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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann