If "underrated" needed a picture next to it in a dictionary, Emmit Rhodes would be one of my top picks. This guy splashed onto the rock scene as the multi-instrumentalist of The Merry-Go-Round in the late 60's. However, it is his solo career that has really kept people's interest over the years. Quite frankly, this guy is the one man Beatles (there is even a forthcoming documentary called "One Man Beatles" about him). I'm not kidding, this guy sounds exactly like Paul McCartney. When I first heard a song of his, I thought it was some early Beatles recording that I was not too familiar with. Rhodes was able to harness that McCartney-pop sound and use it to his full advantage. By recording every instrument himself he was the sole controller of his music and was able to engineer his sound exactly to how he wanted it. He released four solo albums, one of which did surprisingly well on the charts before receding into the shadows and stopped playing music. Yet, the cult of Rhodes' music doesn't seem to want to die. Wes Anderson used "Lullaby" for The Royal Tenenbaums and Hip-O Select Records have done a fine job at bundling his four albums and remastering them into one fine collection. Rumor has it that Rhodes, now sixty years old, has decided to start playing again and is indeed recording new material. If any of that sees the light of day it's going to be very interesting to see if this lost pop genius has retained some of his brilliance after all those years of silence.
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