Phil Ochs The Early Years (2-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: June 20, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Vanguard Records
Uncut - 2/01, p.824 stars out of 5 - "...Ochs allied a highly developed sense of melody to a crusading zeal for civil rights and anti-war causes..."
- 1.William Moore
- 2.What Are You Fighting For?
- 3.There But for Fortune
- 4.Paul Crump
- 5.Talking Airplane Disaster
- 6.How Long - (previously unreleased)
- 7.Davey Moore - (previously unreleased)
- 9.Ballad of Medgar Evers
- 10.Talking Birmingham Jam
- 11.Power & The Glory
- 12.Draft Dodger Rag
- 13.I Ain't Marching Anymore
- 14.Links on the Chain
- 15.Talking Vietnam Blues
- 16.Cross My Heart
- 17.Half a Century High
- 18.Is There Anybody Here?
- 19.The Party
- 20.Pleasures of the Harbor
Solo performer: Phil Ochs (vocals, acoustic guitar).
Recorded between 1963 & 1966. Liner notes by Billy Altman.
Digitally remastered by Jeff Zaraya.
Liner Note Author: Billy Altman.
Photographer: Michael Ochs.
This is actually an expanded version of the Vanguard CD Live at Newport, although it isn't billed as such. It includes all 13 songs from that album, prefacing them with seven studio tracks that Ochs did for the 1964 Vanguard compilation LP The Original New Folks, Vol. 2. Even if you think you own everything by Ochs, you'll need this if you're a completist, because only five of those Vanguard studio tracks actually made it onto The Original New Folks, Vol. 2. The other two, "How Long" and "Davey Moore," were recorded at the same sessions, but were previously unreleased. Although these seven studio cuts still find Ochs a ways from hitting his mid-1960s peak, they're worth hearing as good, if sometimes didactic, topical/protest tunes. The version of "There But for Fortune," one of his most famous compositions, has much more of a hasty troubadour gallop than the more renowned take on Phil Ochs in Concert. In addition, the songs "Talking Airplane Disaster," "How Long," and "Davey Moore" (yes, about the same fatal boxing incident that inspired the similarly obscure Bob Dylan song "Who Killed Davey Moore?") are not available in any other versions. The live material was taken from Ochs' performances at the 1963, 1964, and 1966 Newport Folk Festivals. While all of the tunes are available in studio versions, these are worthwhile supplements, particularly the five 1966 songs, as four of them would appear in far more elaborately produced arrangements on his Pleasures of the Harbor and Tape from California albums. These solo acoustic performances are interesting contrasts, putting the voice and the lyrics at the forefront, in the best unplugged tradition. ~ Richie Unterberger
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