The Emitt Rhodes Recordings :: 1969-1973

emitticThe first time I heard Emitt Rhodes self-titled debut LP from 1970 I must have listened to it, and it alone, for a straight for a week.   It’s that kind of album.   Recorded in Rhodes’ home studio the album is a near perfect piece of unabashed McCartney influenced pop.   Recording to four track tape, writing all of his own material and playing all of the instruments, the album has that indescribable intimacy that can rarely, if ever, be consciously reproduced.

After three LPs the Emitt Rhodes story becomes half-legend, half cautionary tale.   The story goes the artist had trouble with his record label, which ultimately led to his dropping out of the music business altogether.   Numerous tales and explanations exist, but his wiki sums it up as the following: Rhodes’ contract with Dunhill Records called for “a new LP every six months (six albums over three years) — a schedule that was impossible for Rhodes to meet, due to writing all of the songs and recording each instrument and vocal individually by himself. Dunhill sued Rhodes for $250,000 and withheld royalties because of his failure to deliver albums on the timescale required by the contract. Emitt Rhodes took nearly a year to record, Mirror took nine months, and Farewell to Paradise took over a year.”

Thanks to Hip-O Select, the popsmith’s entire collected works are now available via a two disc, 48 song, package entitled The Emitt Rhodes Recordings (1969 – 1973).   I cannot recommend this collection enough, as the albums these tracks are culled from have long been out-of-print.   Think McCartney, think Nilsson, think Rhodes.

MP3: Emitt Rhodes :: Long Time No See
MP3: Emitt Rhodes :: Somebody Made For Me
Amazon: The Emitt Rhodes Recordings (1969 – 1973)

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11 thoughts on “The Emitt Rhodes Recordings :: 1969-1973

  1. Sweet! I’ve been curious about this guy for years, but never got around to checking him out. Looking forward to getting home to big speakers…

  2. As someone who has owned all three Dunhill albums on vinyl since they were released, let me say that the debut album is spectacular, Mirror is so-so and Farewell To Paradise is almost too sad to listen to. Never heard the A&M album before. But that debut album is one of the best pop albums ever made!!!

  3. I remember listening to his songs on the radio as a kid..
    Great Pop Music..A very talented guy..

    I sure hope he and/or his family get some money from this Collection !
    I’m going to buy it for sure..
    Why do record companies have to be such dicks ?
    The jerks at Dunhill Records back then,were a bunch of piss ants..
    What a great way to treat your talent..
    Emitt was just a kid when he signed that contract..
    Sure wish they would have cut the guy some slack,instead of ruining him..

  4. Whew! That’s some great stuff. It always amazes me that such gems are out there and keep cropping up. Might be time to head over to ol’ Hip-O-Select. It’s a great, oddball collection they have over there.

  5. I was listening to Rhodes while working today, and his music made the pedestrian work progress quicker. Rhodes’s music is phenomenal and, relating to the last sentence of the (well-written) post, fuses the best elements of McCartney (vocally and stylistically) and Nilsson (stylistically). It is unfortunate that Dunhill was so overbearing in their demands, as this bro could have had a long, prolific recording career.

  6. It was nice to come across something newly written about Emitt. The fact that he’s a going concern again, musically, is wonderful. Want to make sure you know that he’s also back in the studio with The Emitt Rhodes Band – see myspace.

    By the way, after a few listens MIRROR goes from so-so to absolutely excellent. A grower. Farewell to Paradise is more tricky but contains some of his best songs.

  7. Sitting here listening to my scratchy vinyl copy of Rhodes’ debut LP.
    Nice to know that it’s finally available on cd.
    Now will somebody at Sony complete my bliss by reissuing the first few Dean Friedman albums on disc?!

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