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Starlight On The Rails: A Songbook [Box set]

Utah PhillipsAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Box set, 2014 $35.19  
Audio CD, Box set, 2005 --  

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Starlight On The Rails: A Songbook + Fellow Workers
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Daemon Records
  • ASIN: B00080Z67E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,898 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Songbook Introduction
2. Utah on "The Telling Takes Me Home"
3. The Telling Takes Me Home
4. Utah on "Yuba City"
5. Yuba City
See all 29 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Utah on "Starlight on the Rails"
2. Starlight on the Rails
3. Utah on "Talking N.P.R."
4. Talking N.P.R.
5. Utah on "John D. Lee"
See all 34 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Utah on Disc 3
2. Utah on "Orphan Train"
3. Kate Brislin & Jody Stecher- Orphan Train
4. Utah on "Golden Mansions"
5. Kate Brislin & Jody Stecher- Golden Mansions
See all 29 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Utah on "Going Away"
2. Going Away
3. Utah on "Old Buddy, Goodnight"
4. Old Buddy, Goodnight
5. Utah on "Jesse's Corrido"
See all 32 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Starlight on the Rails is the most complete collection of Utah Phillip's songs ever released. Spanning 30 years of studio, live, and unreleased recordings from "The Golden Voice of the Great Southwest", this definitive set includes Utah's personal reflections about each song. It also includes renditions of Utah's songs by Kate Wolf, Rosalie Sorrels and many others. Almost 5 hours on 4 CDs with a full color 12 page booklet included. A must have for any music collection.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overdue Compilation from a Master May 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In this day of proliferation of boxed sets from even marginal figures, we are fortunate to finally have a collection of Utah's work from the early '70s through the '90s, mostly recorded in live performance from a variety of sources, together with one disc containing performances of his songs by others. Utah's studio albums are still availiable, so this is no "greatest hits" repackaging of available material, but consists in the main previouly unavailable work. The exceptions are 5 cuts from "Loafer's Glory," and one from Legends of Folk. Similarly, a few of the covers are from an albumn by Kate Brislin and Jody Steicher.

Liner documentation could be better, as there is no information on the other performers on the cuts where Utah is not solo, although recording dates and locations are given. My only real beef, however, is the absence of a version of what I believe is his greatest song, "I Remember Loving You," either by Utah, or by others who have covered this such as Priscilla Herdman. But I'm most thankful for the live performances of all of his other great train, polictical and love songs. The spoken intros. to each cut are great to have, particularly for those who have not heard Utah in concert. Utah, I ran into you a couple of years ago near Union Station in Chicago; thanks again for this and I hope you keep writing and performing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A People's Troubadour January 30, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Although this space is mainly dedicated to reviewing political books and commenting on past and current political issues as a way to orient today's alienated radical youth on the lessons of the past literary output is hardly the only form of political creation. Occasionally in the history of the American and international left musicians, artists and playwrights have given voice or provided visual reminders to the face of political struggle. With that thought in mind, every once in a while I will use this space to review those kinds of political expression.

My musical tastes were formed, as were many of those of the generation of 1968, by `Rock and Roll' music exemplified by the Rolling Stones and Beatles and by the blues revival, both Delta and Chicago style. However, those forms as much as they gave pleasure were only marginally political at best. In short, these were entertainers performing material that spoke to us. In the most general sense that is all one should expect of a performer. Thus, for the most part that music need not be reviewed here. Those who thought that a new musical sensibility laid the foundations for a cultural or political revolution have long ago been proven wrong.

That said, in the early 1960's there nevertheless was another form of musical sensibility that was directly tied to radical political expression- the folk revival. This entailed a search for roots and relevancy in musical expression. While not all forms of folk music lent themselves to radical politics it is hard to see the 1960's cultural rebellion without giving a nod to such figures as Dave Van Ronk, the early Bob Dylan, Utah Phillips, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and others.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Icon of Folk Songs & Storytelling August 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is a great box set by a true master of folk songs and stories. I've been to many a Utah concert.

Yet I can't give it 5 Stars. How can a 4 CD compilation omit two of his classics? :

Hallelujah I'm A Bum, and Moose Turd Pie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Utah Phillips collection!!! September 15, 2009
Format:Audio CD
With over 4 hours of his classic storytelling and political folk songs, this is the ultimate Utah Phillips collection, a wonderful tribute to the late great troubadour of the labor movement. In this age of rising unemployment, imperialist war, and political repression, Utah's defiant songs will resonate with many. Like a musical version of Howard Zinn, Utah memorializes the forgotten lives of destitute workers, spinning tales about striking miners, undocumented immigrants, homeless people hopping trains, poor folks conscripted to fight the rich man's wars, Catholic Worker pacifists like Ammon Hennacy, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, and the labor battles of the I.W.W. One of my favorite songs in the collection, "Rice and Beans", is about the young people who were disappeared during the US-backed Somoza dictatorship. Another one of my favorites is "Kid's Liberation", a sweet little song about kids standing up for themselves and fighting back. In addition to his own singing, the third disc in this box set includes a fantastic selection of his folk songs sung by other artists like Kate Wolf and Rosalie Sorrels. Sad, angry, wise, and sometimes funny, "Starlight On the Rails" belongs in the personal collection of every union organizer and anti-capitalist in this country. As such, I highly recommended this great anthology for fans of topical folk-singers like Woody Guthrie and Anne Feeney and for anyone working for economic equality, peace, and social justice!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utah's Audioautobiography October 8, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to Utah Phillips sing songs and tell stories in live concerts for
over 25 years until his death in 2008. This recording is Utah's version of
an autobiography. He was an oral historian and lorist. He used to say that
once you write it down, history becomes frozen; but if you tell it, sing it,
history remains a living tradition. These four CDs contain Phillips' account
of how each of the 61 songs became part of his life; some he created, others
he adapted. His intelligence, wisdom and humor come shining through.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I should have found out about Utah Philips years ago
This is a great set. I found out about Utah Phillips from George Mann (another great folk artist and a member of the International Workers of the World). Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jon Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Utah
This set may be expensive, but it was worth every penny. I feel connected to my elders, and the stories they laid down and the struggles they went through, thanks to the brilliant... Read more
Published on March 2, 2012 by Ezra Horne
5.0 out of 5 stars U Utah Phillips music
The 4 CD song book is very helpful in understanding the ides and thoughts that were behind the songs that Utah Philips wrote.
Published on May 13, 2011 by Julian
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential & fun
I'm the type that like to know the origins of a song and thought of the songwriter when they have as much content/history as a Utah Phillip's song - and Utah Phillips is a fine... Read more
Published on March 20, 2011 by Kenai L&J
5.0 out of 5 stars Utah, up close and personal
Really liked his philosophy in this "Song Book", ie
learning a song, not from a printed book, or even published lyrics, but by first hearing from Utah where it comes from,... Read more
Published on August 9, 2010 by Paul Bolton
5.0 out of 5 stars a while lotta bang for your buck
These are 4 cds that include both songs and spoken word of utah phillips. If you're new to his music, i think this a wonderful place to start, and you get a lot for your money! Read more
Published on July 19, 2010 by TandyJoAndy
5.0 out of 5 stars "One big story, and we're all in it"
AK Press has really accomplished something amazing by making this boxset possible. It really is the best testament to Utah's entire musical career. Read more
Published on March 13, 2010 by Vlad M. Solomon
5.0 out of 5 stars Anarchism in Folk
This is a great "documentary" type recording, a real life anarchist explaining himself through word and song. Not all his performances, but it's a real gem. Read more
Published on February 23, 2010 by Bryan L. Bridges
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