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Phil Ochs - Greatest Hits
Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs - Greatest Hits
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (1) - Disc #1

The late Phil Och's last album, produced by Van Dykes Parks with contributions from Clarence White, Chris Ethridge, Ry Cooder and James Burton amongst others.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Phil Ochs
Title: Phil Ochs - Greatest Hits
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Edsel Records UK
Release Date: 6/16/1994
Album Type: Import
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 182478084529, 182478175524, 5014757172014, 0602517479869, 075021312517

Synopsis

Album Description
The late Phil Och's last album, produced by Van Dykes Parks with contributions from Clarence White, Chris Ethridge, Ry Cooder and James Burton amongst others.
 

CD Reviews

The Ashes of the Dream
patrice | 09/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes the title of this album is a joke, a bitter one, Phil Ochs was at a commercial nadir when this was originally released in 1970. The cover is a parody of a garish Elvis Presley greatest hits album popular at the time. Ochs had had the brillant idea of combining the politics of Che Guevara with Elvis Presley, thus the image of him on the cover with the gold lame suit. However "Greatest Hits" mostly only scrapes at politics, being more an album of resignation and nostalgia. It is also a poignant and haunting coda to Phil's career being the last studio album was to do before his suicide some years later.Most people view Ochs through the prism of his early protest music, compare him unfavorably with Dylan and don't like to talk about what happened to him later on. Well as much as I respect his early topical work, for me his most powerful music begins when he began examining his own troubled pysche, peaking with the album previous to this eeriely titled "Rehearsals for Retirement" that features a mock Phil Ochs tomb stone on the cover.Phil Ochs was in collapse by the time of this album, his political idealism being dashed at Chicago in 1968 (he being one of the few musicians actually to show), his career imploding, and his muse drying up. On Rehearsals he chronicles his and the country's destruction (he saw them as being linked, if the country had "died" in Chicago in '68 what use was a topical songwriter except to chronicle this death, a death that he realized was forcasting his own). The themes of "Rehearsals" linger here, most noticeably in the death haunted "One Way Ticket Home" that opens the album, and contains the chilling chorus of "I would be in exile now/but everywhere's the same". It's hard not to see the title as a none to subtle metaphor for death. The album begins with Phil asking, quite literally, for a "one way ticket home" and ends with "No More Songs", which again deals with the collapse of dreams and the shrivelling muse. "No More Songs" with its odd orchestration, prefigures "Closer" era Joy Division more than it does the singer songwriters Phil is usually bracketed in with. "No More Songs" is Phil's goodbye, though he still had six more years to live nonetheless "the drums are in the dawn/and all the voice is gone/it seems that there are no more songs".In between these mournful laments however Ochs reaches back to his childhood for some of his most exquisitely beautiful songs, such as "Jim Dean of Indiana" (though even here death hovers). Or one of my favorites "Boy in Ohio", a meditation on growing up in the country, which notes with melancholy a way of life being eradicated by progress. "Bach,Beethoven,Mozart & Me" is an oddly spooky song recounting a rather aimless afternoon in Los Angeles. "Chords of Fame" perhaps the best of the country inflected songs, tells the old tale of the price of fame from the viewpoint of someone who has been chewed up by it and than spat out.Again this is not for a Phil Ochs fan looking for more of his topical songs, though even in his earliest days on songs like "Changes" he displayed a certain wistful introspection that bears fruit here. This is really best taken in conjunction with "Rehearsals for Retirement", this being sort of an "Illuminations" to that "Season in Hell" (in the Rimbaudian sense). Contempary equivalents would be "Dumb" or "Penny Royal Tea" by Nirvana, Kurt Cobain facing many of the same demons as Phil Ochs -- as both shared the ability to construct some beauty out of the darkest of despairs."
Why does this have to cost so much
Ring Worm | Point Sal, California | 05/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I love Ochs, but $125 is too much. Why doesn't someone reissue this?"
Better than folky stuff
Gaza Cup | Noodles, Kansas | 07/02/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Ochs could have developed into a great country singer if he had lived. This introspective album is probably a bit too weird for most tastes; still, there's some good music here."