Rehearsals for Retirement

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Rehearsals for Retirement
Rehearsals for Retirement (Phil Ochs album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Phil Ochs
Released UK May 16, 1969
Recorded 1968–1969
Genre Folk rock
Length 38:54
Label A&M
Producer Larry Marks
Phil Ochs chronology
Tape from California
(1968)Tape from California1968
Rehearsals for Retirement
Greatest Hits
(1970)Greatest Hits1970

Rehearsals for Retirement is Phil Ochs's sixth album, released in 1969 on A&M Records.


Recorded in the aftermath of Ochs's presence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago (where Ochs claimed to have witnessed the symbolic "death of America") it is often considered to be the darkest of Ochs's albums, exemplified not just by the lyrical matter but also by its cover: a tombstone sardonically proclaiming that Ochs had died in Chicago.

The album saw Ochs exploring folk rock, incorporating orchestral accompaniments and electric guitar into his music.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
The Village Voice B[3]

Rehearsals for Retirement was the poorest-selling of all of Ochs's albums released during his lifetime,[citation needed] having been deleted from the A&M Records catalog before sales of 20,000 units had occurred.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said the musical arrangements are "excellent and work for [Ochs'] voice". While observing "some predictable bummers", Christgau highlighted two flashes of greatness with "The Scorpion Departs But Never Returns" and "Another Age".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Phil Ochs.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Pretty Smart on My Part" – 3:18
  2. "The Doll House" – 4:39
  3. "I Kill Therefore I Am" – 2:55
  4. "William Butler Yeats Visits Lincoln Park and Escapes Unscathed" - 2:55
  5. [Untitled] (commonly called "Where Were You in Chicago?") – 0:29
  6. "My Life" – 3:12

Side two[edit]

  1. "The Scorpion Departs But Never Returns" – 4:15
  2. "The World Began in Eden and Ended in Los Angeles" – 3:06
  3. "Doesn't Lenny Live Here Anymore?" – 6:11
  4. "Another Age" – 3:42
  5. "Rehearsals for Retirement" – 4:09



  1. ^ Chase, Gilbert (1992). America's Music, from the Pilgrims to the Present. 432. University of Illinois Press. p. 626. ISBN 0252062752. 
  2. ^ "Rehearsals for Retirement > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (July 10, 1969). "Consumer Guide (1)". The Village Voice. Retrieved October 21, 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Möhle, Christine (2017). Trials and Tragedies: Phil Ochs and His Rehearsals for Retirement. Hamburg: Tredition. ISBN 978-3-7439-3963-9.