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Best of Broadside 1962-1988

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
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.
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.

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: 9/12/2000
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • UPC: 093074013021
  • Catalog Number: 40130
  • Sales rank: 17,408

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Links on the Chain (4:14)
  2. 2 Blowin' in the Wind (2:32)
  3. 3 Paths of Victory (1:38)
  4. 4 The Ballad of Ira Hayes (3:35)
  5. 5 Ain't That News? (1:40)
  6. 6 The Times I've Had (2:53)
  7. 7 Go Limp (2:32)
  8. 8 Ding Dong Dollar (1:58)
  9. 9 Mack the Bomb - Pete Seeger (2:40)
  10. 10 The Civil Defense Sign (3:50)
  11. 11 Let Me Die in My Footsteps (3:42)
  12. 12 Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette (4:52)
  13. 13 What Have They Done to the Rain? (2:18)
  14. 14 Ballad of William Worthy (2:09)
  15. 15 Train for Auschwitz (3:50)
  16. 16 Do as the Doukhobors Do - Pete Seeger (2:12)
  17. 17 Christine (2:21)
  18. 18 As Long as the Grass Shall Grow (5:06)
Disc 2
  1. 1 John Brown (4:19)
  2. 2 Take Me for a Walk (Morning Dew) (4:19)
  3. 3 The Willing Conscript - Pete Seeger (2:16)
  4. 4 Kill for Peace (2:12)
  5. 5 Plains of Nebrasky-O - Phil Ochs (2:50)
  6. 6 Benny Kid Peace (3:44)
  7. 7 What Did You Learn in School Today? (2:01)
  8. 8 Changin' Hands (2:40)
  9. 9 Welcome, Welcome Emigrante (2:06)
  10. 10 Shady Acres (3:24)
  11. 11 Lord, Hold Back the Waters (3:50)
  12. 12 Ballad of Donald White (4:30)
  13. 13 Song for Patty (5:54)
  14. 14 A Very Close Friend of Mine - Richard Black (2:35)
  15. 15 Long Time Troubled Road - Eric Andersen (3:22)
  16. 16 A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - Pete Seeger (5:19)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Mississippi Goddam (4:59)
  2. 2 We'll Never Turn Back (3:34)
  3. 3 Freedom Riders (2:15)
  4. 4 Father's Grace (3:49)
  5. 5 Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking) (2:43)
  6. 6 I'm Gonna Get My Baby Out of Jail (5:03)
  7. 7 The Ballard of Martin Luther King (2:57)
  8. 8 Carry It On (3:17)
  9. 9 Birmingham Sunday (4:00)
  10. 10 The Migrant's Song - Augustin Lira (5:07)
  11. 11 El Picket Sign (3:15)
  12. 12 La Lucha Continuara (5:25)
  13. 13 Cantra la Pro (1:54)
  14. 14 Mrs. Clara (2:23)
  15. 15 If It Wasn't for the Union (2:57)
  16. 16 More Good Men Going Down (3:00)
  17. 17 Sundown - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham (5:56)
  18. 18 My Oklahoma Home (It Blowed Away) - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham (3:51)
  19. 19 Drag Lines (3:51)
  20. 20 My Father's Mansions - Pete Seeger (2:05)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Pinkville Helicopter (3:50)
  2. 2 Hell No, I Ain't Going Go - Elaine Laron (3:27)
  3. 3 We Seek No Wider War (4:19)
  4. 4 Waist Deep in the Big Muddy - Pete Seeger (3:03)
  5. 5 Vietman (5:45)
  6. 6 Hole in the Ground (3:53)
  7. 7 To Be a Killer (1:51)
  8. 8 New York J-D Blues - Pete Seeger (6:00)
  9. 9 Little Boxes (2:11)
  10. 10 Not Enough to Live on But Too Much to Die (2:21)
  11. 11 The Faucets Are Dripping (3:50)
  12. 12 Bizzness Ain't Dead (2:31)
  13. 13 Business - Pete Seeger (2:07)
  14. 14 Legal-Illegal - Pete Seeger (4:10)
  15. 15 Brown Water and Blood (3:50)
  16. 16 The Aberfan Coal Tio Tragedy - Thom Parrott (5:11)
  17. 17 Lafayette (3:47)
  18. 18 The Ballard of the Earl Durand - Charles Brown (7:22)
  19. 19 Plastic Jesus (3:39)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Burn, Baby, Bur - Jim Collier (4:16)
  2. 2 The Cities Are Burning - Jim Collier (3:45)
  3. 3 Nothing But His Blood (2:56)
  4. 4 You're Just a Laughing Fool (3:26)
  5. 5 Time Is Running Out (2:56)
  6. 6 But If I Ask Them - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham (4:49)
  7. 7 Ragamuffin Minstrel Boy (2:47)
  8. 8 Changes (4:19)
  9. 9 Bound for Glory (4:06)
  10. 10 Victor Jara (4:20)
  11. 11 We Will Never Give Up (3:49)
  12. 12 Inez (3:00)
  13. 13 I'm Gonna Be an Engineer (4:32)
  14. 14 Don't Talk to Strangers (7:34)
  15. 15 Catcher in the Rye (4:40)
  16. 16 The Time Will Come - Elaine D. White (4:51)
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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
The 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
The 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
Malcolm Smith Fiddle
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
The New World Singers Track Performer
Wes Houston Track Performer
Raimon Padilla Track Performer
El Treato Campesino Track Performer
The Broadside Singers Track Performer
The 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
Tom Parrott Track Performer
Technical Credits
Tom Paxton Liner Notes
Peter La Farge 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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