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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Get Into Emitt Rhodes

For those of you who appreciate some finely crafted pop, allow me to introduce you to Emitt Rhodes, a forgotten genius who made one amazing album in 1971, the self titled Emitt Rhodes, in which he sang, played all the instruments, arranged and produced the thing by himself. (As far as I know, the only other people really doing that at the time were Paul McCartney and Todd Rundgren.) Anyways, Rhodes' gift for songcraft (in an admittedly very McCartney-esque fashion) was incredible, as every song on his debut album is filled with hooks, but also some wonderful musicianship and thoughtful lyrics. It's a must-own.

The story for Rhodes after that album's release is actually kind of sad: contracted to deliver one album every 6 months, which he couldn't do since he made the records all by himself, Rhodes was sued by his label. After two more records that were rushed and not up to snuff, Rhodes quit the biz to become an engineer and producer. From the interviews I've read with him, he seems a little crazy, but he did give us one fantastic album.

Don't believe me? Some nice YouTuber compiled four songs from Emitt Rhodes in this one nifty video:

And here's a rare single of Emitt's, the killer "Birthday Lady":

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