Electric piano invented by Harold Rhodes, which became particularly popular during the 1970’s. Like a piano, it generates sound using keys and hammers, but instead of strings, the hammers strike thin metal tines, which are then amplified via an electromagnetic pickup which is plugged into an external keyboard amplifier and speaker.
It fell out of fashion for a while in the mid-1980s, principally due to the emergence of polyphonic and later digital synthesizers, especially the Yamaha DX7, and partly through inconsistent quality control in production due to cost-cutting measures. The company was eventually sold to Roland, which manufactured digital versions of the Rhodes without authorization or approval from its inventor. In the 1990s, the instrument enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, resulting in Rhodes re-obtaining the rights to the piano in 1997. Although Harold Rhodes died in 2000, the instrument has since been reissued, and his teaching methods are still in use.
The Fender Rhodes is played by Duncan Mackay on Kate’s songs Symphony In Blue, In Search Of Peter Pan, and Don’t Push Your Foot On The Heartbrake; played by Max Middleton on the songs Babooshka, Blow Away (For Bill), Egypt, The Wedding List, and Breathing; and by Kate on the songs Top Of The City, The Song Of Solomon, and You’re The One.