Elliott Murphy: Aquashow Deconstructed

Re-recording of 1973 album with alternative arrangements.

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This album is a refreshingly rare exercise in the rock annals, though so apposite you wonder why it isn’t done more often.

Elliott Murphy was regarded in the early 70s as a “new Dylan”, along with the likes of John Prine and Loudon Wainwright. However, from the outset, it was clear that he was too thoughtful and maverick a talent to accept that yoke. He went his own way, which was away from the demands of the record industry.

That’s evident on opener Last Of The Rock Stars. This was a defiant, funky number the first time round. Here, produced by his son Gaspard, now the same age his father was when he made the album, it’s more atmospheric and elegiac. The string-laden How’s The Family is a similar departure from the rockier original.

Mature and fully bloomed, this revisitation of a lost classic doesn’t crave your attention, but deserves it nonetheless.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.