Ramblin' Boy / Ain't That News Import, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
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While there's a lot here, this is not a "for completists only" collection. Several of the songs found here that aren't world famous are just as good as the ones that are. "A Rumblin' In The Land," "Ain't That News," and "I'm The Man That Built The Bridges" are all high on my list of the greatest protest songs. Elsewhere, Paxton tackles a number of early `60s topics which are once again all too relevant, such as unemployment ("Standing On the Edge of Town"), right-wing media bias ("Daily News" and "What Did You Learn In School Today?"), public complacency in the face of injustice ("We Didn't Know") and, most eerily, a government lying its way into war ("Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation"). Paxton didn't lean as heavily on love songs back then as he does now, but his romantic side is well represented too, with "I'm Bound For the Mountains and the Sea" and "Hold On To Me Babe," among others.Read more ›
To note that Ain't That News isn't quite as good as Ramblin' Boy is not much of a criticism. Bottle of Wine is, of course, a classic. Hold on to Me, Babe is a wonderful ballad about missing somebody who's left your life. The Natural Girl for Me and The Name of the Game Is Stud are two wonderfully exuberant songs, and I'm the Man That Built the Bridges, which had given its name to that privately-produced LP, is a celebration of ordinary Americans and the great things that they've accomplished.
Barry Kornfeld and Felix Pappalardi accompanied Tom on both LPs. Listen to what three good musicians, one of whom is a great songwriter, can accomplish without benefit of a fancy production.
Tom Paxton remains -- in the company of people like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan -- one of the finest crafters of songs that we have ever known.
Paxton wrote a wide variety of songs within the general genre of folk, including love songs, comedy, children's songs and the folk staple, protest songs. Of these, the protest songs are the most obviously topical; what is sad is that so many of them still resonate almost 50 years later. 'Buy A Gun For Your Son' is still a grim reminder of the absurdities of the gun lobby, George Bush's attitude to war could politically, though not poetically, be substituted for that of Lyndon Johnson and racism, which was front and center in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, is alas still with us.
Paxton's love songs, children's songs and comedy are timeless. 'Every Time' is as beautiful and 'Hold On To Me, Babe' as poignant as when they were written; children still love going to the zoo and freeways are still as hard to get off as they were then.
Paxton had a clear baritone voice and a gentle delivery which made his songs seem less aggressive than some other folkies of the time and his love lyrics are as close to poetry as lyrics can get. Hopefully these collections will awaken a new generation to one of America's finest troubadors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All 29 Songs On This Disc Are Classics Not A Bad Song On There Particular Favorites Are
A Job Of Work
What Did You Learn In School Today... Read more
In my opinion this is Tom Paxton's best album. I grew up with these songs and absolutely love them. The message lives on!Published on July 9, 2013 by M. Saul
Tom Paxton is a hero of the 'folk scare' of the fifties and sixties - "What Did You Learn in School Today" is as meaningful in the present culture as during the Vietnam era. Read morePublished on September 20, 2008 by Ellie Siskind
Tom Paxton's work influenced many in the folk era. The best of his songwriting still stands up well, while the topical songs bring a pleasant smile to many that were around during... Read morePublished on January 24, 2008 by Lee Armstrong