Ever heard of 'Rock with You'?, 'Off the Wall'? How about 'Thriller'?...Well what do they have in common? Half a point for Michael Jackson, but TEN points for saying they were all penned by this guy - Rod Temperton, from Lincolnshire, England.
Aside from that incredible feat, he was part of the sucessful disco/funk outfit 'Heatwave' from the late 70's to the mid 80's, either on the keys or writing the hits.
Outside of unarguably being one of the pillars for giving the world some of the most refined Michael Jackson tracks and kickstarting his solo rise to stardom, he wrote other incredible songs for a number of people - his band included. As far as people acknowledging his influence, with his unassuming nature, little people know he even exists, however his musical style leaves an unspoken legacy.
Some other famous songs - 'Always and Forever'(Heatwave), 'Stomp'(The Brothers Johnson), 'Give Me The Night'(George Benson), 'Boogie Nights'(Heatwave), 'The Dude'(Quincy Jones) and 'The Groove Line' (Heatwave).
Why do I like him?
Something has to be said for roundedness of his arrangements. He consistently manages to balance catchy hooks, unexpected chord sequences, intertwine subtle basslines and strings, often with strong vocal harmonies to create full musical landscapes. And with so much going on, the repeat value is through the roof. This guy is a hidden gem.