Emitt Rhodes Biography

25 February 1950, Hawthorne, California, USA, d. 2002. Rhodes first attracted attention as drummer in the Palace Guard, a Los Angeles-based septet which recorded several superior British-influenced singles, notably ‘All Night Long’ and ‘(Like) Falling Sugar’. Rhodes left the line-up in 1966, tiring of its conservative image, and having switched to guitar, pieced together the Merry-Go-Round. This superb anglophile quartet completed an album and a handful of singles, before Rhodes left to record as a solo act. The American Dream combined several Merry-Go-Round masters with new material, and his career did not flourish fully until the release of Emitt Rhodes. He wrote, arranged and co-produced the entire selection as well as playing all the instruments. The results offered a grasp of melodic pop similar to that of Paul McCartney, and invoked a kinship with contemporaries Badfinger and the Raspberries. Mirror was burdened by an unfocused production and thus lacked the immediacy of its predecessor. Rhodes was also under pressure to fulfil contractual obligations, which may well explain the artistic decline that marked Farewell To Paradise. He abandoned his recording career in the wake of ‘Tame The Lion’, an anti-war single, and opted instead for an A&R/production post at Elektra / Asylum Records. Despite completing several demo tapes during the 80s, including one track that appears on the 1995 compilation Listen, Listen: The Best Of Emitt Rhodes, Rhodes remained in relative seclusion until his death, save for a brief performance at the 1997 Poptopia festival in Los Angeles.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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