Best of Broadside 1962-1988

Best of Broadside 1962-1988

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This lavishly packaged, copiously annotated five-CD, 89-song box set -- subtitled "Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of Broadside Magazine" -- pays tribute to the influential folk-song magazine Broadside magazine, which in its quarter-century lifespan printed countless topical songs by many of the era's most important songwriters, along with…  See more details below


This lavishly packaged, copiously annotated five-CD, 89-song box set -- subtitled "Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of Broadside Magazine" -- pays tribute to the influential folk-song magazine Broadside magazine, which in its quarter-century lifespan printed countless topical songs by many of the era's most important songwriters, along with articles and opinion pieces chronicling concurrent political and social concerns. In the early '60s, Broadside's focus on topical original compositions was a major influence in turning the folk scene's focus from traditional material towards original compositions. The magazine also launched an offshoot record label, which released several various-artists LPs featuring such essential '60s troubadours as Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Eric Andersen, Janis Ian, Arlo Guthrie, and Tom Paxton. The Best of Broadside box -- all of whose tracks originally appeared in the magazine or on its sister label -- does a fine job of defining Broadside's seminal role in the folk scene, with a broad sampling of often-rare material that includes memorable tracks from the better-known artists as well as some worthy obscurities by less famous ones. The Dylan songs, "John Brown" and "Ballad of Donald White" (the latter credited to the pseudonymous Blind Boy Grunt), have long been the quarry of collectors; both are fine examples of the artist at the peak of his folkie period. he also plays guitar and sings backing vocals to Happy Traum's reading of Dylan's "Let Me Die In My Footsteps." Other highlights include Janis Ian's "Baby I've Been Thinking," an early acoustic acoustic version of her controversial hit "Society's Child"; Peter La Farge's original version of his "Ballad of Ira Hayes," subsequently popularized by Johnny Cash; Richard Farina's civil rights ballad "Birmingham Sunday"; the previously unreleased Phil Ochs song, "Freedom Riders"; and Tom Paxton's "Train for Auschwitz," whose stark lyrical imagery drew such intense reactions that the artist stopped playing it live. Inevitably, the box also includes a fair number of justifiably obscure cuts by strident, didactic protest singers, but even these shed valuable light on the musical movement that spawned them. Not surprisingly, the level of artistic inspiration and social relevance drops off as the folk world becomes increasingly marginalized in the late '60s and onwards, although there are bright spots including a 1979 track by an early Lucinda Williams. The scattered inclusion of such stylistic departures as Nina Simone's earthily elegant "Mississippi Goddamn" and The Fugs' bracingly vulgar "Kill for Peace" suggests that if folk's gatekeepers had displayed that sort of openmindedness more often, the scene - and Broadside itself -- might have stood a better chance of maintaining the level of influence past its '60s peak. It's also worth noting that the accompanying 150-page book -- thoroughly researched and copiously illustrated -- tells the Broadside story with such vivid detail that it'd almost be worth the price of admission on its own.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
From the early '60s to the late '80s, Broadside magazine printed numerous topical songs by contemporary writers, in addition to articles and commentary. By far the most influential years of its life span were the earliest ones, in the early to mid-'60s, when it helped steer the folk movement toward original material that directly addressed modern society and social injustice. This five-CD box set is an important document of Broadside's contribution to 20th century American popular music. The Broadside LPs included material by emerging songwriters that didn't show up on those performers' own albums, and undoubtedly this box will get its most attention for featuring some of those items by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, and Eric Andersen. If you're a committed 1960s folk collector, there are a number of such goodies for cherry-picking here. From a wider perspective, however, this anthology is an important record of how social consciousness as a whole grew within American popular music, especially in the 1960s. Don't get the idea this is all great stuff; there are too many obscure strident singer/songwriters, in the mold of Dylan and others, singing dry, didactic, unmelodic tunes with unimaginative plain arrangements. Broadside also missed the boat almost entirely as far as folk-rock and socially conscious rock was concerned, with rare exceptions. When the Fugs' "Kill for Peace" blasts off, it's such a refreshing change to hear an all-out rocker you can move to, though that's definitely not the rule on this anthology. Nevertheless, there's much good music here, and certainly as a whole it's an incredible history lesson, with more than 150 pages of liner notes detailing the magazine, its founders, the performers, and each of the songs.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
The Best of Broadside, a grand tribute to a stubborn ideal, is also, in its way, a profound reflection on loss. Heard next to the greed and plasticity of early-twenty-first-century pop, the conviction and selflessness in these songs sound like a long-dead language. We should be ashamed.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Smithsonian Folkways


Disc 1

  1. Links on the Chain
  2. Blowin' in the Wind
  3. Paths of Victory
  4. The Ballad of Ira Hayes
  5. Ain't That News?
  6. The Times I've Had
  7. Go Limp
  8. Ding Dong Dollar
  9. Mack the Bomb  - Pete Seeger
  10. The Civil Defense Sign
  11. Let Me Die in My Footsteps
  12. Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette
  13. What Have They Done to the Rain?
  14. Ballad of William Worthy
  15. Train for Auschwitz
  16. Do as the Doukhobors Do  - Pete Seeger
  17. Christine
  18. As Long as the Grass Shall Grow

Disc 2

  1. John Brown
  2. Take Me for a Walk (Morning Dew)
  3. The Willing Conscript  - Pete Seeger
  4. Kill for Peace
  5. Plains of Nebrasky-O  - Phil Ochs
  6. Benny Kid Peace
  7. What Did You Learn in School Today?
  8. Changin' Hands
  9. Welcome, Welcome Emigrante
  10. Shady Acres
  11. Lord, Hold Back the Waters
  12. Ballad of Donald White
  13. Song for Patty
  14. A Very Close Friend of Mine  - Richard Black
  15. Long Time Troubled Road  - Eric Andersen
  16. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall  - Pete Seeger

Disc 3

  1. Mississippi Goddam
  2. We'll Never Turn Back
  3. Freedom Riders
  4. Father's Grace
  5. Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking)
  6. I'm Gonna Get My Baby Out of Jail
  7. The Ballard of Martin Luther King
  8. Carry It On
  9. Birmingham Sunday
  10. The Migrant's Song  - Augustin Lira
  11. El Picket Sign
  12. La Lucha Continuara
  13. Cantra la Pro
  14. Mrs. Clara
  15. If It Wasn't for the Union
  16. More Good Men Going Down
  17. Sundown  - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham
  18. My Oklahoma Home (It Blowed Away)  - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham
  19. Drag Lines
  20. My Father's Mansions  - Pete Seeger

Disc 4

  1. Pinkville Helicopter
  2. Hell No, I Ain't Going Go  - Elaine Laron
  3. We Seek No Wider War
  4. Waist Deep in the Big Muddy  - Pete Seeger
  5. Vietman
  6. Hole in the Ground
  7. To Be a Killer
  8. New York J-D Blues  - Pete Seeger
  9. Little Boxes
  10. Not Enough to Live on But Too Much to Die
  11. The Faucets Are Dripping
  12. Bizzness Ain't Dead
  13. Business  - Pete Seeger
  14. Legal-Illegal  - Pete Seeger
  15. Brown Water and Blood
  16. The Aberfan Coal Tio Tragedy  - Thom Parrott
  17. Lafayette
  18. The Ballard of the Earl Durand  - Charles Brown
  19. Plastic Jesus

Disc 5

  1. Burn, Baby, Bur  - Jim Collier
  2. The Cities Are Burning  - Jim Collier
  3. Nothing But His Blood
  4. You're Just a Laughing Fool
  5. Time Is Running Out
  6. But If I Ask Them  - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham
  7. Ragamuffin Minstrel Boy
  8. Changes
  9. Bound for Glory
  10. Victor Jara
  11. We Will Never Give Up  - Kristen Lems
  12. Inez
  13. I'm Gonna Be an Engineer
  14. Don't Talk to Strangers
  15. Catcher in the Rye
  16. The Time Will Come  - Elaine D. White

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ewan MacColl   Vocals
Eric Andersen   Track Performer
Erik Darling   Guitar
Arlo Guthrie   Guitar,Vocals
Paul Kaplan   Guitar,Vocals
Phil Ochs   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Tom Paxton   Guitar,Vocals
Malvina Reynolds   Guitar,Vocals
Buffy Sainte-Marie   Track Performer
Peggy Seeger   Concertina
Pete Seeger   Track Performer
Happy Traum   Guitar,Vocals
Nina Simone   Piano,Vocals
Bob Dylan   Track Performer
Fugs   Track Performer
Janis Ian   Track Performer
Lucinda Williams   Guitar,Vocals
Len Chandler   Guitar,Vocals
Peter La Farge   Track Performer
Ed Sanders   Vocals
Sammy Walker   Harmonica,Vocals
Rev. F.D. Kirkpatrick   Track Performer
Mark Spoelstra   Guitar,Vocals
Don Robertson   Guitar
Kristen Lems   Track Performer
Deb Silverstein   Track Performer
Agnes "Sis" Cunningham   Track Performer
Freedom Singers   Track Performer
Richard Fariña   Guitar,Vocals
Bonnie Dobson   Track Performer
Rex Bell   Guitar
Richard Black   Track Performer
Bob Cohen   Guitar,Vocals
Lee Crabtree   Piano
Brian Davies   Guitar
Bob Glaub   Bass
Gene Hicks   Violin
Marshall "Rock" Jones   Musician
Pete Kearney   Guitar
Tuli Kupferberg   Vocals
Vinny Leary   Guitar
Calum MacColl   Guitar
Andre Matthews   Guitar
Mike Millius   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Rob Moitoza   Bass
James Peacock   Musician
Dick Rosmini   Guitar
Wendy Smith   Organ,Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Don Thomas   Bass
Mickey White   Bass
Ira Wilkes   Drums
Human Condition   Track Performer
Jim Page   Track Performer
Bob Norman   Guitar,Background Vocals
Danny Valdez   Guitar,Vocals
William McLean   Track Performer
Lisle Atkinson   Bass
Matt Jones   Track Performer
Elaine Laron   Track Performer
Matt McGinn   Track Performer
Gil Turner   Track Performer
Chris Gaylord   Track Performer
Bev Grant   Track Performer
Jeff Ampolsk   Track Performer
New World Singers   Track Performer
Wes Houston   Track Performer
Raimon Padilla   Track Performer
Treato Campesino   Track Performer
Broadside Singers   Track Performer
Glasgow Song Guild   Track Performer
Michael Strange   Track Performer
New Harmony Sisterhood Band   Track Performer
Matt McGuinn   Track Performer
Sullivan's Letter   Track Performer
Danny Rose-Redwood   Track Performer
Augustin Lira   Track Performer
Elaine D. White   Track Performer
Jim Collier   Guitar,Vocals
Bobby Hamilton   Drums
Malcolm Smith   Fiddle
Tom Parrott   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Tom Paxton   Liner Notes
Peter La Farge   Composer
Kristen Lems   Composer
Agnes "Sis" Cunningham   Composer
Jeff Place   Producer,Liner Notes,Annotation
Anthony Seeger   Liner Notes
Pete Reiniger   Liner Notes
Gordon Friesen   Illustrations
Jim Collier   Liner Notes

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Best of Broadside 1962-1988 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago