Phil Ochs

~ Person


Philip David "Phil" Ochs (/ˈks/; December 19, 1940 – April 9, 1976) was an American protest singer (or, as he preferred, a topical singer) and songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and distinctive voice. He wrote hundreds of songs in the 1960s and '70s and released eight albums.

Ochs performed at many political events during the 1960s counterculture era, including anti-Vietnam War and civil rights rallies, student events, and organized labor events over the course of his career, in addition to many concert appearances at such venues as New York City's Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. Politically, Ochs described himself as a "left social democrat" who became an "early revolutionary" after the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago led to a police riot, which had a profound effect on his state of mind.

After years of prolific writing in the 1960s, Ochs's mental stability declined in the 1970s. He eventually succumbed to a number of problems including bipolar disorder and alcoholism, and took his own life in 1976.

Some of Ochs's major musical influences were Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Bob Gibson, Faron Young, and Merle Haggard. His best-known songs include "I Ain't Marching Anymore", "Changes", "Crucifixion", "Draft Dodger Rag", "Love Me, I'm a Liberal", "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends", "Power and the Glory", "There but for Fortune", and "The War Is Over".

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Year Title RatingReleases
1964 All the News That's Fit to Sing 3
1965 I Ain't Marching Anymore 3
1967 Pleasures of the Harbor 3
1968 Tape from California 1
1969 Rehearsals For Retirement 1
1970 Greatest Hits 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1976 Chords of Fame 1
1986 A Toast to Those Who Are Gone 2
1988 The War Is Over: The Best of Phil Ochs 1
1989 The Broadside Tapes 1 1
1989 There but for Fortune 1
1997 American Troubadour 1
1997 Farewells & Fantasies 1
2000 The Early Years 1
2001 All the News That's Fit to Sing / I Ain't Marching Anymore 1
2002 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Phil Ochs 1
2003 Cross My Heart - An Introduction to Phil Ochs 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1966 In Concert 2

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1974 Gunfight at Carnegie Hall 2
1990 There and Now: Live in Vancouver, 1968 1
1996 Live at Newport 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1966 I Ain’t Marching Anymore / That Was the President 1

Other + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1975 Last Stand at Gerde's (Live July 1975) 1

Unspecified type

Year Title RatingReleases
1964-06-03, Gaslight Cafe, New York NY, unk 1
1965-xx-xx, WBAI Broadcast, New York NY, unk 1
1966-10-22, unknown venue, Montreal Canada, unk 1
1968-06-12_17, Burg Waldeck Festival, Dorweiler Germany, SBD 1
1970-02-01, Troubadour Nightclub, West Hollywood CA, unk 1
1970-03-27, Carnegie Hall, New York NY, SBD 1
1973-05-26, The Stable, East Lansing MI, unk 1
1974-03-10, Quiet Knight, Chicago IL, FM 1

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