Getting into Todd Rundgren - where to next?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by warewolf95, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    No offense- I love the song Healer, and I like those themes in songs, it’s more of the stuff I’ve read in interviews, but again love his records, read all the books, etc
     
  2. DirkM

    DirkM Member

    Location:
    MA, USA
    I'll second this. I still can't believe that Somebody To Fall Back On was created with just one guy's voice (albeit aided by quite a bit of studio trickery).
     
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  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I've mentioned this story before, so survivors of previous Todd threads, bear with me.

    Paul Fishkin, Todd's one-time roommate, became an executive at Bearsville. Todd brought in the song as a demo - just piano and vocal. Fishkin said that he and his fellow executives had a nearly orgasmic reaction, and "started picking out the color of the sports cars they were all going to buy." Todd was appalled by the naked greed, said "It's not finished!" and added all the synths and percussion.

    Fishkin later said the original was the sort of song to which "virginities were lost" and it would have been a timeless classic.

     
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  4. strummer101

    strummer101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lakewood OH
    There's worse ways to spend 4 hours over 4 days. I know, because I've done it. :p
     
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  5. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    This is entirely my own opinion, but Todd seems to be a deist, like Thomas Jefferson - seeking and questioning in equal measure.
     
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  6. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I have an eight hour bus trip tomorrow. I'll see if it's on my hard drive.
     
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  7. drewslo

    drewslo Well-Known Member

    I've met and interviewed Todd several times. Always completely honest and friendly in a genuine way.
     
  8. DirkM

    DirkM Member

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Great post! ADGOF has never been one of my favourite Todd tracks, but this version is just heavenly.
     
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  9. drewslo

    drewslo Well-Known Member

    "Liars" is the essential later Todd album. Most of his recent albums are inconsistent but the flashes of brilliance are always there. If you like "Initiation" or "Healing", you may like "Runddans" which came out a couple of years ago and is a return to that sound.
     
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  10. telecode101

    telecode101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    yeah. that was for no world order. i went to that one.

    there was an interactive CD-ROM where you could (sort of) generate your own versions of the songs. i still have that thing. i think i would need to spin up a windows 95 VM machine to run it.

     
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  11. telecode101

    telecode101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I watched that thing a year or two ago. The guy who did it did pretty good job with it. I saw stuff i never saw before .. and I thought I was one of the biggest Todd fan that I know of in my generation.
     
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  12. warewolf95

    warewolf95 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    So I've basically been just spinning everything I can get my hands on.

    I haven't heard a single album so far that I dislike.

    I'm spinning Another Live for the first time right now and am enjoying the HECK out of it! :)

    This is my kind of "prog". I'm not one for spacey atmospherics ala Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd.

    I like GUITAR and catchiness and epic grandiosity. Yes, Zappa, Genesis, etc.

    I like my prog rock to actually rock, ya know? The first few Utopia albums are hitting ALL the right buttons with me.

    Like I said, I'm enjoyign everything but these are the albums so far that are really "getting" to me, ya know?

    Utopia, RA, Another Live
     
  13. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    It worked on Windows 7. I haven't tried it on 10 yet. It had 990 4 bar musical segments that were varied mixes of the original songs - acapella to instrumental. I asked Todd about the database driving it, and he said it was just a naming convention. I wish I had something to take the Director code apart, as I would love to turn it into a web app.
     
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  14. No problem with that at all actually... recommend away, if you feel so moved... For the record I found most all angles of his work pretty darn compelling from the late 60's to the late 80's (not just the early 70's)
     
  15. telecode101

    telecode101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Well, his newer stuff I like because I will listen to pretty much anything, and that includes some very modern releases by current artists.

    Global (2015) is EDM-ish and I like some types of EDM. Terra Firma and Soothe Rise from that release are my favs. It took a few listens to get into the record though.

    The new one White Knight (2017) is a bit of a Rundgren does a duets type album. My fav songs so far are Come, Wouldn't You Like To Know, This Is Not A Drill, Sleep, Tin Foil Hat. The songs sort of sound like what the guest artists he is collaborating sound like. e.g. Tin Foil is Steely Danish, Drill had a Satrinai type vibe to it e.t.c..

    White Knight (album) - Wikipedia

    But all in all, his newer records do not have the magic that originally attracted me to TR and his music. It does not have the song writing and the production that made those records he made for Bearsville so magical (to my ears at least). From Faithful, Hermit and Healing are the stuff that I feel was the peak of what Rundgren was doing. There was something about the combination of the instruments, the equipment and the recording techniques he was using in that studio in the suburbs of Woodstock, NY that gave those records a defining sound and feel. It is not present in the music he is making digitally on a laptop or whatever he is currently using. I think I read somewhere the DAW is Reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  16. awizard

    awizard Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Massacusetts
    Todd/Utopia's catalog on CD is a minefield. Check out this older thread if you are truly interested!

    Rundgren/Utopia: the original CDs (Rhino and Castle)
     
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  17. warewolf95

    warewolf95 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Im totally interested. Thanks for the link. I've listened to almost nothing else for the last 2 days. :)
     
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  18. Stencil

    Stencil Member

    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    If you can find any live video stuff from the RA tour about 1977 or so watch it. It was an amazing show to see live.
     
  19. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    Todd has been on Daryl Hall's TV program twice and each time, it has been wonderful and his voice his been in great shape (unlike some concert tapes I have heard).
    You should try and see them.
    And if you're a vegetarian, skip over the eating parts.
     
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  20. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Respectfully, I disagree. Wouldn't You Like To Know off of White Knight is as strong a song as any from his heyday.

    The most defining thing about those records was that he was using outboard 31-band graphic equalizers on every channel. They have a tendency to introduce phase issues compared to the normal shelving (at high and low) and parametric (mids) EQs on a regular board.

    He probably has changed since this article was written, but in 2009 he was using Reason, Riffworks, a Line6 amp emulator and a whole bunch of samples.

    Music: Todd Rundgren | Mixonline
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  21. uzn007

    uzn007 Forum Resident

    Hoo boy are you in for a treat.
     
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  22. uzn007

    uzn007 Forum Resident

    There's a solo piano version of "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" from the BBC that's absolutely heartbreaking, but I haven't been able to find it on YT so this one will have to do.

     
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  23. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA

    The first Utopia is on my top ten all time favorite lists, and I was gonna suggest that.

    Todd has done a metric buttload of different things over his very long career, but in terms of prog-experimental etc.... hard to beat that Utopia album.

    A Wizard a True Star has some experimental stuff on it too if you havent heard that. It gets pretty weird in spots.
     
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  24. warewolf95

    warewolf95 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    :D

    Tell me about it.
     
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  25. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    When Todd did the amazing Todd/Healing tour in 2010 (for those who are just joining us, he did both albums in full) he hired a choir at each location. The DVD sadly features the weakest of the choirs, but both Akron, OH and Muskegon, MI featured amazing Black gospel choirs. Each choir learned the music to charts and a remixed version of the album, then worked with the Choir Master Dirk Hillyer, then finally worked with Todd for the sound check. I was able to talk to a couple of the ladies of the Muskegon choir, who really enjoyed the experience of learning the music and working with Todd that afternoon and evening. I really loved that one of the ladies said of Todd "That boy's got soul!" and we got to talking about the Philly soul influence on his music.
     
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