Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Merry-Go-Round Listen, Listen: The Definitive Collection CD (Rev-Ola)


Listen, listening to these crisp, romantic Beatlesque band tracks, I started thinking: what if leader Emitt Rhodes had never recorded Emitt Rhodes and Mirror (we’ll leave the difficult, little-heard third album out for the purposes of this riff)? Stripped of the precursor-to-genius context, I imagine the M-G-R would be treasured as a great regional pop act, with appealing harmonies, strong and sometimes unexpected songwriting (the orchestral, cyclical “You’re A Very Lovely Woman” doesn’t sound like anyone else, in L.A. or elsewhere) and a sweetly sentimental side unusual for the era. What’s missing is the soul, which alone in his shed bubbled up out of Emitt and made his 100% solo recordings into something utterly extraordinary. But from the start he was an amazing songwriter and vocalist, and the Merry-Go-Round with its complement of Grass Roots, Leaves and Gene Clark Band alums was one of the finest acts on the scene. So this comp of the rare A&M album and Emitt’s fey faux-debut demo LP is delicious stuff in any context, and Rev-Ola’s package includes stories from ER and bandmates Joel Larson and Gary Kato, cool photos and a secret bonus track of the band and label owner Herb Alpert getting all Hawthorne Pride on “California Girls.”

2 comments:

Laurie /Lozman/Eldred J said...

Hey Kim, found this amazing MGR clip on You Tube, wonder if Emitt'd like to see it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgmioAfzhXE

Love the blog, have linked to you at mine; lozman.blogspot.com

Cheers, Laurie

Laurie /Lozman/Eldred J said...

Hey Kim, found this amazing MGR clip on You Tube, wonder if Emitt'd like to see it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgmioAfzhXE

Love the blog, have linked to you at mine; lozman.blogspot.com

Cheers, Laurie