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A Hero Of The Game

Phil Ochs Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £9.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Mar 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: All Access
  • ASIN: B00HW9TJNQ
  • Other Editions: Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Song of My Returning (Live) 6:44£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land (Live) 3:22£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Changes (Live) 5:11£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Crucifixion (Live)11:04Album Only
Listen  5. Cannons of Christianity (Live) 4:33£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Joe Hill (Live) 8:34£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. City Boy (Live) 2:51£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Positively (Not) 4th Street [Live]0:53£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Power and the Glory (Live) 2:22£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Morning (Experiment in Jazz Chords) [Live] 3:13£0.69  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Morning (Live) 2:55£0.69  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

Although he is remembered best as one of the stalwarts of the 1960's Protest movement, Phil Ochs preferred to call himself a topical singer or a singing journalist. After dropping out of college in Ohio, and intent on becoming a folk-singer, the 21-year-old arrived in New York City in 1962. He quickly became a fixture on the Greenwich Village scene, with a strong body of original songs encompassing topics like civil rights, the labor movement, war and politics in general. Amongst his peers were such seminal artists as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton and Peter, Paul and Mary. Within a year of arriving in New York, Phil was so sufficiently established that he was offered a spot at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1963. At this juncture he and Bob Dylan maintained a friendly rivalry. The latter was even heard to exclaim: I just can't keep up with Phil. And he just keeps getting better and better and better. For a while the pair shared a manager, Albert Grossman, and Phil cheekily performs a brief parody of Dylan s Positively 4th Street during this broadcast recording. It is a little unusual then, that Phil Ochs first record release was an anonymous album of traditional children's camp-fire songs. Camp Favourites was issued in 1962 by Cameo Records and is ostensibly performed by The Campers - a group actually consisting of Phil, a female vocalist, and banjoist Dick Weissman. Phil's official debut was, however, released on Jac Holzman's seminal Elektra Records label. All The News That s Fit To Print (the motto of the New York Times) was issued in 1964, with all 14 songs written (or co-written) by Ochs. Blues guitarist (and later star of the Blues Project), Danny Kalb plays throughout the album, while the Lovin Spoonful's John Sebastian contributes some uncredited harmonica on Bound For Glory. By the time of his subsequent record, 1965's I Ain't Marching Anymore, Phil was confident enough to completely dispense with the help, and the 14 songs were performed entirely solo. During this December 1965 radio broadcast, Phil plays just one already-released song - a version of Power And The Glory, from All The News... Several of the numbers included would remain unreleased for many years before finally being issued on retrospective collections. Morning was not released until the Farewells & Fantasies album released in 1997, whilst Song Of My Returning and City Boy, both languished in the vaults until 1986's A Toast To Those Who Are Gone. The highlight of this WBAI broadcast is the debut of Phil's classic track, Crucifixion (issued on 1967 s Pleasures of the Harbour), which had been written while on tour in the UK the previous month. Also destined to appear on later albums are Changes and Cannons of Christianity (Phil Ochs In Concert, 1966) and White Boots Marching In A Yellow Land and Joe Hill (both on Tape From California, 1968). In 1967 Ochs moved to A&M Records where he stayed until 1970 and for whom he recorded several more albums. His last studio release was Greatest Hits - a spoof title as it was composed entirely new material albeit with a more country and rock edge that his previous work. In 1973, whilst travelling in Africa, he was violently mugged and, as a direct result, lost the three top notes of his vocal range. This appalling experience exacerbated some already apparent mental problems and paranoia. His drinking also increased and his behaviour became increasingly erratic, to the extent that he invented a character - John Butler Train - and assumed that identity. In a truly bizarre twist he then claimed that he (Train) had killed Ochs and replaced him! In early 1976 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and on 9th April of that year - his 36th birthday - he tragically took his own life.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cycle of Sacrifice Unwinds 31 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD
The most interesting thing about this CD is the revelation that Phil Ochs wrote songs such as Crucifixion as early as 1965.
These are great songs, but the later studio versions are better.
Recording quality is not brilliant, Phil sometimes forgets his words, and his guitar is not perfectly in tune.
But nevertheless, an essential buy for Ochs fans.
Four stars on the basis of Amazon's definition, not because it really deserves them.
So an essential historical artefact, but not a wonderful listening experience.
Any more releases like this, and, like Gene Clark, the brilliant stuff is in danger of drowning in the not so brilliant.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early (off the radio?) recording of early Ochs. For completists only. 8 July 2014
By Steven I. Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First off, I am a huge Phil Ochs fan and consider myself privileged to have seen him perform twice in a small coffee house in Philadelphia at the peak of his career and, later, I also saw him in Philly on his "Gold Lame' Tour" (a few days after the "Gunfight at Carnegie Hall" concert in NYC. With that said, I probably have every Ochs album somewhere in my collection.

I was thrilled when I heard that a newly discovered radio performance was being issued. (Actually TWO Ochs radio shows are being released this summer - but more on the other in a minute.) I have to say that this release can only be recommended to the Ochs completist.

On December 15, 1965, Ochs - who was then 24 years old did an "in studio" at non-commercial Pacifica Radio station WBAI in New York. I don't know if the station has a copy of that show but - from what my ears tell me, this CD is the result of an off the air - possibly home - recording. There are dropouts and distortion throughout. But what he performed is "interesting" to know. Though all 10 songs performed during the 52-minute program were eventually released - the song "Morning" , performed twice here (once with jazz chords), was not issued until 1997 -only "Power and The Glory" had been recorded as of the date of this show. In his intro to "Crucifixion" -a performance that is over 11 minutes in length - Ochs says "This is a song New York won't be ready for for another 100 years." And, at one point he forgets the words and passes it off with the comment "Well, it's a new song". His humor is in evidence when he does a parody of Dylan and sings a song he calls "Positively (NOT) 4th Street". It lasts but 58 seconds. He sings "Joe Hill", "Changes", Cannons of Christianity" and others in his well-known catalog but there is also the much lesser-known "City Boy".

The CD contains a two-page essay (in small print, but readable) with no author credited. The CD appears to be an import, though there is no country of origin. Obviously this is not authorized by Ochs' family and is probably not authorized by WBAI. This same label (All Access) recently released a Loudon Wainwright radio concert with really decent sound. This disc certainly doesn't have that. There is very little - if any - released material of Ochs' early career (well there is the CD - "The Broadside Ballads" on Smithsonian Folkways, but little else.). I would have wished that this WBAI concert had been preserved by the station and an authorized version - with decent sound - for his fans. But none seems to be forthcoming.

So, I wanted to make sure that those Ochs fans looking for "Phil Live" (other than the Elektra "In Concert", the more obscure "Live in Vancouver - 1968" and the A&M "Gunfight" albums) know what is - and what is not - on this CD.

A further note - In a couple of weeks Rock Beat Records will be releasing a CD titled "LIVE AGAIN" taken from a concert in 1973 (8 years after the WBAI gig) at a club in Michigan with 19 songs and running (per Amazon) 70 minutes. I'm waiting for my copy to post the review. I don't know the source of this recording as of the date I post this review.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
5.0 out of 5 stars The album of songs that should have been. 9 Sep 2014
By SteveG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Fantastic early moving radio performance by Phil that has fair to good sonic quality that does not distract from performances of the songs that should have been released on Ochs second album and would have easily put him in the same catagory as the Dylan. Included are touching versions Song of My Returning and Changes and a first time ever run through of Crucifixion complete with forgotten lines. Awesome.
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero, today as much as yesterday ! 6 Sep 2014
By csmith8354 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Phil is probably the most under rated artist in folk music of the period. This album is another fine example of his work, too often in Dylan's shadow at the time, were Ochs able to defeat his demons and still be alive today, Dylan would be standing in Ochs shadow. Artists evolve I would adore seeing Phil's works today, seen and saw last years Dylan's concert, first concert I've ever walked out of !
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 17 Aug 2014
By Marc Simao - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Some errors in the liner notes but as always Phil is at the top of his game.
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