Phil Ochs Tape From California
- Released: August 21, 2000
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Collector's Choice
Alternative Press - 12/00, p.106"...Bitingly witty, fiercely romantic and sometimes heavy-handed, this reissue should prove just how vital a singer-songwriter Ochs had been..."
No Depression - 11-12/00, p.100"...The despair Ochs felt [for Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy] is palpable on the searing centerpiece 'When In Rome'..."
- 1.Tape From California
- 2.White Boots Marching In A Yellow Land
- 3.Half A Century High
- 4.Joe Hill
- 5.The War Is Over
- 6.The Harder They Fall
- 7.When In Rome
- 8.Floods Of Florence
Personnel includes: Phil Ochs (vocals, guitar); Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Van Dyke Parks.
Originally released on A&M (4148).
Includes liner notes by Richie Unterberger.
Personnel: Phil Ochs (vocals, guitar); Lincoln Mayorga (piano).
Liner Note Author: Richie Unterberger.
Photographer: Guy Webster.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Ramblin' Jack Elliott; Van Dyke Parks.
Arrangers: Ian Freebairn-Smith; Bob Thompson ; Larry Marks.
An even more elaborate and lushly arranged album than its immediate predecessor, PLEASURES OF THE HARBOR, 1968's TAPE FROM CALIFORNIA is Phil Ochs' most ornate album. Continuing a trend started by the previous album's "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends," Ochs marries his bitterest, most sarcastic lyrics to absurdly jaunty, pretty tunes, as on the madcap military march "The War Is Over," which almost sounds like a George M. Cohan patriotic tune until one focuses on the horrific, absurd imagery of the lyrics. The twin peaks of the album are the wistful title track, Ochs' most powerful depiction of interpersonal alienation, and the 14-minute epic "When In Rome," Ochs' own "Desolation Row" in which images from various historical eras co-exist uneasily in the dark-humored lyrics. Along with PLEASURES OF THE HARBOR, TAPE FROM CALIFORNIA is Phil Ochs' career peak, his later records being increasingly erratic and depressive affairs.
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