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HAPPY RHODES

Crossover Prog • United States


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Happy Rhodes biography
US composer and musician Happy RHODES was born on the 9th of August 1965. She was given the name Kimberley Tyler Rhodes as a child, but at age 16 she changed her name to Happy Tyler Rhodes, Happy a nickname that had followed her throughout her childhood.

She grew up with a steady fascination for music, fueled by her father's wide and eclectic taste in this art. She got her first instrument, a guitar, at age 11, and three years later she performed her own original material at school shows and similar occasions. At age 16 she left school all together and started performing in various live venues. A few years later she met sound studio owner Pat Tessitore, and while Rhodes initially was looking for an internship at his studio he got so captivated by her 4 octave vocal range and the material she had written that Rhodes wish for a studio internship instead became recording sessions.

Through Tessitore Rhodes met musician and composer Kevin Bartlett, who also ran a small record label. He approached her with the idea to release her music on his label, to which she agreed. Seven studio productions and 2 compilation would eventually be issued by his label Aural Gratification. Initially a cassette only label, in later years also releasing regular CD productions. Throughout the 1990's Bartlett would also join Rhodes productions as a fellow composer and musician.

In 1998 Rhodes signed to the newly formed label Samson Music, subsequently followed by the release of her tenth CD Many Worlds Are Born Tonight. Rhodes and Samson Music severed their ties again in 2000. The parting was amicable, and all musical rights and unsold products were returned to Rhodes. Seven years would go by before a new Happy Rhodes would appear, in the shape of the self released production Find Me. The album itself a had been made in 2001, belatedly finding it's way out to the market place. No new material have surfaced from Rhodes following this album.

Happy Rhodes official website

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HAPPY RHODES Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy HAPPY RHODES Music


The KeepThe Keep
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$12.71
$4.89 (used)
Find MeFind Me
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$14.82
$13.82 (used)
WarpaintWarpaint
Aural Gratification 1994
Audio CD$39.96
$4.99 (used)
RhodesongsRhodesongs
Aural Gratification 1993
Audio CD$15.95
$4.42 (used)
Many Worlds Are Born TonightMany Worlds Are Born Tonight
CD Baby 2006
Audio CD$12.04
$0.98 (used)
Building the ColossusBuilding the Colossus
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$8.25
$0.01 (used)
EquipoiseEquipoise
Aural Gratification 1994
Audio CD$59.93
$0.01 (used)
EctoEcto
Aural Gratification 1994
Audio CD$39.90
$24.94 (used)
RearmamentRearmament
Samson 1992
Audio CD$13.99
$13.98 (used)
Rhodes 2Rhodes 2
Aural Gratification 1994
Audio CD$58.95
$9.99 (used)
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HAPPY RHODES shows & tickets


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HAPPY RHODES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HAPPY RHODES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Rhodes I
1986
3.00 | 3 ratings
Rhodes II
1986
3.50 | 2 ratings
Rearmament
1986
3.50 | 2 ratings
Ecto
1987
3.95 | 3 ratings
Warpaint
1991
4.00 | 2 ratings
Equipoise
1993
3.05 | 3 ratings
Building the Colossus
1994
3.10 | 2 ratings
Many Worlds Are Born Tonight
1998
4.00 | 3 ratings
Find Me
2009

HAPPY RHODES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HAPPY RHODES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HAPPY RHODES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Rhodesongs
1993
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Keep
1995

HAPPY RHODES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

HAPPY RHODES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Many Worlds Are Born Tonight by RHODES, HAPPY album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.10 | 2 ratings

BUY
Many Worlds Are Born Tonight
Happy Rhodes Crossover Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A good starting point for new listeners

Four years on from what felt to me like a more commercial album (though it didn't break her on any large scale) Rhodes was back with a more interesting album and a new record label. This album was better than her last and perhaps as good as "Warpaint." Her debut for Samson seemed to be pulling in new fans and expanding her unique sound into territory combining art pop with electronica and, some would charge, new age. The latter was not a terribly fair categorization because "Many Worlds" is far from the rather bland and predictable fare often slapped with the new age label. As far as cutting edge electronic pop artistry, while not as riveting as the amazing "From the Choirgirl Hotel" or the icy "Vespertine," Rhodes was now in the same league with some of the more formidable female artists of the day. It's sad that she again did not get the recognition she deserved and unfortunately her new affiliation with Samson ended quickly. It would be many years before there was another studio album.

"Many Worlds are Born Tonight" is a lush and colorful recording full of Rhodes' trademark multi-octave vocal layering. Her main vocals lines and perfectly executed harmonies are an experience few other rock singers can touch. Musically the album is fairly subtle with reserved electronics pulsing in the background, ambient sound effects, and beautiful bass and guitar embellishments. There is a cold spaciness that plays well into some of the lyrical themes of songs like "100 Years" and "Ra is a Busy God", which have a sci-fi feel. "The Chariot" is a gorgeous track with hand percussion, brooding synths over bass lines, and Happy takes a beautiful classical guitar solo. I love the infusion of violin to the spirited "Roy" which takes a basic pop track to another level. There are levels of understated complexity here to draw in serious music lovers, in addition to the good melodies and amazing vocals Rhodes seems to put forth with ease. "Many Worlds" is a solid and well-rounded album that makes a decent entry point for people who have heard of Happy and want to check out her music.

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 Warpaint by RHODES, HAPPY album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.95 | 3 ratings

BUY
Warpaint
Happy Rhodes Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Happy's first four albums were cassette only productions and compilations of unreleased songs concieved on their own and not together as one album. Basically she was selling her music out of her car trunk, so to speak. Warpaint was her first CD and the first time she included other musicians instead of doing the whole thing in solo studio fashion. It's largely a duo effort with Kevin Bartlett as a partner and an occasional guest musician, which is not to say that Happy isn't the driving writing force.

Kevin had already started his own Aural Gratification label under which many of her albums would be released on CD including the four previous cassette only ones.

This is my first encounter with the music of Happy Rhodes. Alas, nineteen years after its initial release. It made a great first impression and I think it showcases her Kate Bush influence very well. Warpaint would have been a great find back then as Kate had only one more album left in her before her big break and Happy would have a few more albums and compilations to go. Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos were moving into high gear (two artists who filled Kate's void for me). Anyway, it was like finding a long lost Kate Bush album.

"I've tried to show God only knows To grow But music hides me so well And reveals me"

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 Building the Colossus by RHODES, HAPPY album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Building the Colossus
Happy Rhodes Crossover Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Not really like Kate Bush

American singer/songwriter Happy Rhodes (born Kimberly Rhodes, legally changed to Happy) is often described as another Kate Bush wannabe just as Tori Amos is. But just like Tori, she really isn't like Kate Bush. She just has a voice with a similar high range and some people stretch this to believe her composition is actually a clone. In reality Kate Bush in her prime was more progressive (for those who care) and made better albums than Happy Rhodes. Just my opinion of course, and I do think Happy Rhodes is very cool and well worth your time. But there's little here that approaches "The Dreaming" in terms of fantasmic creativity and I'd wager Rhodes herself might agree.

The best adjective for Rhodes unique voice I've ever heard is "supernatural." She truly is one amazing vocalist. She has this multi-octave voice with distinctly different personalities. One sounds very close to Kate Bush while the lower voice sounds very much like Annie Lennox to me. So her tracks can sound like Kate Bush and Annie Lennox doing a duet which in itself is fascinating! Musically however this is probably one of Happy's more pop-sounding albums, with basic backing tracks that sound like early Sarah McLachlan, but with much more interesting vocals. "Just like Tivoli" is one of Rhodes most beautiful compositions ever, a slow lament on war in the gorgeous Italian village, great use of poetic lyrics. "Pride" is another highlight, very soft and introspective. "Down, Down" is probably my favorite track of this set. Very eclectic and ambitious, it features complex vocal arrangements, cool bass lines, and some neat guitar effects from guest David Torn. "Big Dreams Big Life" brings in the cello of Monica Wilson for another color on this short but dreamy, lovely song. Her songs generally grab a catchy melody and provide a sparse backing with laid back keyboards, acoustic guitars, electronic and real drumming, and bass. Occasionally some tasteful electric guitar is provided by Torn. She arranges these songs nicely but usually returns to her catchy chorus eventually. This is the album where I believe she most went for commercial success as the material is very accessible. Earlier albums can be stranger while "Many Worlds" ventured further into the electronic realm.

I'm happy to see Happy finally grace the archives and hope many readers of this site will take time to discover her.

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 Find Me by RHODES, HAPPY album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Find Me
Happy Rhodes Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This may turn out to be Happy Rhodes swansong. Begun in 2001, this one wasn't completed until 2007 and now she has moved on to other things. If it is, it is a nice ending to her discography. The songs are quite personal and indeed, she even did the album artwork herself. Perhaps getting rid of some personal "demons" by incorporating them into song.

At the beginning of her discography you have just her, her guitar, and a few other instruments. On this one she has brought in a nice array of musicians, including Hansford Rowe of Gong and Gongzilla fame on bass for most of the tracks. Bon Lozaga and Trey Gunn also show up on a track each. I'm not famlilar with the rest of the crew, but they make for a really rich listening experience.

Of course the lyrics and her voice are what make the album really intense. One And Many, inner conflicts. Little Brother, a sibling who died young. Find Me, metaphorically. She Won't Go, another person inside her head. Here And Hereafter, not parting with someone special even after death. Carlie, a guy with "issues" who kills himself and she sees aspects of his personality in her self. Can't Let Go "Of my old place, of my old face, of my old things". Queen, the ego or egomaniac. Treehouse, it's mine "And only those who like me are going to be invited in". The Chosen One, seeing marriages and mulling over being passed over for one. The album wraps up beautifully with Fall, death as falling into sleep.

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