Elliott Murphy, a New York-based singer-songwriter who had the misfortune
of starting his career right before the new wave hit New York and eventually
turned the (musical) world upside down, was the last major candidate to
become the "new Dylan" before such a title became counterproductive.
Dylan's Blonde On Blonde was the general referent of
Aquashow (nov 1973), but the album betrayed the zeitgeist of
those years, bridging the decadent theme of glam-rock
(Last Of The Rock Stars, Marilyn) and the
nihilistic theme of punk-rock (Hangin' Out, Graveyard Scrapbook).
Lost Generation (1975) and Night Lights (1976)
were less original in interpreting the mood of those years, but
Just a Story from America (Columbia, 1977) managed to abstract Murphy's
vision of the world from the historical context with existential vignettes
Anastasia, Just a Story from America, Drive All Night.
A more personal career began with the EP Affairs (Courtisane, 1981),
later collected on the album Affairs (New Rose, 1990), and the album
Murph the Surf (Courtisane, 1982).
Party Girls & Broken Poets (Dejadisc, 1984) may in fact be his second
masterpiece (Three Complete American Novels, Blues Responsibility).
Apres Le Deluge (EMIS, 1985) collects unreleased tracks of the 1970s,
Two conceptual albums followed: Milwaukee (EMIS, 1986), enhanced with
Change Will Come (New Rose, 1987).
Relocating to France, Murphy concocted an even more profound collection,
12 (New Rose, 1990), reissued as Unreal City (Razor & Tie, 1993).
On the other hand,
Selling the Gold (Dejadisc, 1995) harked back to his folk roots
(Is Fellini Really Dead, A Whole New World).
Beauregard (Last Call, 1998) and Rainy Season (Blue Rose, 2000)
are minor works, and La Terre Commune (Eminent, 2001) is a
collaboration with Ian Matthews (and possibly his worst album ever).
This phase was closed by
the EP Soul Surfing (Dusty Roses, 2002).
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