Emitt Rhodes: S/T (1970)
His self-titled debut is low-key, unassuming, and entirely charming. "With My Face On The Floor" is a perky little treat, rousing and whimsical. "Somebody Made For Me" is a sweet, guileless love song, pure McCartney in its melodic twists. "Long Time No See" adds some psychedelic guitar jabs, bringing to mind some of Badfinger's work. "Live Till You Die" is a pretty mid-tempo rocker in a Nilsson vein. "You Take The Dark Out Of The Night" brings an old-time vibe, shades of the White Album's "Don't Pass Me By." But really, it's an infectious delight from start to finish.
Rhodes released two more comparable albums before essentially disappearing for decades. These three albums, as well as an additional album of early material recorded during his Merry-Go-Round days, are collected on a single package, The Emitt Rhodes Recordings 1969-1973, and it's a must-have for fans of early 70s pop.
Rhodes emerged from the shadows in 2016 with a new album, Rainbow Ends, and despite a slightly more grizzled voice (and a cover photo that came as a shock to anyone who had the baby-faced 1970-era Rhodes etched in memory), it's surprisingly fantastic, maintaining the same Beatlesque pop vibe yet feeling totally out of time, with some folk and Americana shadings.
Here's an audio rip of "With My Face On The Floor":