Elliott Murphy

Last of the Rock Stars...and Me & You

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This Spanish tour document isn't the first, second, or even third live album from Elliott Murphy, but it's the best on several counts. For starters, there's simply a lot of it: two long discs, the first devoted to performances by a five-man band, the second to shows where only a guitarist and an accordionist/pianist backed Murphy. And the 22 tracks do a fine job of hitting the high points from the artist's extensive career. The collection opens with the classic "Last of the Rock Stars," the same track that led off Murphy's first album in 1973. It also includes standouts from other early- and mid-career discs; some later winners (notably the epic "Put It Down"); and a trio of well-chosen covers from Dylan, Neil Young, and Willie Dixon. Murphy is in fine voice throughout and the band is easily the strongest he's ever recorded with. The gripes: Two songs appear on both the band and trio CDs, and while the versions differ substantially, you could argue that the space might have been better-used to include even more from Murphy's huge catalog. Also, the singer still hasn't corrected the spelling in the title "Somebodies Anniversary." Oh well. Nobody's perfect -- but Murphy comes close with this album.

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