Historical Legacy Series: Orphan emerged in the mid-60s out of the Brockton-Avon area of Massachusetts from singer/songwriter Eric Lilljequist. First managed by Ed Mottau, the group was later noticed and picked up by Peter Casperson, who pushed the band into a greater audience in the New England area. 

First dubbed The Orphans, the band later changed their name to Orphan. After performing around the Boston area and The Atlantic House in Provincetown for an entire summer, Orphan began to truly find their sound with original material. Orphan went through some band member changes and ultimately signed with Columbia records after catching the attention of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. 

By the late 1960s the band consisted of vocalist and frontman Eric Lilljequist, bassist Steve Abdu, rhythm guitarist Dean Adrien and drummer Richard Adelman. Orphan continued performing and growing a larger fan base, and eventually signed a three album contract with London Records in 1971. With an invigorating folk-rock sound, Orphan produced three underrated albums throughout the early 70s. 

They were integral to the Boston music scene and Eric Lilljequist continues to perform today. 

Invasion Group is re-releasing three albums from Orphan – Everyone Lives to Sing, Rock and Reflection, and More Orphan Than Not. Everyone Lives to Sing was released in 1972, their first album on London Records. This album, donned with a dark green background and Lillequist and Adrien staring wistfully off the page near a lake, is a soft rock, blissful album with strong country roots. 

Orphan produced a light pop album that should have been up in the ranks with artists such as Jonathan Edwards and The Modern Lovers. Rock and Reflection, released in 1973, is a powerful, punchy album embellished with long guitar solos and soulful lyrical melodies that powers deeper into the country rock genre. 

The last album was released in 1974, titled More Orphan Than Not. The album features a distinctive rendition of Van Morrison’s “I’ve Been Working So Hard,” and a cover of The Beatles’ “What Goes On.” Lillequist’s songwriting shines brightly through the remainder of the tracks, specifically with the powerhouse “Have Yourself a Good Time for Me.”

Orphan was a multidimensional band that should’ve struck big on the country-rock charts, truly encapsulating the sound of the 70s. Although Orphan did not achieve the recognition they deserved, the three albums they produced helped push the Boston music scene on the map.


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