Flipping through the records at the Goodwill on Fillmore, I found a nice little surprise in the form of Emitt Rhodes‘ self-titled debut recording on ABC/Dunhill Records (1970).
One of the first practitioners of home recordings, he also played all the instruments, which today may be considered normal, but in 1970, was quite ambitious. His overwhelming vocal and musical resemblance to Lennon and McCartney earned him the moniker of “the one man Beatle” and prompted a few DJ’s to trick their audience into thinking a new Beatles record was available. All resemblance aside, this record has outstanding qualities all its own. I couldn’t put it better than a description from a Daniel Silverman review;
“…straight piano-dominated rhythms overlaid with understated drums, and acoustic and electric guitar lines that, while not afraid to take the spotlight, never hog it.”
“…an unassuming masterpiece”
Unfortunately after a little success, good old-fashioned corporate greed resulted in irreversible damage. Not to mention how being only twenty years old and signing agreements with overwhelming expectations can just ruin your day and your art. A few more recordings and Emitt fizzled away from the public eye.
So I love this record not only for the music, but also for the story that goes along with it, and the artist. And to find such a story laying unnoticed in a box on the floor at the Goodwill is worth writing about.
( It was actually 2 for 99¢, the other find was Iggy Pop’s Soldier)
scans of original album cover design: Raymond Ruiz