Elliott Murphy

Diamonds by the Yard

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Subtitled, A Career Retrospective, 1973-1977, Diamonds by the Yard is a compilation drawn from Elliott Murphy's four major-label albums, Aquashow (1973), Lost Generation (1975), Night Lights (1976), and Just a Story from America (1977). (The CD version adds two bonus tracks drawn from Murphy's self-released 1980 EP Affairs.) That makes for 15 (or 17) of Murphy's best songs, from "Last of the Rock Stars" through "Drive All Night," powerful rock & roll in a Bob Dylan/Highway 61 Revisited mold, right down to the allusive, well-written lyrics that paint a portrait of post-war suburban life with wit and feeling. Though bypassed by a mass audience in the U.S., Murphy was one of the best singer/songwriters to emerge in the 1970s, and Diamonds by the Yard is likely to have listeners combing used record bins and import catalogs for more of his work.

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