joi, 12 februarie 2009

The Merry-Go-Round - The Merry-Go-Round: You're a Very Lovely Woman - Live (1967)

The Merry-Go-Round were formed in Los Angeles during the summer of 1966 when Palace Guard drummer Emitt Rhodes left that band and began rehearsing in the Rhodes family garage with his high-school buddy Gary Kato. After a couple weeks with friends Mike Rice and Doug Harwood on bass and drums, respectively, the duo hooked up with a couple of L.A. movers: bassist Bill Rinehart had played in the Leaves and drummer Joel Larson with the Grass Roots, and both had been in the short-lived Gene Clark Group in 1966 and later played on Clark's classic 1967 album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers. Rhodes, Kato, Rinehart, and Larson recorded demos that attracted label attention and led to a deal with A&M. "Live" was released as a single in early 1967 and quickly became a huge hit in L.A., and eventually reached number 63 in the Billboard singles chart. The B-side, "Time Will Show the Wiser," became somewhat well known too, as Fairport Convention cut a version on their 1968 debut album.
The Merry-Go-Round's self-titled 1967 album is a breathtaking blend of chiming folk-rock guitars, British Invasion harmony vocals, baroque pop arrangements, and pure pop songcraft that sounds daisy fresh in 2009. The Beatles are a huge influence, and there is plenty of McCartney in Emitt Rhodes' sweet vocals and their vocal harmonies. You can hear the Byrds a bit, some Left Banke (especially on the sweeping orchestral pop gem "You're a Very Lovely Woman"), some L.A. garage on rockers like "Where Have You Been All My Life" and "Lowdown"; the group definitely didn't exist in a vacuum. But there are some songs that are quite unique and original like "Time Will Show the Wiser" with its otherworldly sped up and backward guitars and enchanting melody, the bouncy and warm hit single "Live," and "Had to Run Around," an exquisite ballad whose tender beauty foreshadows Rhodes' classic 1970 Emitt Rhodes album. These songs, and the overall quality of the songs and the group's loose and earthy playing, help lift the album above the pack and should lead to it being mentioned in the same breath as Love's first album or Buffalo Springfield's first when talking about classic American debut albums of the '60s. (AMG).

Tracks :
1. Live
2. Time Will Show the Wiser
3. On Your Way Out
4. Gonna Fight the War
5. Had to Run Around
6. We're in Love
7. You're a Very Lovely Woman
8. Where Have You Been All of My Life
9. Early in the Morning
10 .Low Down
11. Clown's No Good
12. Gonna Leave You Alone

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