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Ken Berryman <firstname.lastname@example.org> (02.01.2003)
Anyone who can pen a beautiful love song and at the same time deliver a head-banging rocker has got to be special - Todd Rundgren = Genius in my book - and way ahead of his time - I always wished he would have done his own blues album instead of playing back-up on James Cotton's "Takin' Care of Business" album(little known trivia fact).
Pedro Andino <email@example.com> (05.10.2005)
what do I think of him? well I got 5 words: talent, experiments, cult status, producing, and hits!. he started as a member of the nazz before heading into his solo career with 2 albums: runt and the ballad of todd rundgren. he was like a 70's beck. something/anything was the double lp that shook the world and gave todd success with hello it's me I saw the light and also has experiments like black maria, piss aron, I went to the mirror and song of the viking. follwed by a wacky album called a wizard a true star. he mixes with pop, soul, rock, electronica, joke songs, nolvelty stuff, kids tunes, metal and avantgarde. he then follwed it up with todd and things get odd! but it was packed with songs like just one victory, izzat love, sons of 1984, and a dream goes on forever. then came initiation with the smash real man and side 2 is gobbled by a 36 minute synth suite treatise on cosmic fire! then came faithful with more hits like good vibrations. he then formed utopia with the debut and scored with the excellent utopia theme and the long jam the ikon. utopia continued the prog rock with RA but then cut the prog down and went arena rock with oops wrong planet and hermit of mink hollow. with hits like love is the answer, love in action, the 18 minute singring and the glass guitar, can we still be friends and eternal love. utopia and todd go togheter in the 80's with adventures in utopia, deface the music, healing and swing to the right. the he became in love with computers and he makes cd's with computer design. what a guy!
Jeanne Newcomb <firstname.lastname@example.org> (19.01.2006)
I don't know how often people reply, here goes.Todd Rundgren's music is unlike any music I've ever heard. Like many others, my knowledge was limited to the three or four songs we all know. Then I saw him in 1990 in Denver, completely on a whim, bought the tickets at the box office 10 minutes before it began. I was electrified! So I went out & bought the only two cassette tapes the record store had. They were EPTAE and Wizard. I wore them both out and a few more since. But recently a strange metamorphosis has taken place. It started when I saw Liars Live on On Demand. Since then I've bought every movie and CD I can find. My boyfriend who is a bass player thinks he's okay, but he thinks I'm crazy. (It is like I'm crazy) Anyway, he hit the nail on the head when he said, speaking of Todd's music; 'It grows on you" And it really does I'll shoot this out into cyberspace now
'Hello It's Me' is simply delivered with much more conviction here than in Rundgren's remake, the bridge of which sounds more "dental" to my ears than any of poor Mr. Gilmour's stuff. Otherwise, we be in agreement.An aside: Sounds like this was an influence on Hall & Oates. Big deal...
Nome Poem <NOMEPOEM@aol.com> (12.12.2000)
It's like one of bizarre yet wonderful things. For instance ...I bought "hey Joe" as a reprise single with one of those photo jackets that 45's used to come in. The flipside was a little known and/or heard ditty named 51st Anniversary. Unlike all of the posthumous releases of Hendrix, some of which had musicians spliced into them who Hendrix never knew(let alone played with)and some that were produced by people who took the license to actually delete tracks (that were actually recorded by Hendrix himself) in favor of something they felt would go over better, 51st Anniversary was one of those cuts that never made it onto any of the albums that were released during his lifetime .......yet was an authentic Jimi release......complete with his feel and live presence. I say that because even though it took until ElectricLady for Jimi to completely take over and dominate the producing reins...........you could still unmistakingly recognize anything that was released that he had any say so or live energy input into it. I mean...you can just HEAR it seeping out of the grooves.ie: his 1st two albums. Well with all of the recent repackaging of Hendrix i'm sure that 51st Anniversary has finally been re-released somewhere. And that's good. But i say all of this to say that i felt that because of it's anonymity since 1966 or 7 it was like mine. My own private cherished secret. Something that not many people were aware of and i claimed it greedily and selfishly. Sort of like "Hey Hey What Can I Say" which was never released in it's heyday on any Led Zep album but was the flipside single to "Immigrant Song" i believe. That too ....i used to play and covet and no one was aware. It was an authentic release in as much it had the original Zep band on it complete with Bonham.......and plus it was good enough to be on any of there albums....It was just a matter of fate and decisions and circumstance that it never turned up on one. I hear it played on classic rock stations all of the time so i have to assume that it has since been released on some compilation disc. Just like currently i've been listening to the current saviour of all musickind (since the death of Hendrix) .....Milton Nasciemento from Brazil. He's my little secret yet i'm sure that when he dies he'll be hailed as the GOD and SALVATION that he is. That's Life .Well back to Nazz. I discovered this album while working in the talent agency that represented them back in 1968. I was a mailroom worker so new albums came through my grubby hands all of the time. I played them and went through a break up with a girlfriend with them and "If that's the way you feel " is emblazoned on my subconcious as an ultimate love lost song. Every 7 or so years i go back to this album and play it for about 4 or 5 days. The cuts are strong today as they were 33 years ago......and that's saying a lot because your vision can become obscured with time by all of the derivatives you've been forced to withstand. Even then ....they weren'y run of the mill by those heady and creative 60's times and yardstick. The ballads were touching,real and poingnant and heralded the coming of what and who was to become a premier songwriting and rock genius/enigma of our times.....Rundgren. The pure youthful energy and innocence not only touches me now in a nostalgic era lost and yearning for it kind of way............but they had that fragile quality even then when i was a 18 year old youth right along with them. I was an urban boy but i felt and accepted there cry of suburban angst for its authentic core ...which made it so universal. Wildwood Blues and the other rockers had more of that Cream tightly spur wound metal splinters flying ensemble sound than it did a Hendrix sound. But young Todd was serious with it ...he meant it ...and was taking no prisoners and you had to meet him on those terms as opposed to holding them up to some other band's yardstick. and then to cap it all off you had serious off the cuff topical songwriting gems like "When i get my plane". Imagine my suprise when i just happened by your review of this album which has been a serious part of MY LIFE which i really didn't think that anyone else ever gave a serious listen to. I hope somebody reads this
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I can see your point about Todd's lack of soul or his own personality because you don't know him. Todd Rundgren is a schizophrenic artist from the get go- so much so that he had to form an alter ego (the band Utopia) to explore his 'progressive ' ideas and leave his pop ideas for his solo albums. I remember a promotional poster for Something/Anything. It was of grinning Todd lighting a stick of dynamite and a caption underneath of him saying "go ahead ignore me".As schizoid as it may be those stylistic shifts of Something/Anything IS Todd Rundgren's soul and personality. Like you , I don't care for 'Breathless' (although I do get a kick out of 'Sounds Of the Studio' game that precedes it. I also don't care too much for 'Song of the Viking' which sounds like Todd messing around.However I really don't see the problem with 'Black Maria' and I think it's one of the best songs on the whole album. It has Toddy boy rockin' out in a way he rarely does with Utopia. 'Sweeter Memories' is nice unpredictable bluesy number where the phrasing and rhythms hit where you least expect it. 'Hello It's Me' is gorgeous (and Todd's biggest hit ever) much improved from when he recorded it with his first group the Nazz. If the photo you have of the cd is any indication of the version of Something/Anything you purchased, you weren't paying for just 2 discs - you were paying for 2 24k Gold discs (which supposedly has superior sound quality and are longer lasting). For a good overview of Todd Rundgrens career, get Anthology (1968-1985) -yes another 2 cd set. Some prefer this set as opposed to Rundgren's separate albums because gives you the music and cuts out some of his pretensions.
Brilliant stuff, yes but why oh why did he go and remake 'Hello It's Me'? It sounds tarted up compared to the version he did with Nazz on their first album, Nazz, far outshines it. Recommended for all, not just Rundgren fans (Rhino R2 70109)
your right ..todd is boring,overated and lacks any soul .he makes corperate girl music (I'm right? did I say all that? - G. S.).
Anders Nilsson <email@example.com> (12.10.2000)
This is Todd's best album in my opinion and also on of my top 10 favourite albums of all time and absolutely the best one man-album. As a tunesmith I think Todd was only surpassed by Lennon/McCartney, Brian Wilson and Elton John. Something/Anything is like you said Todd's attempt of making his own White Album and I think he succeeded. I also think that with your pace of work on this site, maybe you sometimes don't have time to listen enough to the music you review. A double album could be really hard to sit through the first couple of times and you're much more concentrated on the music on the first couple of tracks. On albums that we just listen to a couple of times we tend to like the first songs better and the fact that your favourite songs here are the two first songs on the first side of the first disc makes me think that you maybe need to listen to this record a couple of more times.
Mark Blakemore <MarkBlakemore@hotmail.com> (20.02.2001)
Hi George,I think Todd may be one of the few sizeable holes in your extensive site!! I think its fair to say that as a double Something/anything is meandering and patchy in parts and perhaps lacking any real sonic variety (in regards to Tempo and volume) over its length. However I think the majority of the first CD (or first 2 sides of vinyl!) is a masterclass in classic ballad writing. The tracks are immaculately written, performed and sung and are evocative and moving (Or maybe I'm a sentimentalist...). I think the second CD is much more patchy (minus some obvious exceptions) and I play it much less. As mentioned the album could of been a classic double. I'd give the whole set a '9' I think Todd has made 2 or 3 better albums however, and judging by your varied taste and love of originality some that you would definately prefer. I would recommend any lover of truly creative music to check out A wizard/ A True Star without hesitation. This is an incredibly diverse collection with everything in it - from classic ballads to manic rockers...check it out. Its got bundles of creative ideas all cramed into its 50-odd minutes length. Its also the album that puts forward Todd's claim as the premiere synth pioneer of the early 70's (along with Stevie Wonder of course), atleast in regards to using the synth as a 'proper' compostional tool and genuine instrument, as opposed to a gadjet that makes funny noises. I'd also recommend Todds first solo album Runt (some excellent rockers) and the second side of Faithful for some of his best songwriting. Great site by the way that has proved to be an enlightening read.
James Hunter <firstname.lastname@example.org> (30.01.2006)
well, I really like it. It ain't perfect, but it has some great, and I mean GREAT songs. For one thing, I love "The Night The Carousel Burnt Down" and I'm disappointed no one else I've seen feels the same way. Pretty much all of the first side rules. Unfortunately it does suffer from it-would-make-a-damn-good-single-albumitis. Some of the stuff is definitely filler. I still like it.
I remember about ten years ago, after I'd exhaused the catalogs of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Yes, and a number of other prog bands, somebody told me to check this album out. So I picked it up on used vinyl. What complete crap -- a woeful combination of not being musicianly enough to interest the listener like a prog band, yet forgoing the melodic approach of regular pop music. And it has every cheezy trapping of mid-'70s pseudo-prog to boot. How anybody can listen that refrain in the title track ("Yewtooooooopia!") without doubling over in hysterical laughter, I have no idea. So, all you Kansas fans, Boston fans, and Dream Theater fans, take note: there's another really crappy band out there that you need to check out, called Todd Rundgren's Utopia.[Special author note: I have to confront the worthy reader on that one, because both of his arguments don't work for me. The band IS musicianly enough to interest the listener like a prog band - they're miles tighter and more skilful than Kansas or Boston ever was; and the band does NOT forgo the melodic approach of pop music, what with 'Freedom Fighters' and lots of moments in 'The Ikon' being poppy and memorable. This is what makes me forgive all the "cheezy trappings". But I certainly can see where one would compare them with these bands, it's just not entirely justified.]
dL <email@example.com> (17.06.2005)
Yes, the opening track was recorded live in Nov 1973. And the comparison between this an Roxy & Elsewhere is more than accurate. (BTW, FZ and TR planned to do a "New Year's Eve extravaganza gig" together at the Forum in NYC in 1975. Unfortunately it never happened
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Pedro Andino <firstname.lastname@example.org> (10.09.2005)
RA is an underrated album by utopia. between his solo efforts like something/anything and a wizard a true star, he creates psychadelic albums. some say he got into chemical substances but he denied! he done every album full of crazy todd rundgren work until he snapped out of it in hermit of mink hollow.1.OVERTURE: MOUNTAINTOP AND SUNRISE/ COMMUNION WITH THE SUN: STARTS WITH A SYNTH BLAST THEN BOOM YOU ARE IN PROG HEAVEN. A MIX OF YES MEETS BEACH BOYS WITH HARMONIES AND LINES LIKE ''RA, HOLY SYNTHESIZER.'' SOME SAY THE KEYBOARD IS REALLY DATED BUT HEY I LIKE THIS PROG POP SONG. 2.MAGIC DRAGON THEATER: ODDBALL SHOWTUNES. THIS TRACK IS SO FUNNY IT IS LIKE AS IF YOU WERE WATCHING SID AND MARTY KROFT SHOWS LIKE LAND OF THE LOST. 3.JEALOUSY: GOING INTO JOURNEY/FORIEGNER TYPE ROCK WITH A GREAT HEAVY SOLO FROM TODD AND THE MAY ALSO DO THIS KIND OF THING ON OOPS WRONG PLANET. 4.ETERNAL LOVE: I LOVE IT HOW CAN YOU HATE THAT SONG YOU FORGOT THE A CAPELLA. SHOULDA BEEN A HIT SINGLE. 5.SUNBURST FINISH: MIX OF PROG AND FUSION THE SONG IS AN EPIC WITH SUN GOD IMAGES AND EGYPT. A MIX OF YES, QUEEN, AND THE BEACH BOYS. OKAY I WILL SPARE YOU ANY REFERENCE OF KANSAS I KNOW YOU HATE THEM. IT IS WAY BETTER THAN SONG FOR AMERICA. 6.HIROSHIMA: nuclear weapons, japan, anda great solo, then a political voice announces this is the united states of america. the BOOOOOM SSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. the frying pan sound. 7.SINGRING AND THE GLASS GUITAR AN ELECTRIFIED FAIRY TALE: ORKO VOICE:''THIS IS AN ELECTRIFIED FAIRY TALE. IF YOU NEVER HEARD OF AN ELECTRIFIED FAIRY TALE JUST PICTURE FAIRIES WITH WEE TINY ELCTRIC GUITARS!'' SOUNDS LIKE ORKO FROM HE MAN. I WILL TELL YOU THE SOLOS. FIRST SOLO. UNDERWATER DRUM SOLO. LOVED THE BUBBLE EFFECTS. SECOND SOLO. BASS GUITAR IN THE WIND. THIRD SOLO. SYNTH BATTLE WITH THE DRAGON. AS THE BATTLE GOES THE SYNTHS HAS LASER SOUNDS AND THE DRAGON DIES. FOURTH SOLO. GUITAR SOLO AT THE MOUNTAIN. FUNNY PARODY OF THE PROG ROCK SUITES LIKE CLOSE TO THE EDGE. TOO BAD TODD NEVER DID THAT KIND OF THING AGAIN. 13/15.
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