Lost Generation

RCA Records

Record Details

1975
Genre:
Rock
Elliott Murphy - Lost Generation

Lost Generation is the second major label album by singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy. Produced by Paul A. Rothchild and recorded at Elektra Studio in Los Angeles it was reviewed by Paul Nelson in Rolling Stone. The album featured an all-star band of top session musicians including drummer Jim Gordon and keyboardist Richard Tee. The cover photo of Murphy standing in front of an open parachute was taken by photographer Ed Caraeff. Paul Nelson’s Rolling Stone review called the album “brilliant but extraordinarily difficult” and gave Murphy the Hemingwayesque accolade, “When he’s on the street, the sun also rises on one of the best.”

Tracklist

  1. Hollywood -:-- / 3:58
  2. A Touch Of Mercy -:-- / 3:32
  3. History -:-- / 3:06
  4. When You Ride -:-- / 2:58
  5. Bittersweet -:-- / 4:06
  6. Lost Generation -:-- / 4:39
  7. Eva Braun -:-- / 4:05
  8. Manhattan Rock -:-- / 4:04
  9. Vision Of The Night -:-- / 3:45
  10. Lookin’ Back -:-- / 3:40

HOLLYWOOD

I remember when you were on the farm
Dreaming about Andy Warhol
Wo ho ho Getting felt up in the barn
Wondering if that’s moral
But hey look at you now
You’ve got everything that a girl could want
You’ve got high heel slippers baby but that’s all right

Hollywood
Hollywood

You shaped my life with Technicolor carving knife and
Now I don’t know what to feel
All my emotions are wrapped up reel to reel

You know you turned me around stuck my face in the ground
When I sat down on Garbo’s sofa
And I like some James Dean clown that you can make laugh
or frown – I just want to know when it’s over
But hey look at me now you know just can’t find nothing real
And the movies are all outside baby but that’s all right

Hollywood
Hollywood
You gave me the best I got this
Soundtrack of violence and sex
and
Now I don’t know who to be
Cause every time I look in the
mirror I see some movie star
You know it just doesn’t look
like me

And us rebel’s got too many causes
But that’s all right
And I can’t find a happy ending
But that’s all right
And like Jimi said ‘There just ain’t no life nowhere”
But that’s all right
Hollywood – Hollywood – Hollywood

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A TOUCH OF MERCY

I was walking down Main Street just the other day
Thinking about Brian Jones and the final getaway
When this man with a collar comes to greet me
Saying son why do you meet me this way? What did I say?
Well everybody needs mercy and a little touch of God
We’ re all looking for mercy
And the strength to live on

You know these nurses are blue
And the sky’s turning black
And I can’t seem to get up off of my back
And I hear this voice that keeps calling
And I’m trying hard to stop falling his way – but that’s OK

Well everybody needs mercy and a lift touch of God
We’re all looking for mercy
And the strength to live on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

But whose going to tell those kids
About all the things we did
Tell me whose gonna turn them on
To those secrets born with the bomb

And just when I thought I’d take
A Hemingway shot
The F Scott in me says man you better not
And sometimes it’s so hard to remember
How very very Tender is the Night”
Don’t let it give you a fright

Well everybody needs mercy and a little touch of God
We’re all looking for mercy
And the strength to live on and on and on an on and on and on and on and on and on

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HISTORY

Summer in Suburbia we’d catch fireflies
Put them in a jar and watch them die
You and me baby we could of gone so far
Could have had two cars
And lived a sweet sweet lie
And everyone’s telling me now that you were just my best friend
And how can I explain to them
that some things never end

And the years go by and the lights go dim
And when she thinks of him
Does she start to cry

And there must have been a thousand times I could have had your hand
I could have been your man, you could have been my light
And the reasons why they don’t count anymore
I put them in a drawer the night we died
And all those books that tell you just what to do
They don’t matter now because
I think you always knew

And the children run and play and they mark the time
Before they get in line with me and you

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WHEN YOU RIDE

When you ride your dreams can pull you close
But when you fall I see you heading right at me
Oh darling I couldn’t have told you better
Better than you told me

And I watched you cry
When you saw yourself growing older
And I could have died
And I wish it could of happened to me
Oh darling can’t stop you from seeing
What you already showed to me
But that’s when you ride

On daddy don’ t watch me die
Cause then I feel I like I’m watching you
And oh momma don’t start to cry
Cause then I know I’ll never pull through
Oh brother don’t get too close
Don’t disturb this young man’s ghost
Of ancient spells and too close memories
So I sigh as I watch cold wheels run over
What once could have signed those report cards for me
Oh darling my eyelids just stay open
You know darling I have visions of back bones broken
Oh darling some dreams can’t be woken
As I watch them do it to me
Oh baby watch me ride
(And that’s when you ride)

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BITTERSWEET

Let me tell you about a girl I know
Well she’s got palomino strides
And when her breakdown in Geneva came
I was there right by her side
And I told her, as she got older
She wouldn’t fall so hard
But she said that she’d keep walking
Cause you know she knows her style

And look at me
So blind I thought I could see
She don’t want to read no history book
She don’t want to prove no eventuality
No no eventuality

And when she takes me to the gallery
And we stand in the hand of art
And all I saw was death on those walls
I want to tear those paintings apart
And it’s colder as you grow older
You can’t close your eyes
But she tells me that you got to do something
And I’m looking for a good disguise

And look at me
So blind I thought I could see
She don’t want to read no history book
She don’t want to prove no eventuality
No no eventuality

And maybe later when the seasons change
And the dice are all rolled out
They will say we were gamblers then
We were young cause we had no doubts
And the ending when love’s just lending
Can’t even break her smile
But like she said you really gotta do something
If only waiting on a brand new

And look at me
So blind I thought I could see
She don’t want to read no history book
She don’t want to prove no eventuality
No no eventuality

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LOST GENERATION

The mother of the outlaw thinks about the time he had the mumps
And she’s really very sorry
And she hopes this has nothing to do
With the way she brought him up
And the outlaw he lies wounded as the doctor gives the police sergeant a nod
And the last words he was saying
Something about I do believe in God

And who divides the oceans
When a generation’s lost its place
And who sets the motion
Of the human race

And the sister of the prostitute
She’s trying to find the right way to love
Cause when it gets down to make a living
These days it’s pretty hard for a girl to get it up
And the romance on her street corner
He rides around in Eldorado fame
And lately she’s been thinking
That what she’s been seeing in the movies just ain’t the same

And who divides the oceans
When a generation’s lost its place
And who sets the motion
Of the human race

And the legless Vietnam survivor
He’s trying to find a job or a wife
Cause he can’t find peace with honor
As he gets conditioned to his wheelchair life
And the killers still run the country
And they count their money
With their bloodstained hands
And lately I’ve been thinking
Maybe it s time we really took a stand

And who divides the oceans
When a generation’s lost its place
And who sets the motion
Of the human race

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EVA BRAUN

Well the ghost of Adolph Hitler stands inside your shoes
Sings you fascist blues in the moonlight
Just a leather lullaby keeps baby dry
Helps to keep the third world off the airplanes
And you know he’s watched them panic and they knew he
was watching them die
Send you black stockings made in Dachau
Cause these jokes that they are telling
They all seem much too sad
Every Sunday morning you’ve been had
And no one’s listening

And you can dance from Munich to Berlin
And I screamed at the scene and said Ezra Pound what are you doing
And he said his eyes at night were chilling
And his words were oh so thrilling
And someday soon I fear they’ll sing that song again
Well the ladies don’t go to market
When the brown shirts march through town
And your neighbors can’t be found in the morning
And there’s a story being told
About this man with a moustache growing senile and old
Screaming orders into the jungles of Argentina
An you know he’s watched them panic
And they knew he was watching them die
Send you black stockings made in Dachau
Cause the jokes that they are telling
They all seem much too sad
Just like Eva Braun and her home movies in the mountains

And you can dance from Munich to Berlin
And I screamed at the scene and said Ezra Pound what are you doing
But he aid his eyes at night were chilling
And his words were oh so thrilling
And someday soon I fear they’ll sing that song again

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MANHATTAN ROCK

Here comes that man
Dressed in Miami tan
He’s got a head full of charts
He’s got numbers in his eyes
And when he talks to me
About the industry
I want to join Buddy Holly
Write my name in the sky

I’m sitting on top
Of Manhattan rock
Just hoping this backbeat
Gets me by
And I’m feeling so low
I got no cash flow
How’s this corporation rock ‘n roll gonna get by

And in the bungalow
The music’s only so so
They think if pictures are good
The kids will never know
But down on Sneaker Street
And after school back seats
There’s no such thing as luck
When a teenager cries

I’m sitting on top
Of Manhattan rock
Just hoping this backbeat
Gets me by
And I’m feeling so low
I got no cash flow
How’s this corporation rock ‘n roll gonna get by

And Lou says
Death is just like sleeping
Without electricity
And Danny knows
That these stars aren’t for keeping
You know you just can’t ever own
What you got for free

Oh give me Daddy-o
The father of stereo
Better tell him quick
About the hip nouveau
They’re trying to strike it rich
Wit an adolescent fix
They’re jamming plastic pop
On the radio

I’m sitting on top
Of Manhattan rock
Just hoping this backbeat
Gets me by
And I’m feeling so low
I got no cash flow
How’s this corporation rock ‘n roll gonna get by

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VISIONS OF THE NIGHT

Hey baby now your all alone time to think about yourself
There’s nobody sifting next to you drinking to your health
There’s nobody sitting next to you with his eyes below your belt
Come on baby let the good times roll
Let them roll you right into hell

Way down by the suicide
Down by the razor blade rodeo
Sit right next to that tarnished nun
And like a compass she’s gonna tell you where to go
And when you find yourself up in your room
And you got the shopping center blues
And you ask your old man to please talk to you
And he says sure (right after the news)

And lately have these visions of the night
Put you in a fever dream and nothing feel right
So you take a little bit of this
And a little bit of that
And man you feel all right

Hey baby take a walk with me
On the beach in the winter and the rain
And we can talk about Vogue magazine
And the meaning of artistic pain
Cause you know you’re lost in your own castle now
All you need is Lord Byron’s name
And nobody’s sifting next to you
And your name’s not on the guest list too
And pretty soon nobody’s gonna take you home

Take you home
Take you home

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LOOKIN’ BACK

She use to come around
With a couple of smiles
And a lot o frowns
And directions down
Past stolen goods
That were in her head
So she’d be understood

Did you think I was only dreaming
I talked of love and your mind kept scheming
But you know wild oats can learn to sow
Now that you’re lookin’ back

She always felt so bad
About fates cruel hand
About being had
And as she d run She’d forget do look
On who she’d step and what was underfoot

Did you think I was only dreaming I talked of love and your mind kept scheming
But you know wild oats can learn to sow
Now that you’re lookin’ back
Now that you’re looking back
It’s not so teenage anymore

Don’t you know he won’t be home in the morning
Don’t you know he won’t be home at all
Don’t you know he won’t be home in the morning
Don’t you know he won’t be home at all

Time use to go so slow
Never had no plans
Never knew where to go
I knew you so well in a biblical sense
Didn’t know you at all till you became past tense

Did you think I was only dreaming
I talked of love and your mind kept scheming
But you know wild oats can learn to sow
Now that you’re lookin’ back
Now that you’re looking back
It’s not so teenage anymore

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All songs by Elliott Murphy ©1975 – Published by Elliott Murphy – Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

Lost Generation
RCA Records APL1-0916
1975

Produced by Paul A. Rothchild
Engineered by Fritz Richmond at Elektra Sound Recorders, Lost Angeles – January 1975
Photography by Ed Caraeff
Cover Concept: Dennis Katz
Type & Back Cover Design: Craig De Camps
Art Direction: Acy Lehman

Musicians:
Elliott Murphy: vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano
Ned Doheny, Jackie Clark, Sonny Landreth: guitars
Gordon Edwards: bass
Jim Gordon: drums and percussion
Jon Smith: saxophone
Bobby Kimball: harmony
Wayne DeVillier, Richard Tee: keyboards

Record By Record, Murphy By Murphy: Lost Generation

Actually, Lou Reed was going to produce my second album himself but something happened and I wanted to go to Los Angeles anyway because for me it was the city of pop rock dreams. Paul Rothschild (Doors, Janis Joplin) produced the album and I stayed in the Beverly Hills Hotel for months sometimes passing Liz Taylor and Lee Marvin in the Polo Lounge. Jim Gordon (who co-wrote Layla with Eric Clapton and later he lost his mind and went to prison for killing his mother) played drums. I had a drink with Tom Waits and The Eagles were supposed to sing background but never showed up. We had to remix Lost Generation because RCA thought it was too depressing. I think my favorite songs are “Visions of the Night” and “History” both written for Geraldine. Sonny Landreth played slide guitar on a few tracks (he’s now with John Hiatt) and it was his first paying session ever. I reminded him of that when I saw him a few years later and we both laughed. I may look like Jesus on the cover but that was neither my idea nor my role model at the time.

Taken from Crossroads magazine.

About The Cover – “Who Divides The Ocean”

Really, I didn’t want to look like a saint. Unlike Aquashow, this time around no one was willing to run with my ideas for the cover. I had decided that all my covers would be shot in Hotels so naturally, I wanted the Lost Generation cover shot in the Beverly Hills Hotel where I was staying during the recording. In fact, it’s the hotel that is featured on the Eagles Hotel California cover. But there was a problem because we couldn’t get permission or the hotel wanted too much money for the right to shoot there. Anyway, the other problem was that the original photographer that RCA hired for the shoot didn’t get along with Paul Rothschild who produced the album. I’m not sure why. And so Paul almost stopped the recording unless I agreed to find another photographer which I did. Finally, we settled on Ed Caraeff who had taken some famous photos of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa and the photo session was done in the studio of his house in Laurel Canyon. What looks like a halo in back of me is actually a parachute. I’ve never been able to figure out why my eyes are brown in this photo when as far as I know they were still green way back then. I still have the “EM” cufflinks somewhere.

Liner Notes for the 1992 French CD Reissue

Lost Generation was almost produced by Lou Reed who I thank for bringing me to the attention of RCA Records after reading my liner notes for the Velvet Underground Live 1969LP. But Lou went off on tour to Canada and I went to Los Angeles to work with legendary ‘Doors’ producer, Paul A. Rothschild. We recorded in the winter of 1975 and although it shocked my East Coat sensibility to see neon colored Christmas trees on sunny December days I came to enjoy the endless suburban vistas of Southern California and the easy availability of fresh orange juice.

The band was assembled from the best session players available during this pre-drum machine, pre-digital sampler time and my dream of playing with ex-Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon (and co-writer of “Layla”) was realized. Paul suggested New York studio cats Richard Tee on piano and Gordon Edwards on bass (both Paul Simon alumni) to compliment Gordon’s awesome swing. Los Angeles singer/songwriter Ned Doheny played guitar (there’s even a street named after his great-grandfather “Doheny Drive” in West Hollywood) and the basic tracks were always in the groove.

For two months Geraldine and I lived in the Beverly Hills Hotel and I drove a rented T-Bird and Paul Rothschild told me about the time Jim Morrison stood in the middle of La Cienaga Boulevard drunk and crazed, directing traffic. I hoped to avoid Jim’s fate although I too did move to Paris.

Most of these songs were written before recording began: “Lost Generation” was inspired by Nixon’s shameful Vietnam retreat incredibly propagandized as ‘Peace with Honor’; “Manhattan Rock” was about coming to terms with the ‘bottom line’ of the music business; “Bittersweet” about the time Geraldine escaped from her boarding school in Montreux, Switzerland and the jaundiced days in Geneva that followed. “Eva Braun” was my angry answer to the neo-fascist posturing of the glitter rockers. “History” was about my first girlfriend, broken heart, etc. Do kids still catch fireflies and put them in a jar to watch their lights twinkle on early summer evening? “Looking Back” was about the same ballerina, I think.

Both “Visions of the Night” (my favorite track on the album) and “When you Ride” were somewhat paranoid reflections on my mental state at the time. Too many reviews calling you the ‘new Bob Dylan’ take their toll, don’t they Mr. Jones? “A Touch of Mercy” provided a small dose of spirituality and Brian Jones too. My brother Matthew had been involved in a terrible car wreck following a tour with the Kinks and he was unable to play bass on the LP – a decision I regretted ever since. And speaking of Ray Davies, Hollywood was maybe “Celluloid Heroes” part two but more about the effect of stardom on the fans.

I remember suggesting an Ad campaign like: ‘in his new LP Lost Generation Elliott Murphy mentions Buddy Holly, Lou (Reed), Eva Braun and Adolph Hitler, Ezra Pound, Lord Byron, Brian Jones, F. Scott (Fitzgerald), (Ernest) Hemingway, Andy Warhol, (Greta) Garbo, James Dean, and Jimi (Hendrix). And maybe you too.’ RCA had the good sense to ignore my suggestion and instead run just the cover photo, which makes me look like something off a Russian Icon although I was hardly angelic in those days. I can’t remember what happened to those cufflinks!

But I will always remember driving down Sunset Boulevard with Geraldine singing along with the Beach Boys: “And we’ll have Fun, Fun, Fun ’till the Record company takes my T-Bird away!”

Paris 1990

After his debut album, Aquashow, proved a critical success and a commercial failure, Elliott Murphy switched from Polydor to RCA for Lost Generation, on which Doors producer Paul A. Rothchild and a group of L.A. session musicians gave him a better sound, while his songs seemed like outtakes from the first record. Again, Murphy was endlessly referential, name-checking everyone from Andy Warhol to Ezra Pound, mixing a contemporary New York City milieu with literary, cinematic, musical, and historical allusions in his sometimes whiney sawdust tenor while the band made like Blonde on Blonde. It was the same set of elements that had made Aquashow such a delight, but they weren’t blended quite as well this time. Nevertheless, Murphy remained an intriguing songwriter with a nervy cultural sense, and his future seemed promising.

William Ruhlmann – AllMusic

Vinyl LPs

US:
RCA APL1-0916
*Note: There are orange and tan label versions.

Canada:
RCA APL1-0916

Japan:
RCA RCA-6308
*Note: With OBI and insert.

Spain:
RCA Victor NL-46055 (1987)

Cassettes

US:
RCA APK1-0916

CDs

France:
RCA/BMG ND 90444 (1990)

Japan:
Sony/BMG BVCM-35257 (2008)

United Kingdom:
Camden Deluxe/BMG 82876512122 (2003)
*Note: Double CD reissue with Night Lights and multiple bonus tracks.

Australia:
Raven Records RVCD-369 (2013)
*Note: Double CD reissue with Night Lights

Europe:
Music On CD MOCCD 13138 (2014)
*Note: With one bonus track, “Visions Of The Night.”

45rpm Vinyl Singles

“Looking For A Hero” / “Never As Old As You
Japan: RCA (Picture Sleeve) (1974)

Please note: If you have additions or corrections to this discography, please send them to the webmaster.

Elliott Murphy - 1975 Rolling Stone Lost Generation Review
Elliott Murphy – 1975 Rolling Stone Lost Generation Review
Elliott Murphy - Lost Generation - Japanese Vinyl Pressing
Lost Generation – Japanese Vinyl Pressing