Phil Ochs – A Hero Of The Game (1965/2014)

FrontCover1And they cry how they miss him, year after year…” The highlight of Phil’s WBAI set is the unveiling of his new song, “Crucifixion” Not written immediately after Kennedy’s assassination, as some thought, the song was evidently brewing for a long time, as Phil combined images of Christ and Kennedy and, playfully here, adds Dylan’s name. He has just about memorized the tune for this radio debut. Were a few lines ad-libs or simply lines he later dropped or refined?

And speaking of Dylan… here’s a wry throwaway of Phil doing a few lines of parody on “Positively 4th Street” before wandering through some ad-libs about hipness and England.

While many thought that Phil’s “ballad” phase began with “Pleasures of the Harbor,” two meditative numbers appear this early: “Song of My Returning” and “City Boy.” Neither would turn up on the A&M albums he released in the late ’60s; Phil evidently preferred newer if sometimes less compelling numbers such as “My Kingdom for a Car,” or long and uncommercial tracks (”When In Rome”). Ultimately it would take a Rhino posthumous release to collect these two heartfelt and poignant numbers.

Once again, Phil blended political and topical material with ageless ballads. And often they were combined, as on “Joe Hill,” which could be titled by a phrase in the song, “Death of a Rebel.”
This is the earliest recording of “Crucifixion”; slightly different than later versions. (by hendrixsky at Dime)

Thanks to drumsy for sharing the tracks on the net.

Recorded live in New York; December 15, 1965
Good WBAI radio broadcast.

Phil Ochs – guitar, vocals

01. Song Of My Returning 6.45
02. White Boots Marching In A Yellow Land 3.23
03. Changes 5.12
04. Crucifixion 11.05
05. Cannons Of Christianity 4.33
06. Joe Hill 8:35
07. City Boy 2:51
08. Positively (Not) 4th Street 0.53
09. Power And The Glory 2.23
10. Morning (Experiment In Jazz Chords) 3.14
11. Morning 2.56

All songs written by Phil Ochs