Review: 50 years later, Ochs’ ‘Pleasures of the Harbor’ is worth a second look

Though folk singer Phil Ochs only lived to the age of 35, he was one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 1960s.
His manic optimism reached its peak in 1967 with the release of his third studio album “Pleasures of the Harbor.”
With minor exceptions, it was Ochs’ first work to feature dense instrumentation and complex arrangements.
Despite being on his setlists for only two years, the songs on the album represented a complete tonal shift for Ochs’ music.
The album starts off with “Cross My Heart,” a bombastic track that does nothing to convince its listener of anything.
Ochs’ limited skill as a musician proved to be a shortcoming on the album, so much so that his guitar playing was removed from several tracks or not even recorded to begin with.

 

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