Todd Rundgren new SACD titles, mastered Kevin Gray

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jack, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Jack

    Jack I don’t download, stream or 5.1. Thread Starter

    Orange, MA
    I’m afraid I can’t help as I only have used it for 2channel with no mixing. As it no longer plays sacd, I have just ordered a new bluray player on Crutchfield. Todd will have to wait until Wednesday.
  2. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    My go to is an excellent vinyl rip of US promo lp (yes I know it's missing a song and censored), sacd not here yet. Thanks for the review
  3. Larry L

    Larry L Forum Resident

    Allen, Texas
    I ordered both, but only received AWATS.
    No explanation why S/A wasn't included.
  4. Musicisthebest

    Musicisthebest Forum Resident

    Manchester, UK
    It's not released until next week (as mentioned earlier in this thread).
  5. Larry L

    Larry L Forum Resident

    Allen, Texas
    Thanks, I missed that.
  6. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Oakland, CA
    Not quickly with a scanner but you could do it on Discogs. I used to use a scanner app on the barcode but realized it was not always the best way to go because there were often multiple releases with the same barcode, but that still is a decent way to get a sense quickly even if not entirely accurate.
    Monasmee likes this.
  7. Aardvark23

    Aardvark23 Forum Resident

    North Carolina
    OK, so now I have had a chance to listen to the Wizard SACD. As I apologized in advance for needing a clear runway to actually play it, it appears that that was not satisfactory speed for some of our forum members. Anyway here goes....
    I am not qualified as a critical listener in my humble opinion, so please take any comments I make in light of that fact, so take it easy on me.
    This is one of my favorite records of all time, so I am pretty familiar with it's many shortcomings from an audio quality perspective. I have only listened to the SACD layer as well.
    The first track - International Feel - was a letdown. I wasn't expecting the mastering to work miracles and turn this into a Steely Dan quality recording, but I could tell very little difference between this and the other 2 CD versions I have (one is a Japanese release with a die cut cover, and the other is the standard Bearsville USA release). Thin, brittle, crummy bottom end, and not an improvement. However as the first LP side continued, things got better in places. I agree with the earlier reviewer that even though this is a very congested original recording, there is is some improvement with the presence of the vocals and some of the "special effects", so that makes it worthwhile, but just barely. It is probably very hard to polish a turd.
    The second vinyl side fairs much better, and I agree this overall is the best CD version available of this release that I have heard. This is such an extraordinary piece of music, there is no question it's worth the investment, just don't expect a radical improvement - Todd has stated somewhere that he futzed with the original tape a lot during it's recording so it ain't gonna get much better if we never see the original multitracks entirely remixed - I thought somebody somewhere said they are missing.
  8. mongo

    mongo Forum Resident

    Thanks, Aardvark.
    I for one never expected a miracle given the source but there is always hope.
    I have this SACD but given my current situation, I won't be able to listen for a few months.
    Thanks for your honest and believable take.
    Something\Anything? will be better.
    Larry L and George P like this.
  9. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I'd love to hear a comparison of the two - the reel-to-reel version versus the CD version. The commercial reel-to-reel tape is selling from $165 to $399! Yikes!
    jkauff and ispace like this.
  10. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    Not wanting to miss out on the fun, I ordered this Wizard SACD. It will be my first copy of this album. And it arrives today!
    bruce2, rednedtugent and Juggsnelson like this.
  11. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Albuquerque NM
    Way cool, have you heard Wizard before?
  12. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    Yeah and I found it challenging, to say the least. But I want to support Kevin Gray's work, he's on my short list of favorite mastering engineers.

    And i want to challenge myself.
  13. Urban Spaceman

    Urban Spaceman Forum Goofy-Footer

    I ordered AWATS from Deep Discount - currently on backorder. I am hoping I enjoy it more than the review above. It is one of my favorite albums, but knowing the limitations of cramming the album onto one vinyl disc made we wonder if a proper digital release could improve things. I don't have any CD version to compare to (just the vinyl LP) though I have other Todd CDs from the first batch issued by Rhino many years ago. Wasn't there some issue regarding having the right dolby test tones available to remaster from the original tapes? Wonder what the source / process was for the sacd......
  14. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Albuquerque NM
    May I suggest a glass of wine....
  15. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Albuquerque NM
    Read years ago that one side of the album's original tapes was lost although I cannot provide a source.
  16. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    That would mess everything up, as I've been sober for over 22 years.
  17. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Albuquerque NM

    Sorry about that....
    Juggsnelson, sacsongs and George P like this.
  18. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    No problem at all. I interpreted your post as a suggestion to let go and relax.
    Juggsnelson and Monasmee like this.
  19. rstamberg

    rstamberg Forum Resident

    Riverside, CT
    You’re in for a treat. AWATS is a fine, unique Todd album. Haven’t opened my SACD yet, though.
    Jack likes this.
  20. neil

    neil Forum Resident

    Culver City
    I am going to wait on ordering either one of them. While Something Anything has always sounded pretty good, AWATS has never sounded good, and I have purchased about a dozen different versions over the years. Unless this beats the last reissue go-round I'm out.
  21. Mooserfan

    Mooserfan Forum Resident

    Allentown, PA
    Somebody has to give me the secret to getting into AWATS. I love Todd, but mostly mainstream Todd I guess (S/A, Ballad of, Hermit, etc.), and when I got to AWATS it seemed so scattershot, insular/self-absorbed, at times intentionally off putting...just a mess really (although it has some beautiful moments). A topic for another thread I suppose---maybe if I keep it on repeat for a few days I might crack the code. :)
    Joti Cover and George P like this.
  22. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The secret is that during that period, Todd was taking Ritalin - which has to qualify as the strangest drug choice of any rock star. From Wikipedia:

    During the recording of Something/Anything?, he began using the stimulant Ritalin and he later said that it had a marked effect both on the style of his music and on his productivity:

    "It (Ritalin) caused me to crank out songs at an incredible pace. 'I Saw the Light' took me all of 20 minutes. You can see why, too, the rhymes are just moon/June/spoon kind of stuff..."​

    Speaking of the effect on A Wizard, A True Star (1973), Rundgren commented:

    "With drugs I could suddenly abstract my thought processes in a certain way, and I wanted to see if I could put them on a record. A lot of people recognized it as the dynamics of a psychedelic trip—it was almost like painting with your head."​

    I believe that Todd was ADD or ADHD and self-medicated with Ritalin. AWATS is a classic example of someone with a truly absurd amount of talent coupled with a brain that just fizzed.

    Orsen Welles described a movie studio as "the best train set a boy could ever have." The recording studio was Todd's train set.

    I have no idea if this will help.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  23. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Brooklyn, New York
    I seem to remember reading he was taking LSD during that time.
    JDeanB likes this.
  24. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    He said he didn't, but that he did do magic mushrooms.
    ralphb likes this.
  25. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls
    Jumping ahead, but are there plans to give other parts of Todd's catalog the treatment? Todd, Hermit of Mink Hollow and Healing would be excellent candidates.
    Musicisthebest and DPM like this.

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