Various - The Best of Broadside, 1962-1988; Anthems of the American Underground From the Pages of Broadside Magazine
Smithsonian Folkways - SFW CD 40130
Media - Near Mint (NM or M-) / Sleeve - Near Mint (NM or M-)
This five-CD set is a marvelously comprehensive document of the magazine's songs and songwriters, all of whom were recorded by Folkways Records. The lyrics of each song are printed and extensive information is given about the context in which the song was created. Background material is provided on all of the songwriters, too.
The discs are compiled primarily around the main topics: labor, nuclear weapons, social injustice, Vietnam, civil rights. Eighty-nine songs in all are featured, most of which loosely could be termed "folk music" in style: basic rhythms, acoustic instruments, spirited singers. Listening to the songs and following the annotations serve to remind one of an era of potent protest in this country when music really mattered, and the songs themselves were the primary means of expressing dissatisfaction and disillusionment.
Broadside was a small publication, primarily a labor of love, but its historic legacy looms large when all of its material is brought together in such a well-researched, well-presented compilation as this one.