Saturday, 23 September 2017

Oddly Enough .... Todd


Going back to the seventies again for my walking listening, though for the first time I think that Pacer may not be performing as it should,  though it's logged 7K today leaving me to do 65K between now and next Saturday night.

Anyway after the revelation of "Freak Out" and Mark talking seventies music I thought I'd take a ride on Todd Rundgren's "Todd" album, a double vinyl release that I first bought on cassette from Laskey's in Preston Guidhall. I got the album home and the cassette player chewed it so I took it back and exchanged it for the double vinyl edition. Here's the Wiki entry, with links to other albums mentioned.

To most of you Todd Rundgren will mean nothing, if you have heard anything it may be "I Saw The Light" , but you will have heard his work , he was a very in demand producer and was responsible for the sound and some of the paying on Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" which you will know and maybe even have a copy of.

Anyway Todd was a double album and came in about 64 minutes , the album after, "Initiation"  was a single album and clocked in at 69 minutes , at the time the longest rock album ever put out. It came with instructions to always play with a brand new needle to avoid unnecessary damage to the grooves. That could have got very expensive and people tended to go for the cassette version.

At that time (1974) me and schoolfriends were usually wary of anything outside normal rock paramters, though those parameters were all over the place (I was a fan of The Bonzo Dog Band and T Rex and Northern Soul) , we were also into Krautrock and Space Rock and anything "out there". Soul was frowned upon, although Stevie Wonder, Parliament , Funkadelic, Gloria Jones,The Supremes and James Brown were OK.

Anyway Todd Rundgren came onto our radar and I got the album home and listened to it, four sides that seemed to cover every acceptable base , then a few more also making them acceptable.

The opening "How About A Little Fanfare" is really a continuation from the wonderful "A Wizard/ A True Star" album. The thing is as you listen to this album it has everything and takes you off to places you don't expect to go, "Spark of Life" is almost Krautrock and definitely Space Rock, then we have Gilbert & Sullivan "Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song" from "Iolanthe", along with some pure soul such as "The Last Ride".

Todd in Names
 "No. 1 Lowest Common Denominator" which is what Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9" would be in an alternate universe. There are a lot of songs to enjoy and when the tape shredding transposition from "Izzat Love" to "Heavy Metal Kids" hits tape owners must have thought that's another one gone.

The album finishes with "Sons of 1984" a live song featuring "First United Church of the Cosmic Smorgasbord" which was the audiences from two live outdoor gigs in Central Parlk And San Francisco making it possibly the biggest number of backing vocals on a song ever (I don't know if that's still true). I think that their names were recorded on a poster included with the vinyl album which replicated the cover using the names.





All in all another essential album, that I have just revisited and been amazed by because it just reminded me of how good it was itn the first place. If you buty it on CD you get some extra live songs including a cover of possibly Jeff Lynne and The Move's finest three minutes "Do Ya" .

Listening to   "No. 1 Lowest Common Denominator" has reminded me that I need to load some Hendrix onto the phone for some more listening, although I am willing to take any suggestions from you.

I've had a good day today, hope you enjoy your evening