ARTIST: Phil Ochs
TITLE: I Ain’t Marching Anymore
YEAR RELEASED: 1965
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: None from here, but the title track was a 1966 single with an electric version.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Draft Dodger Rag, Links on the Chain, Here’s to the State of Mississippi
LINEUP: Phil Ochs
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Phil Ochs takes the protest singer crown away from Bob Dylan with biting songs about Vietnam, the draft, civil rights, President Kennedy, liberal complacency, and interpretations of poetry he found compelling.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With a clear voice, and a sense of righteous purpose, Phil Ochs’ second album is an indictment of the state of the world in 1965. Vietnam, the draft, civil rights, and even suburban liberals are all targets for his work. He sang loud and clear and rallied the protest community behind him as Dylan was moving more towards rock and enigmatic visions.
Ochs was not afraid to challenge his listeners, as he wasn’t as doctrinaire as some on the left wanted him to be. In this, he had some realistic expectations of what could and couldn’t be accomplished, but he still was an idealist and sang about the injustices of the 60’s, which were myriad and deep.
Ochs was now the leader of the protest-folk movement, especially with songs like “HEre’s to the State of Mississippi”.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “That Was the President” was about Kennedy, and it infuriated some Marxists and Socialists in his audience. Ochs didn’t care, really.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the ‘electric’ version of “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”. It’s not as successful as it could have been.
GRADE: A+: Probably the best protest album of the 60’s outside of Dylan, and maybe right alongside Dylan’s best.