Emitt Rhodes released four solo albums in four years back in the early 70's before dropping out of the public eye.
The singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist began his career in the Los Angeles garage band The Palace Guard and the psychedelic rock group The Merry-Go-Round before signing with ABC/Dunhill as a solo artist. His self-titled debut album, which he recorded in a studio he built in his parent's garage, was critically acclaimed and sold well enough to reach number 29 in the U.S., spawning the minor hit Fresh As a Daisy (1970 / #54).
Rhodes' albums were completely self-made affairs with Emitt playing all of the instruments and recording all of the vocals which, along with writing the material, proved to be a daunting task. His contract called for six albums in three years but the pace was two much and, after four releases, Rhodes dropped out of the business of performing, instead choosing to open his own studio and working as a engineer and producer for Elektra Records.
On February 26, 2016, Omnivore Recordings will release Rainbow Ends, Emitt Rhodes’ first new studio album in 43 years, on CD, Digital and gatefold, colored vinyl. A PledgeMusic campaign has been set up for pre-orders, offering exclusive collectibles, the album itself, and even a day in Rhodes’ studio. Details are available at www.pledgemusic.com/emittrhodes.
After connecting with producer Chris Price in 2013, Rhodes revived his home studio with help from Price and an all-star band, all of whom had been enamored of Rhodes’ work: Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Jason Falkner (both solo artists, members of Jellyfish, and currently in Beck’s studio and touring band), indie producer and musician Fernando Perdomo, Rooney’s Taylor Locke and New Pornographers’ drummer Joe Seiders. They would cut the new record live in that space.
More special guests appeared to make this momentous release even more special: Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs (Bangles), composer and producer Jon Brion, Wilco’s Nels Cline and Pat Sansone, Bleu, and Probyn Gregory and Nelson Bragg from Brain Wilson’s band, among others. What was achieved is more than what folks thought would ever happen. They made Emitt’s first full-length in more than four decades.
Rainbow Ends is the album generations have been waiting for. Eleven new tracks for longtime fans who’d held onto their out-of-print ABC albums, for those who found out about Rhodes via Lullaby being featured in The Royal Tennenbaums, and for the uninitiated who’d heard their favorite artists and friends rave about his small, but truly vital and influential catalog.
An Emitt Rhodes showcase at SXSW 2016 will be a highlight of the annual music festival, and more dates are in the works.
Producer Price says, “I view this as a continuation album, meaning it isn’t meant to be recreating the sound from his first record, but instead what he might have sounded like after his third album, Farewell to Paradise, if he kept making music in the mid-to-late ‘70s.”
According to Rhodes, “I had a spurt there, you know. I just wrote a whole bunch of songs. I’m just gonna write what my heart tells me, because that’s the only thing that really matters, isn’t it? Sometimes you don’t know, and then the light goes on and you do know.
“The music is very good on this record. I think that these guys are all wonderful players and there’s all sorts of interesting stuff. I hope people like it, and I want you young guys to be able to get your due.
“I think whenever it happens, it happens on time.”
The track list:
- Dog on a Chain
- If I Knew Then
- If It Isn’t So
- This Wall Between Us
- Someone Else
- I Can’t Tell My Heart
- Put Some Rhythm to It
- It’s All Behind Us Now
- What’s a Man to Do
- Friday’s Love
- Rainbow Ends