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Thread: Todd Rundgren appreciation

  1. #26
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    Todd is one of my last remaining bucket-listers who I have not yet seen live, despite having been a fan for nearly 40 years. Growing up in Eastern PA, he was a true star as far as I can remember. A local used LP shop had all the original Nazz pressings on their wall ($25 each in 1980 $, probably much more now!). One day I was in there and the store owner and his buddies were reminiscing about seeing the Nazz and how it was the greatest show they had ever seen--much like several of you have said. Shame I was only 2 at the time the Nazz were at their peak.

  2. #27
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    I saw him before I was familiar with any of his post TR-I stuff and like 80% of the material was foreign to me. There was one real showstopper though - "God Said" which I later found out was from Liars, which I've dug a lot lately. It suffers from a lot of Todd's usual issues - it's too long, some of the songs are real gimmicky, and the one-man band & DIY-production makes it sound a bit amateurish in spots, but it's really a wonderful album. His ability really has not faded since the glory days.

    there's a pretty great bootleg series of CDs that show off Todd at different junctions of his career - there's a '94 show where it's just him playing with loops and janky software, inviting people on stage to play guitar solos (!) and drum along, it's kind of a disaster in spots but its really interesting. I don't know of another artist willing to try something quite like that, at least not in the mid 90's!
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  3. #28
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    I'm seeing Todd in March. Stoked! Glad it's not that stupid tour some of you just suffered through.

  4. #29
    I went bonkers for Todd in my high school years. I guess that makes him my first favorite solo artist (as mentioned in a parallel thread, ELO were my first favorite band). Seeing the videos for “Time Heals” and “Hideaway” on MTV got the ball rolling. Then I heard his 70s hits (“I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me”) on the radio, and before you knew it, I came home from the record store with my very own copy of Something/Anything?, which I proceeded to wear the grooves off of.

    Saw him on the Nearly Human and 2nd Wind tours, which were highlights of my young concert-going life. Todd signed my Faithful vinyl!
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  5. #30
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    Like many others here, I was impressed with the three Nazz albums.
    But I think the all-time favorite is Something/Anything.
    I liked the music enough (Black Maria), but the idea of setting up your own studio, playing all the instruments, singing all the vocals, producing, mixing................just awesome stuff.

    Years later, I bought a copy of Something/Anything from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs -- 1/2 speed Master -- arguably audiophile quality.............sounds good too.

  6. #31
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    ^^ If I'm not mistaken, there are plenty of guest musicians on Something/Anything.
    Last edited by Guitarplyrjvb; 01-28-2019 at 06:26 PM.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    ^^ If I'm not mistaken, there are plenty of guest musicians on Something/Anything.
    Record sides 1-3 is Todd only, side 4 has guest musicians.

  8. #33
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    ^^ Yup.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    ^^ If I'm not mistaken, there are plenty of guest musicians on Something/Anything.
    Only on side 4, which is all "live in the studio".

    The rest of the album was just Todd by himself. An important distinction.

  10. #35
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    I don't own a ton of Todd stuff, but I do have some, and have always liked him. First Todd record bought: 7" single of "Heavy Metal Kids" in the early 70s. First Todd concert seen: Adventures In Utopia, Richfield Coliseum in 1981(?).
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  11. #36
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    Love TR! Here's a catchy one!


  12. #37
    Yeah, that's a seriously underappreciated gem. All of the TR-i stuff was pretty rockin'. His raps were actually quite good. That said, it's very different from classic Todd (whatever that actually means). And the interactive thing even more so. But there's a lot of great music in that set. I love Worldwide Epiphany (which always kills live).

    Great video. I'd forgotten about it. These were all pretty great.
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Polypet View Post
    Yeah, that's a seriously underappreciated gem. All of the TR-i stuff was pretty rockin'. His raps were actually quite good. That said, it's very different from classic Todd (whatever that actually means). And the interactive thing even more so. But there's a lot of great music in that set. I love Worldwide Epiphany (which always kills live).

    Great video. I'd forgotten about it. These were all pretty great.
    Totally agree about all you just said. The Individualist is one of my favorite albums by anyone ever, just so much good stuff on that one. Temporary Sanity just bowls me over every time.

    Worldwide Epiphany is a great song!


    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Love TR! Here's a catchy one!

    Love that one too!

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL View Post
    I saw him before I was familiar with any of his post TR-I stuff and like 80% of the material was foreign to me. There was one real showstopper though - "God Said" which I later found out was from Liars, which I've dug a lot lately. It suffers from a lot of Todd's usual issues - it's too long, some of the songs are real gimmicky, and the one-man band & DIY-production makes it sound a bit amateurish in spots, but it's really a wonderful album. His ability really has not faded since the glory days.
    "God Said" is a great song. That bridge, with the repeating "Just get over yourself" line... man... Those chord changes are just so beautiful.

    For me, Liars is just about perfect. It may suffer from all those issues you mentioned, but I love it so much in spite of all that.


    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL View Post
    there's a pretty great bootleg series of CDs that show off Todd at different junctions of his career - there's a '94 show where it's just him playing with loops and janky software, inviting people on stage to play guitar solos (!) and drum along, it's kind of a disaster in spots but its really interesting. I don't know of another artist willing to try something quite like that, at least not in the mid 90's!
    Oh! I think I know the one you're talking about -- Live At The Forum, London 1994. It's a double, with a 15-minute version of "Secret Society" that has him inviting audience members up on stage to take his guitar and solo over the chord changes. Like you said, kind of a train wreck in places, but it's interesting and also a lot of fun. I appreciate what he was going for with that tour.

    It has a really killer version of "International Feel" on it too, very different from the regular one.

  15. #40
    I love it. Just get over yourself.... yep
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Polypet View Post
    I love it. Just get over yourself.... yep
    Yep!

    Great stuff.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Totally agree about all you just said. The Individualist is one of my favorite albums by anyone ever, just so much good stuff on that one. Temporary Sanity just bowls me over every time.

    Worldwide Epiphany is a great song!




    Love that one too!
    The Individualist was some kind of hybrid CD with a lot of lame animations on it - I'm guessing none of that will work these days - I hope it works as a straight out CD though!

  18. #43
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    I think I've seen Rundgren perform nearly 100 shows, going back to the 1970's -- solo, with Utopia, with The Tubes, with Bourgeois Tagg, etc. Lots of great memories from all these shows.

    He's made plenty of good recordings and produced a lot of really good records for other people too -- so rather than repeat some of what's mentioned already in this thread, I'll add a couple of records I like that haven't been mentioned here (although I have discussed a couple of these on PE threads before).

    1) A few years ago TR did a record with Emil Nikolaisen and Hans-Peter LindstrÝm called "Runddans" -- there's no "songs" on it, but there are a lot of synthesizers, vocals, guitars, some great drumming, and a lot of genuinely trippy production. It is the closest thing there is to Side B of Initiation in my estimation.

    2) In 1980, Rundgren produced an album for Shaun Cassidy, called "Wasp." Cassidy had wanted to walk away from his uber pop image and asked Rundgren to produce a more grown-up/artistic album for him. Utopia is the band on this record. The songlist includes Bowie, Talking Heads, The Animals, Ian Hunter, The Who, and a few songs Rundgren wrote specifically for Cassidy (the title track is especially fun). I think this album is a real gem and well worth a listen.

    3) Around the middle 1970's, Rundgren recorded a record that was never officially released until the 21st Century called "Disco Jets." It's got the lineup from "Faithful" playing a bunch of instrumentals that are at times intentionally goofy, but at other times sound like out takes from A Wizard A True Star. Of course, I got a bootleg copy of this one way back around the time it was made, but since getting the "official" mix, this album has brought me a ton of smiles, lots of fresh playing.

  19. #44
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    Damn, it almost sounds like Todd demoed the tunes and Shaun deliberately sang them like him! He sounds a bit like Kas on some too. Cool find.

    Yeah, this is just good fun-


    This has to be my fave of his early 90s works. Had a lot of prog bang for the buck. Ross Valory of Journey on bass too... Friggin' love this tune!

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    First Todd concert seen: Adventures In Utopia, Richfield Coliseum in 1981(?).
    Actually, turns out that this was "The Camouflage Tour," which was more of a follow-up. A little later that year I recorded this off the radio...Really good concert that I listened to many times.

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  21. #46
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    Something/Anything
    A Wizard A True Star
    TR's Utopia
    Todd
    Another Live
    Initiation
    RA

    Those records kill me.
    Prog's Not Dead

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    "God Said" is a great song. That bridge, with the repeating "Just get over yourself" line... man... Those chord changes are just so beautiful.

    For me, Liars is just about perfect. It may suffer from all those issues you mentioned, but I love it so much in spite of all that.




    Oh! I think I know the one you're talking about -- Live At The Forum, London 1994. It's a double, with a 15-minute version of "Secret Society" that has him inviting audience members up on stage to take his guitar and solo over the chord changes. Like you said, kind of a train wreck in places, but it's interesting and also a lot of fun. I appreciate what he was going for with that tour.

    It has a really killer version of "International Feel" on it too, very different from the regular one.
    Great thoughts on "Liars."
    I think it is a fine album.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taped Rugs View Post
    I think I've seen Rundgren perform nearly 100 shows, going back to the 1970's -- solo, with Utopia, with The Tubes, with Bourgeois Tagg, etc. Lots of great memories from all these shows.

    He's made plenty of good recordings and produced a lot of really good records for other people too -- so rather than repeat some of what's mentioned already in this thread, I'll add a couple of records I like that haven't been mentioned here (although I have discussed a couple of these on PE threads before).

    1) A few years ago TR did a record with Emil Nikolaisen and Hans-Peter LindstrÝm called "Runddans" -- there's no "songs" on it, but there are a lot of synthesizers, vocals, guitars, some great drumming, and a lot of genuinely trippy production. It is the closest thing there is to Side B of Initiation in my estimation.

    2) In 1980, Rundgren produced an album for Shaun Cassidy, called "Wasp." Cassidy had wanted to walk away from his uber pop image and asked Rundgren to produce a more grown-up/artistic album for him. Utopia is the band on this record. The songlist includes Bowie, Talking Heads, The Animals, Ian Hunter, The Who, and a few songs Rundgren wrote specifically for Cassidy (the title track is especially fun). I think this album is a real gem and well worth a listen.

    3) Around the middle 1970's, Rundgren recorded a record that was never officially released until the 21st Century called "Disco Jets." It's got the lineup from "Faithful" playing a bunch of instrumentals that are at times intentionally goofy, but at other times sound like out takes from A Wizard A True Star. Of course, I got a bootleg copy of this one way back around the time it was made, but since getting the "official" mix, this album has brought me a ton of smiles, lots of fresh playing.
    Holy dedication, Batman!

    That is a lot of shows!

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    Holy dedication, Batman!

    That is a lot of shows!
    Ha! I lived in the SF Bay Area for many years, including during the time Rundgren lived there, so I got to see a lot of non-tour/ benefit-type shows and that sort of thing. Also, tickets for concerts used to cost $7.50 or less back in the day, so when Utopia did a run of 4 or 5 shows in a row at the Old Waldorf, I could easily afford to go every night. Truth be told, I gave up going to see Rundgren after 2008. That year he did the entire Arena album, start to finish, live. Not my favorite album, but it was great to see him do a whole bunch of songs I'd never seen before. Since I've seen so many of the older songs performed back in the day (when they were newer songs), I just don't get very excited about seeing those same songs being performed again and again these days. I hold out hope that the guy's gonna produce something really groundbreaking again one day and take it on the road.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taped Rugs View Post
    Ha! I lived in the SF Bay Area for many years, including during the time Rundgren lived there, so I got to see a lot of non-tour/ benefit-type shows and that sort of thing. Also, tickets for concerts used to cost $7.50 or less back in the day, so when Utopia did a run of 4 or 5 shows in a row at the Old Waldorf, I could easily afford to go every night. Truth be told, I gave up going to see Rundgren after 2008. That year he did the entire Arena album, start to finish, live. Not my favorite album, but it was great to see him do a whole bunch of songs I'd never seen before. Since I've seen so many of the older songs performed back in the day (when they were newer songs), I just don't get very excited about seeing those same songs being performed again and again these days. I hold out hope that the guy's gonna produce something really groundbreaking again one day and take it on the road.
    Cool.
    I do remember those days. I started in 1975.

    But you got to see Todd with the Tubes, eh? Wow! Which tour was that?

    I saw the "Remote Control" tour which was absolutely superb. Todd produced the album of course.
    I took some pretty good photos that night because I was able to walk to the front for many of them.

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