Milwaukee

EMIS

Record Details

1986
Genre:
Rock
Elliott Murphy - Milwaukee

Milwaukee marked a return of Elliott Murphy collaborating with Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison, a former bandmate, who served as producer after performing on Murphy’s 1976 album Night Lights. Milwaukee was his first album released on the French label New Rose in Europe.

Tracklist

  1. Taking The Silence -:-- / 4:43
  2. People Don’t Learn -:-- / 5:04
  3. Out For The Killing -:-- / 4:54
  4. Sister Real -:-- / 3:47
  5. Niagara Falls -:-- / 5:04
  6. Running Around -:-- / 5:09
  7. Clean It Up -:-- / 4:07
  8. Texas -:-- / 4:25
  9. He Who Laughs Last (Laughs Alone) -:-- / 3:33
  10. Going Through Something (Don’t Know What It Is) -:-- / 3:38
  11. Out For The Killing (Alternative Mix) (Bonus Track) -:-- / 4:52
  12. Niagara Falls (Alternative Version) (Bonus Track) -:-- / 5:23

TAKING THE SILENCE

Words by Elliott Murphy
Music by Elliott Murphy & Art Labriola

Its so terrifying – lying to myself
I can’t deny it – its you and no one else
Living in the future – standing alone
Weighing all the damage – picking up the phone

Taking the silence – feeling the heat
Taking the silence – I get what I need

I thought I had will power – but I didn’t have enough
To battle with my ego and stay off that heady stuff
The past is behind you no need to look away
Fear said you’re leaving – my prayers said you’ll stay

Taking the silence – feeling the heat
Taking the silence – I get what I need

I was a man of action – my feet stuck in the sand
I got a new way of acting – I know how to make a stand
I don’t need a movie – no need to run away
I’m not into stealing I want to pay

Taking the silence feeling the heat
Taking the silence I get what I need

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PEOPLE DON’T LEARN

Words and music by Elliott Murphy

Crawling into my apartment – it must have been ten a.m.
My stomach’s turning my head is spinning
I can’t breathe no oxygen
And I swear it will be the last time
Though I swear it ain’t the first
How come every time I start feeling better
I start acting worse

But people don’t learn – people don’t learn
People don’t learn nothing but a lesson

The lives of the poets – the great painters too
They say most of them were short lives
I wonder is that really true
Didn’t they dream of the children
Running through a green lawn
With the sun shining so brightly up above
Instead of crawling in at dawn

But people don’t learn – people don’t learn
People don’t learn nothing but a lesson

And I remember everything – things that we do to pretend we are king
And as the nights go by – I watch the stars disappear from the sky

Coming home from my travels
Telephoning what’s new
Somebody says Tom Baker died
Oh my God is that really true
He could have been some king of actor
He could have written a book
And all I could ever do is stand back and look

Cause people don’t learn – people don’t learn
People don’t learn nothing but a lesson…

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OUT FOR THE KILLING

Words by Elliott Murphy & Ernie Brooks
Music by Elliott Murphy

Cold New York Eyes so terrific
Weld permanent connections to my soul
She asked what I do I said get specific
In the long run I grow old
Take a look what you’ve been through

Baby take a look at yourself
You’re turning yourself into somebody else
My spirit’s weak but the flesh is willing
Out for the killing

She asked what I know about Nicaragua
I said I read the papers I watch TV
She laughed at my political knowledge
She said you know even less about you and me
Take a look what you’ve been through

CHORUS

I dropped her off in the combat zone in Boston
When I found she worked for undercover police
I sit around – I drink straight from the bottle
I take tiny bites of some very rare meat
Take a look what we’ve been through

CHORUS

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SISTER REAL

Words and music by Elliott Murphy & Ernie Brooks

A paperback novel reminds me of you
The girl on the cover – a literary dejavu
Down by the seashore in your bathing suit
You and your captain you looked so cute
You know you hurt me more than you know
You can desert me, but I’ll never go
Sister Real, Sister Real

The men of the old world – the women of the new
Armed with apologies and defense all I knew
I was watching TV but I was looking at you
Bookstores were empty – libraries too
Took my education – I took it down to the bank
Expecting revelations – all I got was thanks
From Sister Real

I’m always dreaming of New York skies
Of big jets waiting – of my turn to fly to Sister Real

I’ll be your hero and you can be my wife
Keeping a promise leading a mystical life
Up on the mountain, a vision comes to me
I see a golden goddess on a beach in Waikiki

You know you hurt me, more than you know
More than you feel it, much more than you show
Sister Real

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NIAGARA FALLS

Words and music by Elliott Murphy

Received your postcard – Mailed to the wrong address
You say everything’s happening much too fast
And your hair is a mess
You been drinking too much liquor – You better stick to the wine
You say there’s a reason for all of this
You’re gonna write me a nice long letter when you got some time

Everybody knows – When you take off your clothes
Everybody knows – You got a tattoo that shows
Me and you in a barrel going down Niagara Falls

You been stripping in the night club
You been working on the street
You say its all some sex money mind game
We’re all a piece of meat
You been riding into Buffalo
And you been cruising the bars
I said baby when they’re through with you
They’re gonna pickle your heart and put it in a jar

Everybody knows – When you take off your clothes
Everybody knows – You got a tattoo that shows
You’ve been trying to get your point across for so long – heaven knows

I received your TELEX from ITT
You say everything’s happening much too slow – what’s to become of me
You been doing too much jogging – You’re all shook up
You can’t stay off the telephone – And you’re goodbyes are abrupt

Everybody knows – When you take off your clothes
Everybody knows – You got a tattoo that shows
You’ve been trying to get your point across for so long – heaven knows

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RUNNING AROUND

Words and music by Elliott Murphy

He said “Someday baby we’ll get out of here – Living on dreams – choking on fear – Looking for ambition – not finding it here.” Running around
She said “I hear what you’re saying – I don’t know what you mean
Your foods on the table – your shirts are clean. You know what you’re looking for might remain unseen.” Running around

He wrote “I’m sorry baby to leave you this way. What’s left in the bank account is yours…OK? You can call me a coward but a coward would stay.”
She called up her mom – She hung up the phone – She turned on her TV and watched it alone – Kept switching the channels fell asleep around dawn – Running around

Rivers flow – the banks grow wider – You can’t see it day by day
Well on the shore her voice grows louder
She cries “If you come back baby -You better come back to stay…”

He walked in the cafe with a new suit of clothes
Cash in his pocket his eyes aglow
He said “Give me a regular and make it to go.”
She looked at his smile – his hundred dollar bill
Her hands were shaking but the coffee didn’t spill
She gave him 99 singles and a look that would kill
He said “How a doing? You’re looking fine.”
She said “Well..two years is not a lifetime.
Its tough on my feet but I don’t mind.”
He put his money on the counter said “I owe you this.”
She said “All you ever owed me sweetheart was a goodbye kiss…
And for that cup of coffee you can keep the tip.”
Running around

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CLEAN IT UP

Words by Elliott Murphy
Music by Elliott Murphy & Art Labriola

The ringing of the telephone
Machine says sorry nobody’s home
Her sweet voice cries I’m so alone
When are you coming home
The sound of the dialtone

Clean it up – throw it all away
Clean it up – wash my hands
Clean it up – throw it ll away – Clean it up

The letters of the lawyers they fly by night
He said, you wanted it – now you got a fight
Even the judge agrees nobody’s right
Why can’t they see the light
They got their hearts shut tight

Clean it up – throw it all away
Clean it up – wash my hands
Clean it up – throw it ll away – Clean it up

Once upon a time there was a love affair
Nothing’s ever right when you’re not there
All I wanted to do was care
The letters promised I’ll be there
And now the page is bare

Years later walking down the avenue
Husbands and wives say how do you do
He’s thinking how did I lose you
I had a love so true – She things the same thing too

Clean it up – throw it all away
Clean it up – wash my hands
Clean it up – throw it ll away – Clean it up

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“TEXAS”

Words and music by Elliott Murphy

Her voice sounded just like Texas – Riding south into Mexico
Not quite sure where to go – Where to take it and how far
Willie Nelson singing softly – Holding hands awfully tight
Border roads leads into the night – Into darkness and beyond

And when the lights go down I’ll entertain you
I swear I’ll never try to chain you
Cause when you go I won’t blame you
I won’t blame you cross my heart

Fireworks scatter crosstown – She walks in her grandma’s nightgown
Kinda shy she says turn the lights down
She says turn it all down but don’t turn it off

Cross my heart – Cross my heart
I should have know it from the start

Her voice sounded just like Texas
Ending every sentence with ya betcha
And if its love that will catch you
You know ya betcha gonna fall real hard

And when the lights go down I’ll entertain ya
I swear I’ll never try to chain you
Cause when you go I won’t blame ya
I won’t blame ya – cross my heart

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HE WHO LAUGHS LAST (LAUGHS ALONE)

Words and music by Elliott Murphy

Let’s take a walk and get an appetite up
Baby talk – when you saw that little puppy
And I…I still don’t know what happened
We had good times that bring bad luck
It’s the same old story baby don’t look down look up – at me
I’m over here twisting matches

He who laughs last laughs alone
Staring at a picture and a telephone
He who laughs last laughs alone
Thinking about some people he has known

Sometimes I think its just a movie anyhow
A scene is changing my part’s left out
And I…I need a good place in a system
I loved you baby and I hated you too
But I got a Polaroid picture that says I never hated you
And I ‘m looking too hard for an answer

He who laughs last laughs alone
Staring at a picture and a telephone
He who laughs last laughs alone
Thinking about some people he has known

Oh baby don’t you look so serious
Sometimes we used to laugh till we were delirious
Till something brought out the fear in us
It all got so near to us
We lost all that’s dear to us

Why was it raining when I walked out on the street
Like A Farewell To Arms – These puddles beneath my feet
And I…I need a good book to love me

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GOING THROUGH SOMETHING (DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS)

Words and music by Elliott Murphy

She woke up and saw him – he was sitting on the couch
She said “What’s the matter baby? Tears are running down your mouth.”
He looked up and saw her – Didn’t know what to say
“I’m just playing this old record and it makes me feel this way.”

Going through something but I don’t know what it is
I don’t feel like an adult I don’t look like a kid
Caught in the grip of a rock ‘n roll dream
Like twenty years of loving someone you’ve never seen

Walking down the avenue he ran into an old friend who said
“Man are you still into that? Still wearing that old cowboy hat?
Listening to the radio – I gave all that up years ago.”
Asked him when he’s gonna grow? “I don’t know…”

Going through something but I don’t know what it is
I don’t feel like an adult I don’t look like a kid
Caught in the grip of a rock ‘n roll dream
Like twenty years of loving someone you’ve never seen

Nights and TV history – thinking about all the cruelty
Walked in to see my baby’s face
She’s sleeping with an angel’s grace
Started humming some old song
Of days that are long gone
The feelings starting to unwind
The power going up my spine

Going through something but I don’t know what it is
I don’t feel like an adult I don’t look like a kid
Caught in the grip of a rock ‘n roll dream
Like twenty years of loving someone you’ve never seen

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All songs © 1986 Eljamur Music/Warner Chappell Music – Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

Milwaukee
EMIS
1986

Produced by Jerry Harrison, Elliott Murphy & Ernie Brooks
Engineering, Mixing & Production Assistance by David Vartanian
Recorded at D.V. Studios, Milwaukee: March – April 1986
Photography: John Beckett
Executive Producer: John Collins
Thanks to Chris Snow and Charlie Hunter

Musicians:
Elliott Murphy: electric & acoustic guitars, harmonica, vocals
Ernie Brooks: bass, backing vocals
Art Labriola: keyboards
Jesse Chamberlain: drums

Additional Musicians:
Jerry Harrison: keyboards, electric guitar
Rick Jaegger: drums
Connie Blumberg & Arlene Holms: backing vocals
Warren Wiegratz: sax
David Vartanian: keyboards
Mike Lucas: drums

Record By Record, Murphy By Murphy: Milwaukee

By this time my ex-band mate Jerry Harrison was a big star in Talking Heads and was interested in producing me so I flew out to his hometown of Milwaukee and hung out The Violent Femmes. To this day I don’t like the sound of the drums or the synthesizers and would love to remix Milwaukee someday. Nevertheless, I was nominated for a New York Music Awards “Best Album” and “Out For The Killing” received a lot of airplay on radio in the U.S. In France it was my first album for the New Rose label and the beginning of my long friendship with Patrick Mathe. I suppose “Going Through Something” is the story of my life and everyone else who lives under the rock ‘n roll spell…

Taken from Crossroads magazine.

Elliott Murphy credited his 1984 album Party Girls & Broken Poets to “Elliott Murphy and Band.” His 1986 album is credited solely to Elliott Murphy, but he poses with the members of his band – bassist Ernie Brooks, drummer Jesse Chamberlain, and keyboardist Art Labriola – on the cover, and Brooks and Labriola get some co-writing credits on the songs. The prominence given the group is significant, just as the title is. Milwaukee is simply the name of the city in which the album was recorded, but that’s reflective of Murphy’s life at the moment, playing in a band and traveling from town to town. That life takes its toll clearly, as is reflected in some of the songs on the LP’s first side. Murphy likes to write in the third person, as if his songs are musical short stories, but that gives him a frame for autobiography, and songs like “People Don’t Listen,” “Out for the Killing,” and “Niagara Falls” paint a portrait of a man who may have been on the road too long, and who certainly has drunk too much liquor while paying too little attention to his relationships. The relationship issue is engaged again on the second side in songs like “Runnin’ Around” and “Clean It Up,” the latter finding the narrator, alone, encountering husbands and wives, and wondering how he lost “a love so true.” It all comes to a head in the final track, “Going Through Something (Don’t Know What It Is),” in which the singer follows the title in the chorus with the words: “I don’t feel like an adult, I don’t look like a kid/Caught in the grip of a rock & roll dream/Like 20 years of loving someone you’ve never seen.” Murphy and his band present tight rock and folk-rock arrangements of the songs, which are typically catchy and well sung. But they sound like the work of a veteran rocker who’s either getting ready to settle down or, at least, wondering why he never did.

William Ruhlman – AllMusic

Vinyl LPs

US:
EMIS 101459

France:
Murphyland Records ML0003LP (2018)
*Note: Remastered audiophile edition.

CDs

France:
New Rose Records Rose 99 CD (1990)
Musidisc 120442 (1996)

Japan:
Teichiku Records TECP-25192 (1990)
Century Records CECC 0648 (1994)

45rpm Vinyl Singles

“Texas” / “Out For The Killing”
France: Closer Records CL 0756 (Picture Sleeve)
*Note: There is also a promo version of this, no picture sleeve, catalog number SA 1067.

“Niagra Falls” / “I Want You”
France: New Rose NEW 91 (Picture Sleeve)

12″ Vinyl Singles

“Texas” / “Out For The Killing”
France: Closer Records CL 1256 (Picture Sleeve)

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

Elliott Murphy - Milwaukee Rolling Stone Review
Milwaukee Review In Rolling Stone

Elliott Murphy - Milwaukee Bio
Milwaukee Bio