Elliott Murphy

Live Hot Point

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In the 1980s, as his career was virtually extinguished in the U.S., Elliott Murphy became a headliner in Europe, an unusual occurrence if only because his wordy songs would have seemed to have too many nuances to be appreciated fully to those for whom English is a second language. In part, though, it was Murphy's live shows that built his following, and his first live album, not released in the U.S., helps show how. This hour-long performance, which was recorded live at the Hot Point Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 17, 1989, finds Murphy with his regular rhythm section of Ernie Brooks (bass) and Tony Machine (drums), plus keyboard player Art Labriola, and "special guest" guitarist Chris Spedding, who takes over mid-set for a couple of his own numbers. Murphy cherry-picks the best songs from his back catalog, going back to 1973's Aquashow ("The Last of the Rock Stars") and 1977's Just a Story from America (the title track and "Drive All Night"), as well as including more recent compositions. Since Murphy's writing and performing style hasn't changed much over the years, the material is consistent, and the album serves as a live "best of."

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