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Farewells & Fantasies: The Phil Ochs Collection
Phil Ochs
Farewells & Fantasies: The Phil Ochs Collection
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #3

Among folk legends, the late Phil Ochs is nearly peerless. His dozen years as a ringing voice in the war against social and political injustice left the world with a wealth of music and lyrics that remain powerful and in s...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Phil Ochs
Title: Farewells & Fantasies: The Phil Ochs Collection
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Original Release Date: 8/19/1997
Release Date: 8/19/1997
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 081227351823

Among folk legends, the late Phil Ochs is nearly peerless. His dozen years as a ringing voice in the war against social and political injustice left the world with a wealth of music and lyrics that remain powerful and in some cases topical more than 30 years after he recorded them. Joined by the likes of Ry Cooder, Clydie King, Jack Elliott, Van Dyke Parks, Don Rich, and Tom Scott, Ochs created a legacy of words and music that continues to drive the spirit of social conscience in musicians like Billy Bragg, Natalie Merchant, and Ani DiFranco. This 3 CD set collects the work he did at Elektra, A&M, and Folkways between 1964 and 1975, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. It chronicles not just an era when music and politics often clashed, but also one spiritual man's sojourn from rebellion and activism to depression and despair. --L.A. Smith

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CD Reviews

Here is music full of "power and glory ..."
Paul Hickey | Fairfax, VA USA | 06/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Finally, the comprehensive Phil Ochs collection has arrived, with a representative sampling of some of the best of the late singer-songwriter's work on the A&M, Elektra, Rhino and Smithsonian Folkways labels.Of the five previously unreleased tracks in this three-CD boxed set, three of them-"Song of A Soldier," "We Seek No Wider War," and "The Confession"-stand out as lyrically impressive if musically unimaginative tunes relating the artist's activism in protesting the Vietnam War. Overall, however, "Farewells & Fantasies" is an essential anthology for Phil Ochs fans, or for anyone who simply wants to learn more about one of the most controversial and fascinating folk-rock troubadours of the 1960s. The 53 songs on the album fall into a rough chronological order, with the first disc consisting mainly of pro-civil rights, labor union, and romantic ballads, and the second and third discs drawing primarily from Ochs' vast repertoire of antiwar broadsides and his subsequent songs of disillusionment with American society in general and politics in particular. Perhaps nowhere is this angst more apparent than in the 11 tracks taken from the 1966 "Phil Ochs In Concert" album and the eight works included from the brilliant Ochs' recording "Rehearsals for Retirement" that the musician wrote in a state of depression following the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The songs "Pretty Smart on My Part," "I Kill Therefore I Am," and "The World Began In Eden and Ended In Los Angeles" not only stand the test of time to remain relevant today, they have too often been missing from previous compilations of Ochs' work. There are some regrettable omissions in "Farewells & Fantasies" (the absence of the poignant autobiographical tune "My Life" from "Rehearsals" is one example), but this is a minor point in assessing the total package. Indeed, one could quibble with the choice of this or that selection in the body of material represented here, but all of the performer's finest songs appear in one form or another, and to have Ochs' standards such as "The Power and the Glory," "Changes," and "Pleasures of the Harbor" together with the lesser-known masterpieces "Bracero," "Chords of Fame," and "When In Rome" in one place at last is no small accomplishment. "Farewells & Fantasies" also comes with 100 pages of extensive liner notes and rare photographs (as well as an eloquent introduction written by Phil's daughter Meegan), and a song-by-song account of the creative processes influencing the man's many compositions. Even if you've read the two biographies about him, Marc Eliot's "Death of A Rebel" and Michael Schumacher's excellent "There But For Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs," this informative text still has something new to add to the story... Rhino Records has produced the definitive Ochs tribute album, which will be an invaluable reference for every folk music enthusiast and historian interested in the development of topical song. Phil Ochs committed suicide 21 years ago. This remembrance of his life reminds us of how much we lost with his premature death, and how much we have to celebrate in the tracks he left behind."
Where's MY LIFE?
Faceless Nameless | Brooklyn, NY | 05/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Since I am only in my twenties, I just discovered the genius of Phil Ochs in the past couple of years. I first bought two LP's by him, I AIN'T MARCHING ANYMORE and REHEARSALS FOR RETIREMENT and then I started hunting down his back catalog. REHEARSALS FOR RETIREMENT is, I believe, his greatest album, even better than I AIN'T MARCHING. The music is amazing - with strings, some horns, some honkytonk, even some Bacharach influences. It's the kind of musical experimentation that Dylan is usually given credit for. Since the Dylan comparisons seem inevitable when discussing Ochs (this is unfortunate), I think I will say that REHEARSALS he hits a personal poignancy that Dylan never had. Even the cover art (depicting Ochs's grave), bares a foreboding to the despair that led to his suicide seven years later. His voice is beautiful, cracking with personal pain and anguish. I would put it next to Nick Drake. MY LIFE is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard yet it's not on this box set. Why? And where is The Scorpion Departs, but never Returns? That song is amazing as well. At least it has Doesn't Lenny Live Here Anymore and I Kill Therefore I Am - these are two fantastic songs. Since REHEARSALS seems to be out of print on CD (or never released), this remains a travesty. Sadly, a lot of people seem to say that Ochs has become irrelevant (a few of the customer comments attest to this belief), and that his music dates badly. I think this is a stupid thing to say. Unfortunately, this was also being said towards the end of his life (and could be said to have played a part in his suicide). Well, I didn't grow up in the sixties, and his music still hits a personal note with me, so what should that tell you? Like all great music, Ochs's music transcends any generational boudaries."
J. Jacobson | 10/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Phil Ochs was definitely overshadowed by Bob Dylan in the 60's. This may be deserved, but there is no doubt about Ochs and his performances on this CD. Every song is strong, and the electric version of "I Ain't Marching Anymore" is a true find, even though purist think that electric folk music is a sign of the devil. Fact is, just like Dylan, Ochs could do electric folk music. "Links On The Chain" is also a great track. "The War Is Over", "What's That I Hear", "Draft Dodger Rag" are just some of the other fantastic songs on this collection. At three CD's, along with a good booklet included, it is worth the cost. Don't pass this up and miss some of the best folk music out there."