Monday, June 07, 2010

Return to the Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Just as a postscript to our truly depressing item on Emmit Rhodes last week, here's one of his early songs to put the whole thing in some weird kind of perspective.

From the eponymous 1967 album by The Merry-Go-Round, it's Emmit's often covered and truly exquisite "Time Will Show the Wiser."

A great track, obviously, but the thing about it that really hits me over the head of late is -- what a young man's song it is, at least lyrically. I mean, we all know the feeling, but I can't imagine many people past their teens who'd be capable of articulating it so nakedly and naively.

Of course, the Beatles/psychedelic touches are pretty damned sophisticated for a bunch of guys barely out of a high school when they recorded it.


Rinjo Njori! said...

The Emmit Rhodes piece might be depressing, but there is no shortage of people (young and old) who obsess over past decisions, whether good or bad. That will rot the strongest of egos or biggest talents.

FD13NYC said...

Steve, I've dug out The Merry Go Round and his solo stuff as of late since the article that I hadn't listen to for a long while. Truly some inspiring stuff.

A shame, where some talented artists give in to the record companies to make a buck. Those who didn't their brains give out. Another sad story, would've should've could've.

Peter said...

Never heard this before. What a great track! A lovely timepiece, and yet the '60s effects still sound fresh. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Truly a beautiful song. Rhodes had a deep soul for his young years. The baroque psychedelia is accomplished with few or no effects -- it's simply great musicianship, precisely applied. Even the backwards-recorded phrases are inserted just so, matching the rhythm and harmonic flow of the rest of the song. I don't think even George Martin could have pulled that off (of course, maybe he just never cared to).

BTW, regarding your previous posting on Emitt Rhodes: check out Malcolm Gladwell on the prodigy midlife crisis: "Precociousness... is not necessarily or always a prelude to adult achievement. Sometimes it’s just its own little discrete state." Sigh.
- AP

MJConroy said...

I have both the recent Merry-Go-Round collection and the Emitt Rhodes box set in my collection and love them both.
Had A&M not royally screwed him, who knows what might have been. Sigh!

MBowen said...

A nice live cover of the song, with mediocre sound

Same clip, with studio version overlaid on soundtrack

Karatist Preacher said...

Always thought that was a Fairport Convention original.