Monday, February 20, 2017

No Reason to Die




In February of 1977 "New Dylan" Elliot Murphy released his fourth, and best known album, Just a Story from America. With help from Phil Collins on drums, the album kicks off with "Drive All Night", a song that sounds like something Bruce Springsteen might have just recorded. Live, Murphy would sometimes segue from "Drive All Night" into his old label mate's  "Born To Run".




But the track that got the most attention was "Anastasia", a lovely song about the Russian Czar's lost daughter featuring the Boys Choir of St Paul . The song was a minor hit in France so when Murphy failed to hit the big time in the US, he decamped to Paris where he still lives and performs to this day.


Here's Robert Christgau's C- review of Just A Story From America

If anyone can write a rock ballad to a deposed Russian princess made famous by Ingrid Bergman it's Murphy--the image sums up the F. Scott Fitzgerald/Rhett Butler (and Eva Braun?) side of a boy-man who's also heir to the traditional reverence for Jimi Hendrix and James Dean. Instead, the song is the embarrassing epitome of a record on which Murphy sounds spoiled instead of sensitive, presumptuous instead of ambitious, and about as comfortable with rock and roll as Roderick Falconer.




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