ARTIST: Phil Ochs
TITLE: All the News That’s Fit to Sing
YEAR RELEASED: 1964
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: One More Parade, Power and the Glory, The Bells, Too Many Martyrs, What’s That I Hear
LINEUP: Phil Ochs, Danny Kalb
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The first broadside from one of Broadside magazine’s favorites.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sure, this 1964 record is topical, and reads like a current events look at America during that troubled and turbulent time. Because of that, it’s an important document – a take on current events from a progressive voice that takes on the issues head-on.
Ochs’ voice is strong and unwavering, and his vocal style fits each style of song, from talking blues, to protest, to ‘journalism’ folk. His guitar work has a lot of finesse and he can play in several styles to fit the song. His lyrics are definitely pointed, and unwavering on his politics. The only slight stumbles are when he tries to become a bit sentimental – he’s not quite as nuanced there as he would be later.
Ochs is a better singer, and a better guitar player than most other of his contemporaries. His political leanings were far left, but in the protest movement, he was beloved at this time.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: In 1963, he recorded an album of campfire songs for children, anonymously. This wasn’t discovered until 2000.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: Sadly, you could probably adapt many of these songs to the current political landscape.