The Emitt Rhodes Recordings 1969-1973 [Digipak]
Performer: Emitt Rhodes
Engineer: Emmit Rhodes; Curt Boettcher; Emmit Rhodes; Keith Olsen...
Producer: Harvey Bruce; Peter Pilafian; Emmit Rhodes; Larry Marks; Peter Pilafian; Emmit Rhodes; Harvey Bruce; Larry Marks; Bill Levenson (Compilation)...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel: Emitt Rhodes (vocals, various instruments); Emil Radocchia, James Leitch, Gary Kato, Dom Peak, Chuck Berghoffer, Bill Rheinhart, David Cohen, Don Randi, Drake Levin, Hal Blaine, Joel Larson, Jim Gordon , Joe Porcaro, John Guerin, Larry Knechtel, Lyle Ritz, Pete Jolly, Tom Reynolds, Michael Rice. Audio Mixer: Keith Olsen . Liner Note Authors: Lance Freed; Scott Schinder. Author: Emitt Rhodes. Photographers: Jim McCrary; Ed Caraeff; Andrew Sackheim. Arrangers: Emitt Rhodes; Ian Freebairn-Smith; Bob Thompson ; Larry Marks; Perry Botkin, Jr.; Bob Thompson . THE EMITT RHODES RECORDINGS 1969-1973 collects all four albums the singer/songwriter/musical wiz recorded over that period of time and adds one extra track (the 1973 single "Tame the Lion"). The set starts off with the album Rhodes recorded after his band, the Merry-Go-Round, broke up in 1969. The songs are a mix of newly written ones and Merry-Go-Round leftovers recorded with studio pros filling in for the band. But it is his actual debut, 1970's EMMITT RHODES, that is the best of the bunch; in fact, it is one of the best pop records of the '70s, and sounds like what would have happened had Paul McCartney saved up his most emotionally powerful and melodically rich post-Beatles' songs and recorded them with Badfinger as his backing band. Each song sounds like it should have been a hit single, from the heart-breakingly direct "Long Time No See" or the deceptively jubilant breakup song "With My Face on the Floor," to the anthemic George Harrison-esque "Live Till You Die" or the rollicking "Fresh as a Daisy." The pacing, sound, and feel of the record are as near perfect as you could hope, and the most impressive feat is that Rhodes did everything on the record himself. His next album, 1971's MIRROR, repeats the same basic formula as EMITT RHODES but has fewer knockout songs, and there are some hard rock (on the title track) and blues (on "I'm a Cruiser") influences creeping in around the edges and scuffing up the perfect pop. By the time of FAREWELL TO PARADISE, though, the twin factors of pressure from the record company and Rhodes' increasing perfectionism led to his recording a melancholy, downhearted album that has far less pop and far more introspection in its soul. Hearing it in context of his previous work shows just how much Rhodes had begun to change, and it makes it even more of a loss that Rhodes basically walked away from his career at the age of 24. THE EMITT RHODES RECORDINGS 1969-1973 is essential to any fan of late-'60s/early-'70s pop music and hats off to Hip-O Select for giving Rhodes the attention he deserves.
Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[His self-titled album] stands up as a veritable tour de force of melodic, consummately-crafted Paul McCarney-esque pop..."
Emitt Rhodes was a member of the L.A.-based 1960s pop group the Merry-Go-Round before going solo at the end of the decade. Much like Todd Rundgren, he then turned out an album on which he played, sang, and wrote everything himself. His McCartney-esque pop sound quickly earned him an audience, but ultimately Rhodes made only four records, the last being 1973's "Farewell to Paradise." While his music continued to find admirers decades after he quit recording, he seldom ventured into the public eye again, and never returned to active album-making duty.
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