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 Rinehat 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, ... Read More...
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 My Life 9. Early in the Morning 10. Low Down - The Merry-Go-Round, Kato, Gary 11. A Clown's No Good 12. Gonna Leave You Alone 13. Mother Earth 14. Pardon Me 15. Textile Factory 16. Someone Died 17. Come Ride, Come Ride 18. Let's All Sing 19. Holly Park 20. Mary Will You Take My Hand 21. The Man He Was 22. In Days of Old 23. 'Til the Day After 24. Saturday Night 25. She Laughed Loud 26. Listen, Listen 27. Missing You - The Merry-Go-Round, Marks, Larry 28. Highway - The Merry-Go-Round, Larson, Joel 29. Time Will Show the Wiser 30 - California Girls
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 2005. 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.