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Thread: Todd Rundgren

  1. #26
    Understood. Just interesting that over the course, of, what, 40 albums? 60??, that one debatable line would indicate it's possible that someone who's said so much about world peace and spoken AGAINST oppression and every -ism in the book, could be racist. I respect your opinion, but that's such a strong word, I just wanted to know if there was some track record stuff that made you think so.

    On a side note: You can't win. Jamaicans speak the way they do, Japanese speak the way they do, I'm in Italy at the moment and Italians that have learned english speak the way they do. Nigerians speak english the way they do. If I do a song where one of them is the character, I'm gonna speak like them for the line.

    You're entitle to your opinion, for SURE, my friend, but it's a real minefield when someone is gonna wonder or be unsure about someone being racist on such paper thin stuff. But , carry on.

    IMHO, Todd is amazing, I too have seen him probably 40-50 times, and there is something great on every album, every era. One of the most unsung guitarists of the last 50 yrs, as well. His work on "Bat Out Of Hell" alone (he plays every guitar note) should be studied in music schools for cool, creative and classic licks. The production work -- holy crap. Some real american rock n roll gems were brought to life under his stoned watch....

  2. #27
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    I have always wondered why Todd & Utopia were never considered top-shelf proggers back in the day. I find the Utopia debut and RA to be prog classics close in quality to CTTE and SEBTP. Was it because Todd was a little late to the prog party? Perhaps because he was doing pop albums simultaneously? Or because he previously had singer/songwriter type hits? All of the above?

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre C View Post
    If I do a song where one of them is the character, I'm gonna speak like them for the line.
    All I'm saying is that imitating someone's accent can be offensive and it's off-putting coming from Todd. He's not even speaking in character for that line. I'm not saying Todd is racist, as you say that's a paper-thin coorelation to make. I don't think Elvis Costello is racist either. I'm pretty sure that everybody at some point in their lives has said something that's offensive to some race though. Todd just happened to put it on a LP

  4. #29
    OK cool, understood, You've clarified. You had said you were wondering. All good.

    We agree that Todd rocks. And certainly tackles a lot of major subjects..and heavy topics..

    One of the gems of american music, for sure.

    BTW - -anyone on Spotify, there is a bunch of live stuff on there that I've not seen on CD, some of it 2012 releases, including a Hammersmith Odeon show of the original Utopia lineup -- incredible show!! Probably the only live release so far with With Luther Vandross on backing vocals...who toured with them a while, I have some boots with him on.

  5. #30
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    Exactly. All it confirms is that Todd's brain is just all over the place.

    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    I have always wondered why Todd & Utopia were never considered top-shelf proggers back in the day. I find the Utopia debut and RA to be prog classics close in quality to CTTE and SEBTP. Was it because Todd was a little late to the prog party? Perhaps because he was doing pop albums simultaneously? Or because he previously had singer/songwriter type hits? All of the above?
    I'm guessing all of the above but didn't Todd kind of lose a big chunk of his fanbase after A Wizard, A True Star?

  6. #31
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I like later TR well enough (I do own Something/Anything & AWATS), but I play the first 2 Nazz albums far more, even today. Criminally underrated is how Mo put it, and that's the way I see it as well.

    Were they not taken seriously back then because TR was 18 and the other 3 were all younger than that?

    The compositional skill of "Hello It's Me" and especially "If That's The Way You Feel" wasn't good enough????
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  7. #32
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings about TR and Utopia. My working theory is that I discovered them at the right time in my life to thoroughly enjoy them...before I got too stuffy or cynical. These days I hear a lot of things in TR's/Utopia's music that just seems a little "off" or sometimes cheesy or questionable production, etc. Some stuff makes me cringe a bit or just isn't as satisfying as I think it could have been with a more modern production. But I think, if you're unfamiliar but willing to dig in and really check it out there is plenty of worthwhile material and when you add it all up (and divide by zero? ) it's amazing how much TR has done.

    I can't say I've really enjoyed much after 2nd Wind though.

  8. #33
    meimjustalawnmower
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    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    I like later TR well enough (I do own Something/Anything & AWATS), but I play the first 2 Nazz albums far more, even today.
    You know you're old when you refer to Something/Anything & AWATS as "later TR".

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL View Post
    I'm guessing all of the above but didn't Todd kind of lose a big chunk of his fanbase after A Wizard, A True Star?
    He didn't have much of a fanbase to lose. "Hello Its Me" didn't really catch on until after AWATS was out.

  10. #35
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    Pick up the DVD's of Healing and Todd from his music store on the website. They are reasonably priced and are worth the money for the bonus interviews themselves. Many of your questions are answered. He acknowledges that he could have gone on writing 100's of Something Anythings and garnered much success, but wasn't motivated by that. AWATS is a classic and most releases in succession are a change from the last. An extremely intelligent and well thought
    artist. I have also seen him 35-40 times and no two shows have been the same. It is this creative process that puts some awe into Todd. He rarely rehashes anything.

  11. #36
    Nearly Human is as great for slick AOR as anything this side of Steely Dan. Love that album. I really like Healing too. I'm a sucker for everything Utopia up to the last album. I to tend to think his solo stuff is spotty after Hermit. I actually think a lot of the music on No World Order is pretty dang good, but you have to put up with him trying to rap.

  12. #37
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigpicturekeys View Post
    Pick up the DVD's of Healing and Todd from his music store on the website. They are reasonably priced and are worth the money for the bonus interviews themselves. Many of your questions are answered.
    Agreed! Highly suggested. Each interview is an hour long so you get a lot of info on his whole career and then some. The shows are awesome too, I was lucky enough to see one in person and the DVDs are great reminders of what a time it was.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL View Post
    The lyric "and a dash of the old Kung Fu" with a faux-Asian accent was the real "what the hell?" moment on that song. I really don't want to derail this thread, just saying that *for me* that was kind of unsettling.
    He was making fun of a very popular TV show.

  14. #39
    Ra is a desert island disk for me...just wish someone would release a DVD from that tour . There's some amazing footage on You Tube.

  15. #40
    Imagine listening to the likes of Grand Funk, Sabbath and the like, and having your older brother tell you to sit down in front of your parent's stereo console and listen to the entire AWATS? That's what happened to me. That day changed my musical direction forever. Todd Rundgren's not God, but he's quite simply The Man!

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    just wish someone would release a DVD from that tour . There's some amazing footage on You Tube.
    RA would be very cool since i went to the SF show and have little to no memories about the show overall except for when Todd went to open the case with the glass guitar it was broken into many little pieces so Todd had to improvise.

  17. #42
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    Not to hijack the thread, but if given an opportunity, pick up Dean Watson's Cd "Unsettled". Dean, you seem much too kind to self promote, so somebody's got to do it!

  18. #43

  19. #44
    Does anybody know what Sun Ra tune(s) Rundgern performed with the string quartet Ethel on the last tour? The show in the DC area took place the night before Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, so I decided to hunker instead of gonig to the show. The review of the show in The Washington Post did not mention any Sun Ra numbers.
    Last edited by Finn_McCool; 01-02-2013 at 12:27 PM. Reason: misspelling!

  20. #45

  21. #46
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    ^^^ . I was hoping we might see the original Utopia tour again but very unlikely. These (very strong) shows on DVD are likely the next best thing. They were (probably still are...) up on Youtube and at one point I made my own DVDs of them. But great to see an official release.

  22. #47
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Original Utopia died with Moogy. Unfortunately.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Original Utopia died with Moogy. Unfortunately.
    IIRC Schuckett Siegler and Ellman were all in the 2011 band along with Moogy and Todd (and "new" guys Kaz and Jesse Gress). Also IIRC Moogy passed away after the first few shows. They finished the tour without him. So if that band went out again now I think they still have a legit claim to "original Utopia." But it is not likely. I think the 2011 tour was done primarily to help out Moogy spiritually as well as financially and I'm not sure the guys would be enthusiastic about another go at it today.

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    IIRC Schuckett Siegler and Ellman were all in the 2011 band along with Moogy and Todd (and "new" guys Kaz and Jesse Gress). Also IIRC Moogy passed away after the first few shows..
    There were two legs of the reunion, in January and then in November. Moogy's health kept him from the latter, and he was missed. But the band (especially Todd and Ralph Shuckett) stepped up and made the shows special. This was the stretch where they played the first two albums in their entirety. I beieve Jesse and Kasim only sang, the guitar and bass were all Todd and John Siegler. (Jesse may have played guitar on a song or two., Kasim definitely didn't play bass).
    Last edited by bRETT; 04-09-2020 at 11:04 PM.

  25. #50
    Today I was scrolling through Todd's discography on Spotify, looking for live albums to listen to, and saw that Liars Live (the audio) was on there. What?! To my knowledge, that had only ever been available as a DVD.

    So I went onto iTunes and immediately bought it. There's some great versions of these tunes, both old and new, and to have a good audio version of this concert puts me over the moon.

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