Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
War Is Over
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
On the one hand this compilation is hardly a "best of." On the other, the title is apt: this is a collection of Ochs after his most political period, and is dominated by difficult, uneven, and harrowing post-'67 material. ... more »
On the one hand this compilation is hardly a "best of." On the other, the title is apt: this is a collection of Ochs after his most political period, and is dominated by difficult, uneven, and harrowing post-'67 material. Hanging up his solo activist persona, Ochs experimented with strings, folk rock, and full-tilt rock & roll, looking for a way out of the troubadour cult status he'd created for himself. The set may not be representative of Ochs as a whole, but there's an affecting poetic impressionism at work, and the sound of a man trying to make sense of his own life, as he also tries to make sense of the changes around him. --Roy Francis Kasten
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Very poor cd
Fran Wishnick | Western Maryland | 03/10/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Phil Ochs was a very special person and an excellent singer. He had a sense of humor, sang with emotion, and carried many political and social messages with his songs. Unfortunately, with the exception of a couple of common songs on this cd, such as Outside a Small Circle of Friends, Tape from California, and I Ain't Marchin' Anymore (which can be found on virtually any other cd of his), this did not accurately present Phil Ochs as a singer. It certainly should not be called "The Best of Phil Ochs" because the songs are more of rock style that he experimented with later on in his life when he was severly depressed. It gave me a headache just to listen to many songs on this cd... I view this as a very similar cd to the "Gunfight at Carnegie Hall" one. While it may be historically interesting to understand Phil Ochs's downfall late in his life through this cd, I believe a biographical book of Phil Ochs much better serves this purpose. "The Best of Phil Ochs" cd is a horrible introduction to an excellent folk singer that had much more to offer to the world than portayed in these songs..."
Thorough Collection of Post-Folkie Ochs Work
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While it contains only one of his folk-protest songs, a live version of "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore," this CD gathers some of the best, or quirkiest, of Ochs' late 60s studio recordings, many of which are fascinating. Lyrics were always paramount for Ochs, and since he was steeped in the folk music structural tradition of verse upon verse, some of his songs seem to ramble on longer than necessary; but the best of them, "Outside a Small Circle of Friends," "Pleasures of the Harbor," and "Tape From California" are more memorable and adventurous than anything recorded by the folk artists who were his peers at the time. This CD represents only a portion of Ochs' importance, but it is a good introduction for music lovers who know little or nothing about him and his music. If you like this CD, you should also pick up "There But for Fortune," an 18-track compilation of his early work, to get a more thorough overview of Ochs' tragically brief but inspirational life and music."
The Best & best-priced collection of Phil Ochs available...
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find the only early folky-protest Ochs song of value to be CHANGES, which is not on this cd; but what is on it represents his true lasting genius in writing, singing, and psychosocial commentary... Ochs worked with gifted producers and musicians (Larry Marks, Van Dyke Parks, Ry Cooder, Clarence White, Lincoln Mayorga) on these records: PLEASURES OF THE HARBOR, PHIL OCHS' GREATEST HITS, REHEARSALS FOR RETIREMENT, which are the sources for this best-of, and the lush strings & flawless pop/folk/chamber arrangements really hold up! For my taste/ears, the opener 'Tape from California' is one song truly warranting desert island companionship: the damn thing has so many twists & turns & rich poetic wordplay, plus harmony-singalong possibilities that I've literally played it hundreds of times and never gotten tired of it. Phil Ochs' lyrics I personally dig the more they became playful/'trippy-surreal'/entheogen-influenced? than their mid-60's protest-commie mode...and thankfully the former are what's served up here, a lovingly-crafted worthy salute to a great & tragic artist. Phil Ochs' voice was a pretty amazing instrument, maybe not everyone's c of t with its oft-employed distinctive vibrato, but I think the guy really had IT and this material shows it!"