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10 Singer-Songwriter Albums Rolling Stone Loved in the 1970s You’ve Never Heard

We praised them 40 years ago — and you should listen to them today!

Jesse Winchester and hoyt axton

Jesse Winchester and Hoyt Axton

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty; Jazz Archiv Hamburg/ullstein bild/Getty

The Seventies were the decade of the singer-songwriter: not just Bob Dylan, but Jackson Browne, Carole King, Randy Newman and the hundreds of poets and troubadours who wanted to achieve their status. Rolling Stone reviewed thousands of albums between 1970 and 1979, including some gems that never found the audience they deserved. We went through the archives to find 10 singer-songwriter albums that ruled our turntables in the Seventies but have been unfairly forgotten since then.

elliott murphy

Elliott Murphy, ‘Lost Generation’

Rolling Stone raved about the first two albums by the hyperverbal young New Yorker Elliott Murphy, initially predicting superstardom on the basis of his debut Aquashow and then lauding this follow-up album as "brilliant but extraordinarily difficult." Murphy ended up writing articles for Rolling Stone through the Eighties, including interviews with Tom Waits and Buster Poindexter; he also settled into cult status, recording dozens of albums, and now lives in France.

What We Said Then: "On Aquashow, Elliott Murphy had the audacity to merge Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby with Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' to create a song called 'Like a Great Gatsby'; On Lost Generation, he invokes Hemingway's Paris in the Twenties, the magic of Hollywood and many more gods, then winds up tying Pound, Braun, and even Hitler to a rock & roll stake and setting the whole works on fire. . . . When he's on the street, the sun also rises on one of the best." — Paul Nelson, RS 191 (July 17, 1975)

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