Sunday, April 08, 2007

254. Todd Rundgren - Something/Anything? (1972)

Track Listing

1. I Saw The Light
2. I Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference
3. Wolfman Jack
4. Cold Morning Light
5. Takes Two To Tango
6. Sweeter Memories
7. Intro
8. Breathless
9. Night The Carousel Burned Down
10. Saving Grace
11. Marlene
12. Song Of The Viking
13. I Went To The Mirror
14. Black Maria
15. One More Day (No Word)
16. Couldn't I Just Tell You
17. Torch Song
18. Little Red Lights
19. Overture
20. Money/Messin' With The Kid
21. Dust In The Wind
22. Piss Aaron
23. Hell It's Me
24. Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me
25. You Left Me Sore
26. Slut


Well, we are going through quite a golden patch of albums here, and it is still going to take a while to get to something less good... actually the next album which isn't great is probably the Eagles in about 5 albums time. So cherish this. Another interesting thing is that some of these albums like this one are amazingly long.

Todd Rundgren does a huge one man show here, for three sides of the double album he did absolutely everything; he played all the instruments, sung, produced etc. They left him alone in the studio and he just managed. Fortunately he managed brilliantly. You can tell that this is a man with a voraciously eclectic appetite for pop music. You can find influences of everything from Brian Wilson to Zappa. In the end this mish-mash is quite appealing and sound modern particularly after the first side which was designed to hook you with catchy pop.

This is one of those cases where there is just too much stuff here to be appreciated in one listen. You have to keep coming to it for it to reward you. Actually the album is neatly divided into four parts each corresponding to a side of the album. So in the end its like having 4 short albums all of them pretty great in different styles. To me sides 2 and 4 are actually the best, but I am sure each person will have their own favouries. Side 2 reminds me particularly of Rufus Wainwright, and there is a whole sole composer with an operatic feel to the album which has some resemblances to Rufus' Want albums if he was alive in the 70's.

If you don't know Todd Rundgren this is a great place to start but not finish. Get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Marlene
2. Song Of The Viking
3. Hello It's Me
4. Slut

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Todd Rundgren currently resides in Hawaii with his wife, comedienne and singer Michele Gray.

Rundgren helped raise actress Liv Tyler, who was led to believe that she was his daughter until she was 9. Her biological father, however, is Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, whose drug excesses during Liv's childhood led to her mother Bebe Buell's paternity deception.

The song "Bang the Drum All Day" was used in several TV commercials during the late 1990s and became an unofficial anthem of the Green Bay Packers and a sports arena favorite. In 1995, during the Packers' rise back to NFL prominence, the team began playing the song after every touchdown, a tradition which continues to this day. Since then, other NFL teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams (who performed their Bob and Weave touchdown dance to this song in 1999) also began to play it following every touchdown. The song was also used by the New York Knicks after taking late leads during the mid-90s. Some commercial FM radio stations use the song as a "wake-up call" for their morning show openings; WMJI-FM, a commercial radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, primarily features the song on Friday mornings.

His son Rex Rundgren is a shortstop in the Florida Marlins organization. Currently, in the 2006 season, he is beginning his third season with the Class AA Carolina Mudcats, for whom he has played since 2004.

He also has two other sons, Randy and Rebop Rundgren.

Todd also composed and recorded theme music for the American pilot for cult UK sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf. It was never aired.

On the day he shot and killed John Lennon, Mark David Chapman left an eight-track tape of Rundgren's album The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, along with other artifacts, in his New York hotel room in an orderly semicircle on the hotel dresser. "I left it as a statement, I guess," he was quoted as saying in Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman, the Man Who Killed John Lennon (Jack Jones, Villard Books, 1992). Chapman had been obsessed with Rundgren and told Jones, "Right between the chambers of your heart is how Rundgren's music is to me. I cannot overestimate the depth of what his music meant to me."

In the pilot of That 70s Show the main characters attend a Todd Rundgren concert. One of the jokes has character Jackie pretending to be a serious Rundgren fan, but she doesn't know how to pronounce his name correctly(Todd Rundamen). During the end credits, all the main characters sing along to "Hello It's Me". This credit sequence was again used in the final episode of the show.

Song Of The Viking... he's not taking it very seriously:

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