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All the News That's Fit to Sing

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iTunes Review

By 1964, Bob Dylan was moving away from topical folk songs just as Phil Ochs—his only legitimate creative threat on the Greenwich Village folk scene—was mastering the art form in ways that pleased the politically minded audiences and fellow folk singers of the civil rights movement. This was only natural, for politics and a sense of justice were on Ochs' mind, and the ways of the world would eventually doom Ochs and his idealism. With this set, modern listeners who aren't politically and socially aware of the names and places of 1964 may find songs about Lou Marsh, William Worthy, and even the Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam War a bit beyond their reach. But any ears attuned to acoustic music should find Ochs' take on Edgar Allan Poe ("The Bells") and his tribute to Woody Guthrie ("Bound for Glory") to be touching and true. Where Dylan had a tough, cutting rock 'n' roll heart, Ochs had a stronger grasp on melody and more baroque taste in arrangements. Even here on his debut album, it's obvious just how great a singer Ochs really was.

Customer Reviews

All The News That's Fit to Sing

I'm a Phil Ochs junkie and have been for 40 years. I was once a die-hard liberal, as he was, and listened to his words over and over again. His tunes vary from soft and tender to hard-core protest, marching music but I loved them all. Even now, 40 years later, age 59, a died-in-the-wool conservative, I harken back to those days. G-d bless Phil looking down upon us.!!!!

Not Phil's best....

but it's still quite good, although to fully enjoy this album one needs to know something about the history and politics of the 1960s. iTunes STILL is not carrying "Tape From California" or "Rehearsals for Retirement" - and eagerly needs to. Unlike this album, one can enjoy his A & M stuff purely as great music without knowing the sociopolitical context. I don't mean to say anything bad about this album though - EVERYTHING Ochs did is worth buying.


Born: December 19, 1940 in El Paso, TX

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Phil Ochs is a figure both glorious and tragic who haunts the history of the 1960s folk revival and its aftermath. A topical singer and songwriter in the manner of Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie from the previous generation, he was forever in the shadow of Bob Dylan in terms of the recognition for his music; but unlike Dylan -- who, in retrospect, seemed to approach his work with overpowering facility and talent, but only occasional moments of definable dedication to the causes seemingly...
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