Phil Ochs's unique emotion, topical humor, songwriting chops, and sophisticated political perspective are evident throughout these 1962–64 recordings.
One of the most compelling voices of the 1960s, Ochs performed these 16 original songs mostly at the offices of Broadside so the magazine could capture their music and lyrics for print. (They're reproduced in the booklet insert.) It's a wonderful mix of tunes, including the whimsical 'Spaceman' and 'Christine Keeler'; 'Hazard, Kentucky,' 'Spanish Civil War Song,' and 'I Another Country' (written after the killing of Medgar Evers); the Beatles' 'I Shoulda Known Better' (a 1964 duet with Eric Andersen at the Village Gate); and the poignant 'Remember Me,' 'The Passing of My Life,' and 'That's the Way It's Gonna Be.' Leon Wieseltier of Washingtonian deemed Ochs to be "the most brilliant and serious and moving and funny singer of the '60s, the movement’s most intelligent contribution to American popular music." Ochs took as a model union organizer and songwriter Joe Hill, who said that "a pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and is repeated over and over." Folkways' impeccable sound and documentation does this artist proud, setting Ochs' work off as the treasure it is.