ELLIOTT MURPHY Aquashow lp/cd 1973/1988
Last Of The Rock Stars / How's The Family° / Hangin' Out / Hometown / Graveyard Scrapbook / Poise 'N Pen* / Marilyn / White Middle Class Blues / Like A Great Gatsby** / Don't Go Away.
Elliott Murphy: vocals, electric guitar, harmonica, piano on * / Matthew Murphy: bass / Gene Parsons: drums / Teddy Irwin: acoustic guitar / Frank Owens: piano, organ + Pat Rebillot: piano, organ (Hometown) & electric piano (Marilyn, Like A Great Gatsby) / Rick Marotta: drums on °.
** ((listed as "Like a Crystal Microphone" in the some editions to avoid violating copyrights on the novel)
With all the praise accorded every other artist anointed with the "new Dylan" tag, Elliott Murphy burst onto the scene in 1973 wearing the mantle proudly. His debut, Aquashow, came on like the son of Blonde on Blonde, but with the streetwise poetic bent of Lou Reed. And, as is the case with most 24-year-olds armed with pen, paper, guitar, and harmonica, he has plenty to say. There is the tendency to wield a heavy hand when it comes to his takes on love, fame, growing up, and the underbelly of middle-class life, but Murphy, whose insights cut deeper than the majority of writers his age, is successful more often than not. If the irony of "How's the Family" or the overstated "Marilyn Monroe died for our sins" are a bit much, tracks such as "Hangin' Out," "Scrapbook Graveyard," and "Last of the Rock Stars" more than make up for it, painting a vivid picture of disenfranchised youth -- searching yet self-destructive. Still, as good as Murphy can be lyrically, it's the music that first draws you in. From his own electric guitar, and a rhythm section made up of brother Matthew Murphy and Byrd Gene Parsons, to Highway 61 Revisited pianist Frank Owens' organ and piano, Murphy creates some of the most convincing Dylan-esque folk-rock to come along since 1966. In and out of print over the years, Aquashow remains a minor classic, thanks to a keen eye, intelligence, and a sparse, straightforward sound that stays clear of trends. Allmusic.com
At 23 years old I had a few definite ideas about how the cover should be for my very first album and amazingly enough both the record company and the photographer were generous enough to let me do as I please. You see, I wanted a cover that would reflect my dreams, my history and my heroes very definitely because I didn’t know way back then if this would be my only album. I called the album Aquashow in memory of my late father’s show in the 1950’s and the photo on the back of the cover is really from that show. The photographer was Jack Mitchell who I believe was a friend of Lloyd Gellason who did an incredible job handling my publicity at Polydor Records. Jack is a very well known and respected photographer and very easy to work with like most of the best. I suggested that we shoot in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel because that’s where part of The Great Gatsby took place and I also wanted a blurry circular frame to the photo like Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home. And, of course, I wanted my brother Matthew with me. Jack agreed to everything although I had to bring my own Dylan album to the shoot to show him what I meant. Paula Bisacca who designed the cover found the Aquashow umbrella and we shot very early one morning when the hotel was not too crowded. The white suit I had bought not far from Gatsby land on the north shore of Long Island. It was made in France and I still have it hanging in my mother’s closet. Maybe I should give it to the Hard Rock Hotel. Source
Rolling Stone Review of "Aquashow" HERE!
Buy It HERE!
And don't forget to check his last album "It Takes a Worried Man" (2013) HERE!