Among folk legends, the late Phil Ochs is nearly peerless. His dozen years as a ringing voice in the war against social and political injustice left the world with a wealth of music and lyrics that remain powerful and in some cases topical more than 30 years after he recorded them. Joined by the likes of Ry Cooder, Clydie King, Jack Elliott, Van Dyke Parks, Don Rich, and Tom Scott, Ochs created a legacy of words and music that continues to drive the spirit of social conscience in musicians like Billy Bragg, Natalie Merchant, and Ani DiFranco. This 3 CD set collects the work he did at Elektra, A&M, and Folkways between 1964 and 1975, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. It chronicles not just an era when music and politics often clashed, but also one spiritual man's sojourn from rebellion and activism to depression and despair.
“Good evening, we’re called the Velvet Underground. You’re allowed to dance, in case you didn’t know, and…uh, that’s about it. This is called ‘Waiting for the Man,’ a tender folk song from the early ’50s about love between man and subway, and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it.” The preceding words were selected by Lou Reed as his opening salvo when the Velvet Underground took the stage of Max’s Kansas City in New York City on August 23, 1970… and, in turn, they were the words that the band’s fans heard within seconds of putting on Side One of the Velvet Underground’s first live album, Live at Max’s Kansas City, which was released 42 years ago today.