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What's That I Hear?: The Songs of Phil Ochs
Various Artists
What's That I Hear?: The Songs of Phil Ochs
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2


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A comprehensive review of this eclectic version of covers
Deborah Kanter/ partners@kanbatecom | Bloomfield, NJ | 12/17/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

""What's That I Hear?"-- The Songs of Phil Ochs, is a seminal anthology of covers of the music of this master of songs of protest and poetry of the heart. If you are a Phil Ochs purist who has avoided purchasing this two CD collection, you will revel in many of these interpretations. If you are unfamiliar with the words or music of this recently reclaimed legend, you will benefit from a most stimulating introduction.Most of these covers are innovative but true to Ochs'sardonic, poetic style. What's best? Perhaps John Gorka's stinging "Bracero," Rod MacDonald's piercingly beautiful "Pleasures of the Harbour", or David Massengill's biting version of "Crucifixion."Ochs is probably best known for his songs of political protest and rage against social conditions. His contemporaries include Tom Paxton who performs "Draft Dodger Rag" with acknowledgement of Ochs' sense of humor; Dave Van Ronk who almost joyfully belts "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends" and Arlo Guthrie's cover of one of Ochs' anthems--" I Ain't Marching Anymore."Yet, it is not always the political or social Phil Ochs which manages to bring that wince, that almost tear and that after sense of exhiliaration to the listener. Among the fine covers of the autobiographical/ personal aspect of Ochs are David Buskin's haunting "Boy in Ohio," Eric Andersen's reflective version of "When I'm Gone," and the stunning interpretation of his love song, "Changes"--- a personal favorite!If many of us know all or most of these songs, are there any revelations or surprises. Yes! Three songs not recorded on any previous albums appear here: Pat Humphries, " Hands" (another new favorite), "Sailors and Soldiers", interpreted by Sid Griffin and Billy Bragg and the powerful ballad "Freedom Riders" sung by Kim & Reggie Harris and Magpie.Occasionally a song will stumble into the overdone or come too close to pathos. However, that is the true exception.If you are looking for a collection which will make you think as well as please you acoustically, I suggest "What's That I Hear?" on Sliced Bread Records. It is the music of Phil Ochs."
Incredible (coming from a 15 year-old!)
warrenius | 07/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw these artists preform this album live at a local coffee house. I had never heard of Phil Ochs before, but we usually go and see the shows at this coffee house anyway. I was very impressed at the talent I witnessed that night. I am not lying when I that EVERY song and EVERY artist was amazing. I was deeply moved by the music I heard that night and am very excited to buy this CD. I hope you can have the same experience."
Excellent tribute album | New York | 11/05/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One of the best tribute albums. Great versions of "Pleasure of the Harbor," "Hands," and "When I'm Gone" (the last by Eric Andersen). Any fan of Phil Ochs will love it."