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"The Emitt Rhodes Recordings" represents everything that Rhodes recorded post-The Merry-Go-Round (and with "The American Dream" recorded during his tenure with The Merry-Go-Round as well). This excellent boxed set from Hip-O gathers these four albums that have been in and out (largely out) of print for the last 30 years. The sound is exceptionally good. Remastered under the supervision of Bill Levenson, these have a nice dynamic range and the don't have any weird EQ effects to mar the sound of the reissues. I should note for purists that Rhodes has gone on record that he didn't care for the sound on these but he also admitted he didn't listen to them in depth and I suspect he just wanted to remaster them himself.

I can't give you a comparison to anything other than the albums "Listen, Listen: The Merry-Go-Round" anthology and Rhodes self titled album that wsa issued in Japan about seven years ago. In comparison to both of those the respective albums as presented here sound quite good with nice clarity and and the lack of any noise reduction, nice dynamic range, the use of the original masters for all four albums makes this a must have if you're a fan of Emitt's work and don't have it on CD. These definitely sound better than my old worn out copies of the albums on vinyl (with the exception of "Mirror" which I never had on vinyl)

Rhodes has always reminded me of early 70's McCartney backed by Badfinger or even Badfinger's own Pete Ham. Rhodes who played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts (save for some female backing vocals), engineered and produced the album himself ended up as a staff producer at Elektra Records after getting burned by the music business (he didn't have the rights to any of his songs until recently for example having signed them away as a 17 year old when he was with The Merry-Go-Round and laboring under an unfair contract for years).

The four albums "The American Dream", "Emitt Rhodes", "Mirror" and "Farewell to Paradise" all appear in full ("American Dreamer" also includes a track that was taken off the early pressings and replaced as well as its replacement track). We also get the single A-side track "Tame the Lion" a topical song written in response to the Vietnam War but that still has relevance today.

There aren't any previously unreleased or rare tracks. Levenson has stated that the goal of the album was to get ALL of Rhodes offically released material back into print in one boxed set. "The Emitt Rhodes Recordings" accomplishes this goal with extremely good sounding remasters plus two bonus tracks. This is packaged in a double digipak with the albums arranged by their recording dates ( "The American Dream" is first).

We also get a booklet that is good but does leave a bit to be desired. It's not nearly as good or comprehensive as the booklet that came out with the Rev-Ola reissue of "The Merry-Go-Round: Listen, Listen" set (which also includes "The American Dream"). It might have been nice to have a contemporary interview with Rhodes for this set. Still, Levenson and his crew have done an exceptional job of presenting these classic, long MIA albums in excellent fidelity and with some nice extras.

"The American Dream"-four stars, "Emitt Rhodes"-5 stars, "Mirror"-4 1/2 stars, "Farewell to Paradise"-3 1/2 stars. Sound Quality-4 1/2 stars. Packaging 3 stars.

Highly recommended for fans of power-pop, "The Emitt Rhodes Recordings 1969-1973" is a limited edition release so you should pick it up while you can. After it goes out of print, E-bay will probably be demanding high prices for this terrific collection.
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on July 25, 2009
They finally got them right. I'm so grateful they decided to remaster this set without the annoying top end EQ boost like the Japanese CDs. These are somewhat dull sounding recordings yet turning the top end up makes them harsh and thin. They're not supposed to be bright and shiny nor will they ever be bright and shiny. They sound perfect with the thick, dark, ultra analog fidelity that is very much intact here. Bravo!

They also didn't slam the levels and crush the music just to satisfy those with a louder-is-better mentality.

It sounds like they found the proper tapes with this set. These are far more natural sounding versions than I've ever heard even when compared to original vinyl pressings. I'm so amazed this set made it through without someone telling them to crank up the high end and make it louder.

Thanks to Hip-O Select for a fine job!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 13, 2010
In truth there was a time when you couldn't give away Emitt Rhodes albums here in the UK - but something of a rediscovery of his music has taken place in the last two decades that has brought his LPs out of the bargain bins and into the eBay lists.

Hailing from Hawthorne (a suburb in Los Angeles) - Rhodes first came to prominence with the US sixties group THE MERRY-GO-ROUND who made one self-titled album for A&M Records in 1967.A&M issued a wad of singles to promote the new signing - but neither they nor the album bothered the charts (these releases are quite sought after now). Rhodes then went solo and that's where this long-overdue 2CD career overhaul comes storming in. Here are the Mirrors and American Dreams...

Released initially in the USA in May 2009 as a 2CD set (belatedly released in the UK January 2010) - "The Emitt Rhodes Recordings (1969-1973)" on Hip-O Select B0012926-02 (Barcode 602527042732) is a worldwide limited edition of 5000 that contains 4 full albums and one rare non-album 7" single. It breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (66:13 minutes):
1. Mother Earth
2. Pardon Me
3. Textile Factory
4. Someone Died
5. Come Ride, Come Ride
6. Let's All Sing
7. Holly Park
8. Saturday Night
9. You're A Very Lovely Woman
10. Mary Will You Take My Hand
11. The Man He Was
12. In The Days Of The Old
13. `Til The Day After
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "The American Dream" recorded in 1969 but released after his debut album (14 to 25 below) in April 1971 in the USA on A&M SP-4254 and May 1971 in the UK on A&M AMLS 64254

14. With My Face On The Door
15. Somebody Made For Me
16. She's Such A Beauty
17. Long Time No See
18. Lullabye
19. Fresh As A Daisy
20. Live Till You Die
21. Promises I've Made
22. You Take The Dark Out Of The Night
23. You Should Be Ashamed
24. Ever Find Yourself Running
25. You Must Have
Tracks 14 to 25 are the album "Emitt Rhodes" first issued December 1970 in the USA on ABC/Dunhill DS 50089 and February 1971 on Probe Records SPBA 6256 in the UK

Disc 2 (70:06 minutes):
1. Birthday Lady
2. Better Side Of Life
3. My Love Is Strong
4. Side We Seldom Show
5. Mirror
6. Really Wanted You
7. Medley: Bubble Gum The Blues/I'm A Cruiser
8. Love Will Stone You
9. Golden Child Of God
10. Take You Far Away
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Mirror" issued on ABC/Dunhill DSX 50111 in the USA in November 1971 and December 1971 n the UK on Probe Records SPBA 6262

11. Warm Self Sacrifice
12. See No Evil
13. Drawn To You
14. Blue Horizon
15. Shoot The Moon
16. Only Lovers Decide
17. Trust Once More
18. Nights Are Lonely
19. Bad Man
20. In Desperate Need
21. Those That Die
22. Farewell To Paradise
Tracks 11 to 22 are the album "Farewell To Paradise" issued September 1972 on Probe Records SPBA 6266 in the UK and on ABC/Dunhill DSX 50122 in the USA.

Track 23 is "Tame The Lion", a non-album A-side. In the UK it was on Probe Records PRO 565 and in the USA on A&M 4315, both issued in 1972. "Golden Child Of God" - an album track off "Mirror" - is its B-side in both countries.

The 3-way fold out card digipak houses a 16-page booklet with an appreciation of the man and his music by SCOTT SCHNIDER. There's also a pictorial album-by-album breakdown with relevant production and instrument credits. It's remastered by PETE DOELL at Universal Mastering and sounds fantastic - and given that most of these tracks are self-recorded by Rhodes himself - it's amazing how good they sound. Equally impressive is his musicianship on every track - so proficient, so talented.

Vocally Rhodes is a cross between Nilsson on "Nilsson Schmilsson", Todd Rundgren on "Something/Anything?" and Ron Mael of Sparks on "Kimono My House". But there is also the Beach Boys and Dennis Wilson vibe too. With all these cool influences bounding around, his songs and their arrangements have aroused a lot of interest in those who like their Seventies tunes melodic and layered. His first album is probably his most popular and fans will be glad to see it represented here in its entirety. Also - and impressively - most of the songs on here are entirely written, played, arranged and produced by Emitt Rhodes (how every Prince).

Another nice touch is that the 1st issue of "The American Dream" album had the track "Saturday Night" on it - which was replaced with "You're A Very Lovely Woman" when it was reissued later in a different sleeve - Hip-O has included both tracks so you can sequence either version. And while I like his debut - for me his song writing improved immeasurably on "Mirror". I especially love "Better Side Of Life" and "Really Wanted You" (lyrics above) - very Dennis Wilson - and in a really good way.

To sum up - and as other reviewers have pointed out - this is a superb reissue and luckily for us it's been given a January 2010 UK release for just under twelve quid (rare for Hip-O sets). It's not all fab of course - but when he was good - he was sit-up-and-take-notice good. Recommended...
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on May 30, 2011
"If I possess a talent," Rhodes once said, "it surely must be patience. Someone said something about the world stepping aside when a man knew what he wanted. I've known for some time and the world hasn't made it any easier for me." No truer words were spoken by this hugely overlooked talent, and I think he has plenty of simpatico company in the likes of Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.. What we got instead was a successfully whiny McCartney wannabe named Eric Carmen, which hardly seems fair.

This two-disc set features a previously unreleased American Dream, his debut solo album eponymously titled Emitt Rhodes, Mirror, and Farewell to Paradise. You can watch the growth of his musical prowess by degrees, and I do not buy on his tribute website that things "just came" to him. It sounds to me like he put more thought into his music and lyrics than that!

However I lament the absence of the minor Merry-Go-Round hit "Live," there is plenty of Emitt to love here. Heavily McCartney influenced, he turns his influence up a notch and manages to make the style all his own. Rather than get long-winded in a review--which I've learned from previous experience most people don't like--I'd like to say that this is one of the best collections I've ever bought, and I am a newcomer to the Rhodes camp. He makes it clear that he's a Beatle fan--McCartney in particular, and he proves that more on his self-titled debut than his other ones combined. This is also easily my favorite album on the collection, boasting great songs like the minor hit "Fresh as a Daisy" and the fabulous "With My Face on the Floor."

He is a great pop craftsman, but he is also a serious rocker--check out "Birthday Lady," the stellar "Really Wanted You," and "Medley: Bubblegum the Blues/I'm a Cruiser." Fabulous with blues and jazz formats: "See No Evil" is my absolute favorite song on this collection. Wow! But those sweet changes on his final album are often painful to hear because it's obvious he's totally jaded with the music business. The sadness in the sweetly childlike "Blue Horizon" says very much about his state of mind at the time, and "Farewell to Paradise" with its tropical folky charm still does little to belie the fact that this song is only reaffirmation of the point.

This album is full of heavy Beatle allusions galore, but it is also a nice tribute to a man who should have been recognized for his own sheer, individual array of muiti-tasking talent. This collection also contains one bonus track, "Tame the Lion" from the same titled movie. It's just a shame that people like this who have struggled with genuine talent have had to take the backseat to flavors of the month who shall be nameless.
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on January 16, 2013
You could write about about Emitt Rhodes and his four solo records. A musical genius who never really got his due. The Emitt Rhodes recordings dusts off all four solo release and put them in a nice two CD set. A&M did a wonderful job on this two disc set. It is all here from the first song of his first LP to last song of of his last. A beautiful Digipak design with a nice booklet that gives a overview of this musical genius and why he gave up recording. This is essential listening for anyone truly interested in 60's pop music.
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on March 4, 2016
A terrific collection of Rhodes work. In an alternate universe, Emit Rhodes crafty and catchy pop songs racked #1 after #1. A shame that more people didn't get a chance to hear his debut album when it was released. Every song is a gem. Highly recommended.
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on January 19, 2014
Are you a fan of 70's music? Do you think you've heard it all? I fall into both of these categories but a friend of mine stumbled upon Emitt Rhodes and asked if I had ever heard of him. I said no, although I recognized seeing a couple of his album covers from when I was young. When I sampled his music I knew I had to own it so I could fully experience what he had to offer. I also knew that owning a "best of" compilation wouldn't satisfy me; I wanted to hear the entire albums. This collection contains ALL FOUR of his solo albums from 1969 through 1973, including a couple of extras...and at a very reasonable price. He is an artist in his own right, not a Beatles imitator as some suggest. And you can hear his music mature as the years unfold. This collection is a must for any serious 70's enthusiast!
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on February 5, 2014
I bought his original album (on cassette) around 1971 and I admired his musicianship and, indeed, compared him to Sir Paul. Now, re-visiting his music, I think he more closely resembles Ron Sexsmith, who resembles Paul McCartney. Pretty strange convolution. Of course, they are all admirable as individual artists, but, definitely are brothers from different mothers.
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on June 24, 2012
I can't add much to what's already been written about Emitt Rhodes. He was indeed a talented singer-songwriter who wore his Beatles/Brit Invasion influences on his sleeve, and never received the acclaim or popularity he deserved. Fans of the Beatles, or late 70s power-pop, are sure to find songs on here that will make them smile and sing along. So many well-crafted tunes on here, it's hard to pick highlights. It's very gratifying to see his studio albums packaged together and available again on this 2-CD set. A very worthwhile purchase for pop-rock fans.
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on November 8, 2013
Emitt is a man who was ahead of his time with respect to the songs he wrote, the music (all instruments) he played. His song's have stood the test of time and as a matter of fact even sound better today when there is such a void in classical rock music. Love the CD and ironically so do a good number of younger people who have never heard his music. George Stepenson
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