Various Artists

...Next Stop Is Vietnam: The War on Record 1961-2008

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Bear Family is no stranger to ambitious box sets, but they’ve never attempted anything as monumental as ...Next Stop Is Vietnam: The War on Record 1961-2008, a staggering 13-disc aural history of the U.S. entanglement in 'Nam. The size of the set is suitably weighty for the topic, and the leisurely length allows explorations of plenty of curious detours -- left turns that wind up telling more about how the war cut into the fabric of American society than the well-known anthems that anchor this set. Many of the usual suspects surface -- Dylan setting the stage with “Masters of War,” SSgt. Barry Sadler celebrating “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” Phil Ochs refusing to march and the Fugs killing for peace, Country Joe & the Fish protesting with “I-Feel-Like-I’m Fixin-to-Die Rag” and John Lennon following suit with “Give Peace a Chance," Merle Haggard firing back with “Okie from Muskogee” and “The Fightin' Side of Me,” Marvin Gaye wondering “What’s Goin’ On” -- but their appearances almost feel like the historical context for what surrounds them, much like how the speeches and news reports scattered throughout the box explain the situation. What’s really interesting about the set is what exists in the margins, the answer records to these anthems, along with their parodies and rip-offs, the reactionary country singles from the late ‘60s, songs recorded by soldiers in the field, the many reflections on the war written in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the sticky sentimental recitations by children from the pre-protest ‘60s, folk laments to POWs sitting alongside an ode to “Johnny Rambo,” Bob Seger’s “The Ballad of the Yellow Berets,” even Hank Williams, Jr.’s “Don’t Give Us a Reason,” where he taunts Saddam Hussein during Desert Storm, all as a payback for 'Nam. Much of this is not well known and much of it isn’t exactly compelling outside of the context of this set -- and it has to be said that a handful of the 300-plus tracks aren’t interesting within this context either, particularly the odd inclusion of three 2001 cuts from Paul Revere & the Raiders -- but the whole point of ...Next Stop Is Vietnam is context, how by housing all these conflicting voices in one very heavy box, Bear Family winds up with a testament to how the war deeply affected Americans for generations. Not exactly easy listening -- nothing of this size is -- but it is a monument, capturing the entire, messy, divisive legacy of Vietnam in a way no book, documentary, or movie ever has.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Kingston Trio 03:24 Amazon
2 The Shirelles 02:43 Amazon
3 Marvin Gaye 02:45 Amazon
4 Joe Medwick 03:43 Amazon
5 Rod McKuen 02:10 Amazon
6
Peter, Paul and Mary 03:30 Amazon
7 Dolf Droge 02:28 Amazon
8
00:26 Amazon
9 Bob Dylan 04:34 Amazon
10 Jim Reeves 02:55 Amazon
11
Senator Wayne Morse 00:45 Amazon
12 Morty Gunty 02:34 Amazon
13
01:30 Amazon
14 Tom Paxton 01:47 Amazon
15 'Lil' Gary D / Bob Necaise 03:23 Amazon
16 Phil Ochs 03:38 Amazon
17 Sandy and Sue 02:18 Amazon
18 Pete Seeger 02:15 Amazon
19
Dee
Tommy Dee 02:31 Amazon
20 Janie Hemphill 02:40 Amazon
21 Buffy Sainte-Marie 02:20 Amazon
22 Jan Berry 03:06 Amazon
23 Barry McGuire 03:35 Amazon
24 The Spokesmen 03:28 Amazon
25 The Teachers 03:00 Amazon
26 Lyndon B. Johnson 03:06 Amazon
27 Simon & Garfunkel 02:05 Amazon
28 Private Charles Bowens & the Gentlemen From Tigerland 03:12 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 William Bell 03:19 Amazon
2 Jimmy Jack 02:27 Amazon
3 Hal Willis 02:26 Amazon
4 Johnnie Wright 03:10 Amazon
5 Ray Hildebrand 02:10 Amazon
6 Ernest Tubb & The Texas Troubadors 03:27 Amazon
7 Jerry Reed 02:14 Amazon
8 Charles Moore / Bill Napier 02:05 Amazon
9 Barry Sadler 02:31 Amazon
10
02:35 Amazon
11 Lesley Miller 02:21 Amazon
12 Craig Arthur 02:09 Amazon
13 Barry Sadler 02:09 Amazon
14 Staff Sgt. Bob Lay 02:33 Amazon
15 Jacqueline Sharpe 03:07 Amazon
16
02:24 Amazon
17 Skeeter Bonn 02:42 Amazon
18 Sue Simpson 03:08 Amazon
19 June Black 02:14 Amazon
20 Mike Thomas 03:34 Amazon
21 Everett McKinley Dirksen 02:43 Amazon
22
00:16 Amazon
23 Honey Ltd. 02:56 Amazon
24 Marty Robbins 03:18 Amazon
25 Eddy Harrison 02:06 Amazon
26 Eric Burdon & the Animals 07:30 Amazon
27 Neil Ray 02:58 Amazon
28 Connie Francis 01:17 Amazon
29 Bob Braun 02:38 Amazon
30
Henry Cabot Lodge 00:19 Amazon
31 Capt. Ty Herrington 02:48 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Arthur Weston 04:10 Amazon
2
Shorty Long & the Santa Fe Rangers 02:08 Amazon
3 Richie Kaye 03:22 Amazon
4 J.B. Lenoir 02:42 Amazon
5 Bob King & the King's Court 02:41 Amazon
6
00:28 Amazon
7 Combinations 02:53 Amazon
8 John Lee Hooker 04:25 Amazon
9 Jimmy Hughes 02:32 Amazon
10 The Prophets 02:59 Amazon
11 Phil Ochs 02:12 Amazon
12 Midnight Sons 02:27 Amazon
13 The Monitors 03:05 Amazon
14 Keith Everett 02:40 Amazon
15 The Flying Burrito Brothers 02:40 Amazon
16
00:42 Amazon
17 Steppenwolf 03:20 Amazon
18
00:31 Amazon
19 Verlin Speeks 03:14 Amazon
20
Freedoms Roll-Call 00:32 Amazon
21 Victor Lundberg 04:10 Amazon
22 Every Father's Teenage Son 02:57 Amazon
23 Brandon Wade 02:55 Amazon
24 Dewey Jones 02:41 Amazon
25 Becky Lamb 03:09 Amazon
26 The Fawns 03:03 Amazon
27 Lois & Karen 02:40 Amazon
28 Nancy Nally & Jubilee Wranglers 02:46 Amazon
29 Ginger & Jean 02:00 Amazon
30 The Dells 03:16 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Phil Ochs 02:34 Amazon
2 Matt Jones / Elaine Laron 03:27 Amazon
3 Donovan 03:43 Amazon
4 The Fugs 02:11 Amazon
5 Country Joe & the Fish 03:47 Amazon
6 Joan Baez 03:15 Amazon
7 Pete Seeger 02:57 Amazon
8
Freedoms Roll-Call 00:37 Amazon
9 Peter, Paul and Mary 03:13 Amazon
10
00:42 Amazon
11 Tim Hardin 03:55 Amazon
12
00:24 Amazon
13 Paul Revere & the Raiders 01:46 Amazon
14
00:57 Amazon
15 Melanie 03:50 Amazon
16 Autry Inman / Bob Luman 03:33 Amazon
17
01:01 Amazon
18 Leroy Van Dyke 02:30 Amazon
19
00:53 Amazon
20
01:26 Amazon
21 Third Condition 03:03 Amazon
22 Barbara Dane 03:46 Amazon
23
00:20 Amazon
24
00:46 Amazon
25 The Beach Boys 03:57 Amazon
26 Edwin Starr 03:25 Amazon
27 Freda Payne 03:32 Amazon
28 Martha & the Vandellas 02:58 Amazon
29 Grand Funk Railroad 05:12 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Dave Dudley 02:29 Amazon
2 Jack Sanders 02:38 Amazon
3 Derrick Roberts 02:57 Amazon
4 Jimmy Holiday 03:02 Amazon
5 Ernest Tubb 01:53 Amazon
6 Johnnie Wright 02:20 Amazon
7 Billy Carr 02:59 Amazon
8 Stonewall Jackson 02:26 Amazon
9 Johnny Sea 05:47 Amazon
10 Beachbums 02:31 Amazon
11 Pat Boone 02:16 Amazon
12
00:15 Amazon
13 Jim Bullington 02:37 Amazon
14 Kathy Hoffman 04:39 Amazon
15 Lee Gillson 04:47 Amazon
16 Mark Dauler 02:58 Amazon
17 Garland Frady 02:14 Amazon
18 Bill Floyd 02:11 Amazon
19
Freedoms Roll-Call 01:01 Amazon
20 Bob Withers 02:44 Amazon
21 Merle Haggard & the Strangers 02:45 Amazon
22
00:56 Amazon
23 Tommy Kizziah 02:20 Amazon
24 Merle Haggard & the Strangers 02:55 Amazon
25 The Senators 02:37 Amazon
26 Matt McKinney 03:45 Amazon
27
01:15 Amazon
28 Thom Parrott 03:50 Amazon
29 C Company 03:51 Amazon
30
00:39 Amazon
31 Adams Brothers 03:15 Amazon
32 Free Blue 02:34 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Doors 03:25 Amazon
2 Hugh X. Lewis 03:22 Amazon
3
00:30 Amazon
4
Southern Belles 03:45 Amazon
5 Sgt. Gayle Parker 02:36 Amazon
6 Hank Snow 02:46 Amazon
7 Tommy Finch 03:29 Amazon
8 Lindy Blaskey 03:06 Amazon
9
00:37 Amazon
10 Donovan 03:14 Amazon
11 Colleen Lovett 03:11 Amazon
12 Tony Scott 03:18 Amazon
13 Inez & Charlie Foxx 03:12 Amazon
14 The Shelletts 03:06 Amazon
15 Ric King 02:58 Amazon
16 Winola Edmond / The Jordanians / The Emmons Sisters 02:52 Amazon
17 Zabka 03:37 Amazon
18 Earle Epps 03:16 Amazon
19 Capt. Gene Wyles 02:24 Amazon
20
00:53 Amazon
21 Don Meehan 03:13 Amazon
22 Paul Revere & the Raiders 03:00 Amazon
23 Glen Campbell 02:43 Amazon
24 Jimmy Cliff 04:53 Amazon
25
00:57 Amazon
26 Lefty Pritchett 02:35 Amazon
27 Paul Ott 03:11 Amazon
28 The Wilburn Brothers 02:56 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Hershel Gober 02:26 Amazon
2 The High Priced Help 04:30 Amazon
3 Barry Sadler 02:31 Amazon
4 Barry Sadler 02:34 Amazon
5 The Merrymen 03:01 Amazon
6
Maggie 04:24 Amazon
7
03:26 Amazon
8
00:27 Amazon
9 Dolf Droge 00:50 Amazon
10 Dolf Droge 01:44 Amazon
11 Bill Ellis 02:53 Amazon
12 Hershel Gober 02:05 Amazon
13 Radioman George Hughes 02:25 Amazon
14 Jim Bullington 03:27 Amazon
15 Jim Hatch 02:58 Amazon
16 Dave McKay 01:57 Amazon
17 Tony McPeak 02:10 Amazon
18 Toby Hughes 04:13 Amazon
19 The Merrymen 03:13 Amazon
20
Bull Durham 02:52 Amazon
21
00:21 Amazon
22 Paul Revere & the Raiders 04:08 Amazon
23 Paul Revere & the Raiders 03:24 Amazon
24
Chris Noel 00:38 Amazon
25 Peter, Paul and Mary 03:29 Amazon
26 Johnny Cash 02:59 Amazon
27 Chuck Rosenberg 03:44 Amazon
28 Chip Dockery / Dick Jonas 01:57 Amazon
29
Saul Broudy / Bull Durham / Chuck Rosenberg 03:32 Amazon
30 Bill Ellis 03:12 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Phil Ochs 04:23 Amazon
2 Plastic Ono Band 04:53 Amazon
3 Bobby Bloom 03:47 Amazon
4 George Jay 05:06 Amazon
5 Lightnin' Hopkins 04:12 Amazon
6 Stan Freberg / Lynn Murray 01:06 Amazon
7 Bobby Zehm 02:40 Amazon
8 Henson Cargill 02:44 Amazon
9
Coast 03:03 Amazon
10 Melanie 04:50 Amazon
11 The People 02:38 Amazon
12 Marvin Gaye 03:58 Amazon
13 Plastic Ono Band / John Lennon & Yoko Ono 03:35 Amazon
14 Arlene Harden 04:02 Amazon
15
00:58 Amazon
16 Captain John Canty 03:18 Amazon
17 Bobby Adams / Norma Jean Carpenter 03:56 Amazon
18 Nancy 02:18 Amazon
19
00:19 Amazon
20 Nu Page 02:49 Amazon
21
00:35 Amazon
22 Bobby Glover 02:16 Amazon
23
00:42 Amazon
24 Billy Holeman 03:20 Amazon
25 Eldon Fault 02:28 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 All of the Above 03:16 Amazon
2 David L. Cash 03:05 Amazon
3 Bill Moss & the Celestials 03:25 Amazon
4 Mick Lloyd 04:19 Amazon
5 Robin St. Pierre 03:59 Amazon
6 Auditions 02:50 Amazon
7 Dr. William Truly, Jr. 04:24 Amazon
8
01:18 Amazon
9 Kenny Rogers & the First Edition 03:01 Amazon
10 John Prine 04:17 Amazon
11
01:55 Amazon
12 Roger McGuinn 02:55 Amazon
13
02:59 Amazon
14 Leon Rausch 02:47 Amazon
15 The Covered Wagon Musicians 04:23 Amazon
16 Gordon Sinclair 04:54 Amazon
17 Charles Ashman 02:57 Amazon
18
00:22 Amazon
19 Bob Aden 02:57 Amazon
20 John Paul Brennan 02:28 Amazon
21 Tom Paxton 03:43 Amazon
22 Cold Chisel 04:10 Amazon
23 Mike Callender 03:09 Amazon
24 The Charlie Daniels Band 03:53 Amazon