I pick up Todd Rundgren albums when I find them. It’s not that I am a fan. He does however fascinate me. He is at times prog master, pop singer, soul singer, electronic pioneer or that guy who gets so much music on one record you will destroy it if you play it. He seems an odd man, pretty genuine, a maverick and an iconoclast. He also is honest enough to take a gig as it will pay the bills, see his work with the New Cars or Ringo’s All Starr Band.
I’ve been listening to Rundgren in his various guises since I borrowed Hermit of Mink Hollow from the library on the basis of he played guitar on Bat out of Hell. The only song that really stayed with me was Onomatopoeia, which may be the worst song on the album, I then moved on to Initiation which I got used and was virtually unplayable because of the amount of music he crammed onto both sides but was fun enough if forgettable. I then moved onto his prog work with Utopia, I think he may be the only US musician who really got prog, of course this is based on exhaustive research that resulted in it being the only US prog I liked. He has obviously written some great songs produced some great albums and got into arguments with Andy Partridge which is way more than I have ever managed, but I find myself liking the albums while they play but I may not ever need to hear any of them again.
So the other day I found this oddity and it made me think of Bruce over at Vinyl Connection and his recent ’77 series, as well as his posts about albums released in ’67. Basically Todd did the same thing in ’76 but being a musician and not a blogger he dedicated a whole side of his album to songs he loved from 1967. He missed the decade connection by a few months but what the hell that would be too perfect. The A-side covers are Faithful, get that recreations of the originals, the B-side Todd Rundgren originals.
As with all Rundgren albums it’s a fun listen, the originals are much better than the covers, some guitar histrionics, sardonic lyrics and great production but at the end of the day I have no real connection to it other than I know it is well produced sounds great while it’s playing and will sit on the shelf until I want to hear my other White Album.
Here is the track list for those interested.