Greatest Hits

歌手:Phil Ochs

发行时间:1970-01-01

发行公司: A&M

专辑介绍:

After witnessing the mayhem of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, Phil Ochs wrote and recorded one of his finest albums, Rehearsals for Retirement, but tha...

After witnessing the mayhem of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, Phil Ochs wrote and recorded one of his finest albums, Rehearsals for Retirement, but that testament to what Ochs described as "the death of the American" left him with little desire to sing about political matters -- and in time, little desire to write at all. Searching for a new direction, in 1970 Ochs paired up with producer Van Dyke Parks and released Greatest Hits, a set of new material whose title was mostly a joke, but partly a half-hearted wish for a new beginning (though the back cover slogan, "Fifty Phil Ochs Fans Can't Be Wrong!" proved sadly prophetic -- the album was a commercial bust). Much of the time, Greatest Hits finds Ochs looking to his past for some sense of a place to go -- singing of his boyhood dreams ("Boy in Ohio"), celebrating the heroes of his youth ("Jim Dean of Indiana"), and emulating the rockabilly and country songs that were his earliest influences ("Gas Station Women," "My Kingdom for a Car"). It's hard to blame Ochs for wanting to live in the past, since his present sounds truly harrowing, particularly on the calmly desperate opener, "One Way Ticket Home," his meditation on the stardom he never achieved, "Chords of Fame," and a closing requiem to his own muse, "No More Songs." (Significantly, the album's sole topical number, "Ten Cents a Coup," is a graceless number stitched together from live recordings made at several political rallies.) The sorrow and anguish is not hard to spot in Ochs' performances, though there's a passionate intensity that rings through from first track to last, and Parks' arrangements and production are imaginative and make the most of the material. Greatest Hits is a powerful piece of work, but also a very depressing one, despite the glossy presentation, occasionally forced good cheer, and the final overheard conversation in which Ochs mumbles "I'll be around for a while," and it's both sad and appropriate that it would prove to be Ochs' final studio album; he committed suicide in 1976. 

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