or a continuation of recording with Relenless7.

Personal life

BenHarperLauraDernDec09.jpgthumbrightHarper with now estranged wife, Laura Dern in December 2009

In 1996, Harper married his first wife, Joanna. They had two children, a son and daughter, Charles Joseph and Harris.

On December 23, 2005, Harper married his girlfriend of five years, actress Laura Dern. They have two children together, son Ellery Walker Harper (b. August 21, 2001) and daughter Jaya (b. November 24, 2004).

On October 8, 2010, Harper, having been married for five years, filed for divorce from Dern, citing irreconcilable differences. He is seeking joint custody of their two children, as well as asking for a denial of spousal support for Dern.,, Retrieved on 2010-10-18. However, it has been rumoured that both Harper and Dern are considering reconciling. Retrieved on 2010-12-22.

Awards and nominations




Virtual albums

* iTunes Originals - Ben Harper

* "iTunes Must Haves - Ben Harper"


*"Like A King / Whipping Boy" (1994)

*"Ground on Down" (1995)

*"Excuse Me Mr." (1996)

*"Gold to Me" (1996)

*"Faded" (1997) #54 UK

*"Jah Work" (1997)

*"Glory & Consequence" (1997)

*"Please Bleed" (1999)

*"Burn to Shine" (1999)

*"Forgiven" (2000)

*"Steal My Kisses" (2000) #15 U.S. Adult Top 40

*"With My Own Two Hands" (2003)

*"Diamonds On the Inside" (2003) #31 U.S. Adult Top 40

*"Brown Eyed Blues" (2004)

*"Wicked Man" (2004)

*"There Will Be a Light" (2004)

*"Better Way" (2006)

*"Both Sides Of The Gun" (2006)

*"Morning Yearning" (2006)

*"Fight Outta You" (2007) #61 Hot Canadian Digital Charts

*"Boa Sorte/Good Luck" (2007) (with Vanessa da Mata) #1 Portugal; #1 Brazil

*"In The Colors" (2008)

*"Fool For A Lonesome Train" (2008)

*"Shimmer & Shine" (2009)

*"Fly One Time" (2009)

*"Lay There & Hate Me" (2010)

*"Skin Thin" (2010)

*"The Word Suicide" (2010)

*"Never Tear Us Apart" (with INXS) (2010)

*"Rock 'n' Roll Is Free" (2011)

Special appearances

Harper played a slide guitar version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" prior to Game 3 of the 2007 NBA Finals on June 12 in Cleveland.

He can also be seen playing a slide guitar in the video for the song "Flake" by Jack Johnson.

Harper performed alongside Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and John Paul Jones at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2007. The jam session included songs by Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers, and several Led Zeppelin hits.

Harper performed a cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles for the soundtrack of the film I Am Sam.

He also appears on the 2003 Pearl Jam DVD Live at the Garden where Harper plays alongside friends Pearl Jam for the songs "Daughter" & "Indifference".

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals performed a cover of The Beatles' "Michelle" on the 2005 album This Bird Has Flown – A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul.

Harper also performed at several "Vote Obama" rallies, including one at University of Colorado at Boulder.

Harper performed on the Willie Nelson show Outlaws & Angels.

Harper teamed with the Skatalites to perform Fats Domino's "Be My Guest" on Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino.

Harper is featured in the iPhone / iPod touch Application "Tap Tap Revenge 2" with his singles "Steal my Kisses" and "Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart)."

Harper performed a cover of "My Father's House" by Bruce Springsteen for the album Badlands: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen.

Harper was featured, alongside Jack Johnson, playing slide guitar with Toots and the Maytals, performing their 1970s reggae hit "Pressure Drop" on Saturday Night Live.

Harper helped Conan O'Brien end his tenure on The Tonight Show by playing slide guitar on "Free Bird".

In 2006, Harper was featured on the song "Belief" on John Mayer's album Continuum.

In January 2010, Harper and his band Relentless7 performed at the Grammy Museum with Ringo Starr in support of the Beatles drummer's self-produced album, Y Not.http

His song "Suzie Blue" is currently featured in a Cadillac commercial.


* Pleasure and Pain (2002)

* Live at the Hollywood Bowl (2003)

* Live at the Apollo (2005)


This text has been derived from Ben Harper on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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