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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Whatever Emitt Rhodes's been doing for the last forty-three years, it clearly hasn't all been fun

I didn’t mention Emitt Rhodes in my book, though he’s on my extended 1971 playlist.

 Rhodes was one of those people who was being lined up as a Beatles substitute in 1971. He could write good tunes, he played all the instruments on his albums himself and - bonus ball - he was pretty.

His albums attracted support from everybody except the record-buying public and he was locked into a contract that required him to deliver two albums a year, which was hard enough for your standard road-hardened band but was nigh on impossible for an artist who had to over-dub every part himself.

He withdrew from making his own albums in the early seventies. Now he’s back, with a rather good record called Rainbow Ends. Whereas the early records glistened with the optimism of youth, his new one starts with a song about a woman who takes the car, the house and the kids. It’s called “Dog On A Chain”.

He looks different too.