Todd Rundgren: C or D

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I grabbed a copy of the Toddster's "Go Ahead, Ignore Me" (a doubledisc retrospective) this weekend. I've always been of the opinion that he's way underappreciated -- he's got at least two classic albums, one of which (A Wizard, A True Star) is in my all-time top twenty. He was the all-in-one studio whiz that Prince modeled himself after, he's less pretentious and funnier than Frank Zappa whilst still being totally wacked most of the time, he's got a prize collection of sweet-pop singles, and he's not afraid to be ridiculous. So I'm saying classic.

J, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

What are you saying, tho?

J, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i'm saying he's smug and twee

owen hatherley, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mostly classic. He had some sappy moments though, that I just can't get past. ..And some experiments that weren't that great.. But from 1972 to 1978, Todd was the> man - and so he gains a permanent "classic" moniker. (And a lot of the stuff after '78 was great too - but debatable if it was classic.)

Dave225, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Absolute classic regardless, but less pretentious than Zappa? Ever heard "Healing"? Any of the Utopia stuff? On another note: was Todd the first green-haired pop star?

briania, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Ra is probably the most pretentious Todd (outside of that TR-1 stuff he's doing now), and that's loads less pretentious than The Yellow Shark or even Lumpy Gravy. But maybe I just think that 'cause I hate Zappa so much.

J, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh, I forgot about Ra, and also kind of discount TR-I. Gee, I really like Zappa, but it's a tough position to defend. "Pretentious" might not be a fair yardstick for these boy-genius types, or for any ambitious pop music. When I diss an artist for being pretentious, what I really mean is that their reach exceeds their grasp.

briania, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think we did Todd fairly recently. I'm coming round to the fact that the only real dog in Todd's massive solo catalogue is 1975's "Initiation". And even that contains Real Man, which is great. The series of LPs he recorded for Warners in the mid-to-late 80s are all full of fabulous sweet-soul ballads and are genuinely underappreciated, even by Todd aficionados. So he's "clever". That's cos he's clever!

But I can't stand Frank Zappa.

I'm really enjoying listening to The Nazz right now, thanks to the recently issued "Todd Sings The Nazz" CD. Seems like all they needed was a good singer. But I think we did The Nazz recently too, so I'll shut up now.

harveyw, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think we did Todd fairly recently.

I searched, I searched! Anybody got the link?

J, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

http://www.ilxor.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=007y9b

damn.

J, Monday, 29 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Todd Rundgren is great. A Wizard / A True Star and Something / Anything? are really good albums, and the stuff he did with Utopia, especially their first album and Another Live, is also wonderfull.

jonathan thrak, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I love "Wolfman Jack"

J Blount, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

six years pass...

new Rundgren LP - Arena - sort of a metal/stoner guitar record.
sounds good on paper, but the thing itself- i've seen better.
it's not the Todd it used to be..

Zeno, Monday, 22 September 2008 22:40 (thirteen years ago) link

My friends got me tickets to see him in November...kinda dreading it...never seen him live before and fear it could be a carwreck...

sonnyboy, Monday, 22 September 2008 23:05 (thirteen years ago) link

He's coming to the super-small community theatre in my town next month.

Bill Magill, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 13:59 (thirteen years ago) link

Haven't heard this, but the last one, Liars, was a huge return to form and probably his best record since the 1970's...

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 16:12 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qbzqv

titchy (titchyschneiderMk2), Wednesday, 20 January 2010 14:20 (eleven years ago) link

eight months pass...

"Bang on the Drum" is the best of the "Turn that off! That song couldn't be any more played out TURN IT OFF" songs.

Cunga, Saturday, 2 October 2010 21:37 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

Busy in Louisiana helping kids in the 9th Ward according to Offbeat magazine:

Todd Rundgren is coming to Louisiana in a big way: Not only is he playing the House of Blues (on June 23) and hosting his Toddstock fan convention at the Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, but he’ll be making a side trip to the Upper 9th Ward on June 19, where he’ll join the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward (YOL9W) to celebrate his 65th birthday

This month he launched a fan campaign to raise money for the YOL9W; as of this week they’d taken in more than $3,000. He’s also invited fans to design a logo for the Orchestra; the winning entry will be unveiled at the event. The after-school music program aims for social change through music; the group has played eight concerts this year and worked onstage with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

As part of the visit, the group will perform at least one of Rundgren’s songs with him.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 May 2013 14:00 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

So I've been a fan of Wizard and the pop hits on Very Best of for a little while and have just started exploring his vast discography. I've been listening fairly obsessively. Right now, I almost feel like he was classic on a Beatles level. The guy is almost depressingly talented. Not only is he wildly eclectic but he achieves a fairly high level of mastery at most of the things he attempted: singing, lead guitar, synths (and every other instrument on some albums!), production, songwriting; post-Beatles/Beach Boys pop-rock, 70s singer-songwriter tunes, post-Hendrix guitar solos, eccentric 1-minute art-pop songs, Zappa-meets-Yes epic prog, soul-pop balladeering, electronic new wave, wholesale replications of difficult works by classic artists. I'm pretty surprised by how consistently good I find many of his albums, considering how eclectic they are. I like all of these without much reservation: Runt; Something/Anything; A Wizard, a True Star; Hermit of Mink Hollow; Healing; the first two Utopia albums; Faithful. Plus, there's some really good stuff on Todd and Initiation (didn't get into that 35-min synthesizer composition though).

EveningStar (Sund4r), Saturday, 13 July 2013 05:10 (eight years ago) link

Faithful

I mean, I imagine that side 1 of this becomes pretty inessential once you get past how impressive it was as an exercise.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Saturday, 13 July 2013 05:29 (eight years ago) link

He was the all-in-one studio whiz that Prince modeled himself after

there are more than a few moments where he doesn't sound like the model for prince so much as he just simply sounds like prince. his version of "never never land" on wizard for example.

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:15 (eight years ago) link

Utopia's Deface the Music is way way better so far as a pastiche/homage/parody type thing goes, tho Faithful isn't really that, but y'know. Amazing record

albvivertine, Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:57 (eight years ago) link

that's weird; I had a dream about XTC last night and woke up thinking about the Rundgren-produced albums, then opened my computer to see this thread. I suppose I need to hear his own stuff now

imago, Saturday, 13 July 2013 09:18 (eight years ago) link

Imago, A Wizard, a True Star is still my favourite so I highly recommend that one. However, I'd also be interested to know what you'd think of the first Utopia album (this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Rundgren's_Utopia_(album) ), since it was his full-on prog album.

Deface the Music was actually the first TR album where I felt turned off pretty soon. It just reminded me of a kind of Beatlesque indie twee-pop that I don't care for. But maybe I'll try again. It's possible that I wasn't in the mood at the time. I didn't make it the whole way through. I love the Beatles so I'm not sure exactly what the problem was.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Saturday, 13 July 2013 11:49 (eight years ago) link

When you say "Runt", do you mean "Runt" or "Runt. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren"

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Saturday, 13 July 2013 12:00 (eight years ago) link

I meant the former, the one with "We Gotta Get You a Woman". I still haven't listened to all of The Ballad of.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Saturday, 13 July 2013 12:09 (eight years ago) link

I saw him live last night. full on EDM for the most part! The only old song he played was "secret society" from POV, wtf. Oh and he did EDM covers of "personality crisis" and "prime time". 3 piece band, electronic drum kit (think it was prarie prince), lasers, multiple pairs of scifi goggles. Some great guitar solos from Todd and the other guitarist, but todd was mainly singing and dancing. Idk, it was weird.

brimstead, Saturday, 13 July 2013 19:17 (eight years ago) link

t/s: oblivion vs. P.O.V.

brimstead, Saturday, 13 July 2013 19:22 (eight years ago) link

circle of amour by prince sounds pretty todd-y.

StillAdvance, Sunday, 14 July 2013 09:24 (eight years ago) link

Imago... I'd also be interested to know what you'd think of the first Utopia album (this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Rundgren's_Utopia_(album) ), since it was his full-on prog album.

Not Imago here, but if I may interrupt, I'd say it was...

http://lyriki.com/images/thumb/a/a4/AlbumArt-Various_Artists-Best_Prog_Rock_Album_(2003).jpg/250px-AlbumArt-Various_Artists-Best_Prog_Rock_Album_(2003).jpg

Oh, and Evening Star, stick with the 35-min synth composition ('A Treatise on Cosmic Fire'). I've always loved the first half of this, and then, about 30 years later, I finally learned to appreciate the rest of it!

Bloody Snail, Sunday, 14 July 2013 14:24 (eight years ago) link

"The Ikon" is really quite amazing - one of the greatest (and longest) prog epics. I never came around to "Treatise" but the start of part three (when things really start to go into full freak mode) is entertaining.

frogbs, Monday, 15 July 2013 01:17 (eight years ago) link

i adore the main riff of "the ikon". those first two utopia albums are so much fun. i could listen to Mid70s Todd and Roer jams forever.

regular speed of candy on chrome (brimstead), Monday, 15 July 2013 03:35 (eight years ago) link

roer = roger powell

regular speed of candy on chrome (brimstead), Monday, 15 July 2013 03:35 (eight years ago) link

that part in the Ikon when it turns into one of Todd's trademark awesome R&B ballads - the "you don't have to be afraid" bit, it always floors me because its really out of nowhere.

heres the real question - is he worth seeing live nowadays? he's coming to Milwaukee and tickets aren't really too bad - my Dad is big into Todd and I was thinking about taking him.

frogbs, Monday, 15 July 2013 03:46 (eight years ago) link

I saw him live last night. full on EDM for the most part! The only old song he played was "secret society" from POV, wtf. Oh and he did EDM covers of "personality crisis" and "prime time". 3 piece band, electronic drum kit (think it was prarie prince), lasers, multiple pairs of scifi goggles. Some great guitar solos from Todd and the other guitarist, but todd was mainly singing and dancing. Idk, it was weird.

― brimstead, Saturday, July 13, 2013 7:17 PM (2 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

regular speed of candy on chrome (brimstead), Monday, 15 July 2013 03:47 (eight years ago) link

Most of his new stuff is still really soulful, though, he opened with "truth" from Liars and that's kind of where the new stuff branches out from.

regular speed of candy on chrome (brimstead), Monday, 15 July 2013 03:49 (eight years ago) link

my bad, didnt fully read the thread - I dunno if that's good or bad, I don't think either of us have heard anything even up to POV, but his new stuff does get good reviews. interesting

frogbs, Monday, 15 July 2013 13:00 (eight years ago) link

i just remembered that he DID play a medley of "hello it's me"/"i saw the light"/"can we still be friends" for the encore. all sidechain-y dance pop versions.

regular speed of candy on chrome (brimstead), Monday, 15 July 2013 20:47 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

I'm astounded by how great the second side of Faithful is - combine it with side one of Initiation and you've got a hell of a record

frogbs, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 17:53 (eight years ago) link

for all the praise "Couldn't I Just Tell You" seems to get, "Love of the Common Man" is basically just as good, and maybe even more repeatable

frogbs, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 17:54 (eight years ago) link

IDM covers of "personality crisis" and "prime time".

I was just gonna ask "The Tubes' "Prime Time?" and then I went to youtube. Uh, yeah, that's kinda goofy. The synths sound way too thin and cheesy.

Same old bland-as-sand mood mouthings (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 28 August 2013 19:03 (eight years ago) link

Love of the Common Man is great

"Turkey In The Straw" coming from someplace in the clouds (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 28 August 2013 19:15 (eight years ago) link

five months pass...

this guy is a piece of shit

sXe & the banshees (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 25 February 2014 21:58 (seven years ago) link

a soulless fake prog nilsson is no way to go through life, son

sXe & the banshees (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 25 February 2014 21:59 (seven years ago) link

There is nothing fake about Rundgren's prog.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 25 February 2014 22:04 (seven years ago) link

Ummmm

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 25 February 2014 22:11 (seven years ago) link

a soulless fake prog nilsson

Even if this was true, it sounds like it would be pretty cool.

Non-Stop Erotic Calculus (bmus), Tuesday, 25 February 2014 22:22 (seven years ago) link

soulless? have you heard "the last ride"?

brimstead, Tuesday, 25 February 2014 22:53 (seven years ago) link

when i met her, it felt like the first time i heard "bang on the drum all day"

brimstead, Tuesday, 25 February 2014 22:55 (seven years ago) link

I adore "Freak Parade"

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 3 January 2020 19:47 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

the lyrics on this are pretty bad but man you could've fooled me into thinking this was a 40 year old outtake

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dmUlUNh0zU

frogbs, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 18:52 (one year ago) link

He sounds of reasonably good voice. Smart to put the vocals deeper into the mix. Not bad, TR.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:23 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

I'm here waiting for the election to be called, listening to Todd Rundgren's Todd and feeling ready to cry. this album reminds me so much of my Dad. he's still alive by the way. but it reminds me of growing up with him. he used to play songs from this particular album on the piano all the time. I never knew what they were (as a kid, I assumed my Dad wrote them himself). many years later I find the album Todd and realize that I already know half of these songs well. particularly "Don't You Ever Learn?" which I LOVED, it was my favorite thing for him to play. gets me so emotional lately. "A Dream Goes On Forever"...what a fucking tune

frogbs, Friday, 6 November 2020 04:17 (one year ago) link

I react that way in general to Rundgren's greatest songs; wish I could say the same of my dad, but he was a Chubby Checker guy.

clemenza, Friday, 6 November 2020 11:36 (one year ago) link

Love the Todd album except for the synth stuff at the beginning of side 4. I even shot a video for An Elpee's Worth of Tunes in high school.

It's startling to realize he released this double album (his second in 3 years) and the hour-long Utopia debut all in 1974.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 6 November 2020 13:03 (one year ago) link

Just heard the Nazz version of 'Hello, It's Me' for the first time yesterday (didn't even know it existed until very recently). Quite different from the solo version but also great in its own way.

I've mentioned it elsewhere on the board but I sincerely can't get through 'Sometimes I Don't Know How to Feel' without starting to cry. Every damn time.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Friday, 6 November 2020 13:16 (one year ago) link

Frogs, I love reading your tales of your dad and his affinity for prog.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Friday, 6 November 2020 13:56 (one year ago) link

I would love to be in a crowded bar tonite, drunk, singing "Sons of 1984" at the top of my lungs with a bunch of strangers. That won't happen, obviously, because of the pandemic and because nobody outside this thread knows that song. But it's how I feel right now!

henry s, Friday, 6 November 2020 14:14 (one year ago) link

last time I saw my Dad when we got in the car he said "I gotta play this song for you...it's called Firth of Fifth" and I was like "Dad are you just finding out about this now?"

frogbs, Friday, 6 November 2020 14:38 (one year ago) link

Todd has a few other songs from the mid-70s that fit the moment - Just One Victory and Freedom Fighters. His literal Trump song is Tin Foil Hat, from White Knight, with Donald Fagen singing.

Starting side 2 of A Wizard/A True Star with Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel and ending it with Just One Victory is a steep upward emotional trajectory!

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 6 November 2020 15:04 (one year ago) link

I always thought that in a just world, fans of victorious sports teams would sing "Just One Victory" after the final game, rather than (or maybe included with) "We Are The Champions."

henry s, Friday, 6 November 2020 15:14 (one year ago) link

when he played here (in Sheboygan!!!) they played the video for Tin Foil Hat during one of the costume changes and maaan did it make some people uncomfortable

the Utopia album Swing to the Right has some pretty political themes but honestly I forget that album exists sometimes. between his solo career and Utopia he made like 10 albums between 77 and 84

frogbs, Friday, 6 November 2020 15:15 (one year ago) link

I've always assumed "Heavy Metal Kids" was a parody song, along the lines of "Earache My Eye." The opening riff is basically "Cat Scratch Fever", though I'm not sure if Todd's song came before or after Ted's. I think before?

henry s, Friday, 6 November 2020 15:37 (one year ago) link

Todd's song was three years before the Nugent song. Chuck Eddy mentioned the coincidence that Todd and Ted were the two musicians on the Nuggets compilation who actually went on to become stars instead of one-hit wonders.

The philosophy of Heavy Metal Kids, such as it is, always seemed to owe more to (proto-)punk than what was known as metal in 1974. It's interesting that Todd had connections to punk (producing New York Dolls, dating Patti Smith) at the same time that he was exploring prog and MOR ballads, and was at least friendly with the rock aristocracy (if not a member).

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 6 November 2020 16:14 (one year ago) link

swing to the right is a p solid album, imo

brimstead, Friday, 6 November 2020 18:03 (one year ago) link

he closed with “one world” when I saw him a few years ago (same tour as frogbs I think)

brimstead, Friday, 6 November 2020 18:03 (one year ago) link

Did any Democrats take up "Just One Victory" that Rundgren wanted?

He recently said he does not want Republican fans and several years ago he said that every Republican is on some level a coward.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 6 November 2020 18:46 (one year ago) link

surely dems want more than one

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Friday, 6 November 2020 19:25 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

I just came across Paul Myers blog, which posted a lot of material he used for his book on Rundgren. Great read, even if you're not a fan of Rundgren's own recordings. (I kind of am - there's probably a lot he's done that I don't like, but I only listen to what I do, and I like it a lot.)

Not sure where the Rundgren entries actually start, but here's the one of the New York Dolls:

https://pulmyears.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/wizard-wednesdays-new-york-dolls-1973/

birdistheword, Friday, 19 February 2021 19:39 (eleven months ago) link

that book is absolutely indispensable if you are a todd person… there is however a very peculiar flaw: Myers states at the outset that he is not going to get into his personal life, or possibly salacious material re: his relationships, exploits with groupies…and yet he does talk about his time with Bebe buell and how he raised Liv Tyler despite not having sired her… but he does not talk about his early life in Philadeplhia, anything about his parents or siblings or anything about the circumstances as such… his story begins when Todd gets in to the Beatles and Gilbert & Sullivan… its a huge demerit, insofar as one's family background does tend to be hugely influential on the course of the rest of one's life…I can only surmise that Todd didn't want to talk about this and made not doing so a condition of his participation with the book, which otherwise is staggering…

veronica moser, Friday, 19 February 2021 20:22 (eleven months ago) link

Todd's own memoirs, published since Myers' book came out, get into his family background. Todd's book has a very strange format - each verso page describes "the facts" around a particular subject, while the recto page facing it describes what he was thinking at the time, and then his later reflections on the events. It's a very bold move for an autobiography, but of course prevents it from having any kind of conventional literary flow. It ends with his 50th birthday and first marriage, after which he says his life became too conventional to warrant description.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 19 February 2021 20:37 (eleven months ago) link

a family friend was working on a power line in kawaii several years ago and Todd came out and asked him how it was going. I know, who cares, but the important part is that Todd was eating a chicken drumstick at the time.

brimstead, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:02 (eleven months ago) link

That encounter didn't make it into his memoirs.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:16 (eleven months ago) link

A few years ago, I came across Todd Rundgren's guest appearance on Daryl Hall's show - they filmed Todd's guest appearance at his home in Hawaii, and holy fucking hell did the view look amazing. I can't find a good copy of it - all the YouTube uploads are in crummy 360p and you really need it in clean HD to see how gorgeous his enormous "backyard" looks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlykZ8ZbUaY

birdistheword, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:21 (eleven months ago) link

This is a random-ass long shot, but does anyone know the origin of the sweater Todd wears on the cover of the Todd album? Looks like a cherry-print(?) cardigan(??). Would love to cop

J. Sam, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:32 (eleven months ago) link

a couple of months back i had a binge of watching interviews with todd and andy partridge about the making of 'skylarking', both sides still bickering about the other, it all just seemed to devolve into psychic warfare between the two parties, each trying to undermine the other in some way. i'm sure you all know the story. anyhow, at one point andy walked past the desk and todd said to him in a really snide voice: "where d'ya buy your jeans? ...russia?" and that phrase has been making me lol for weeks now i swear

would a nit be nice? (NickB), Friday, 19 February 2021 23:33 (eleven months ago) link

LOL. Skylarking is easily my favorite Rundgren production. I love XTC and I know there was a lot of tension, but Rundgren was a big reason why that ended up being their best album IMHO.

birdistheword, Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:01 (ten months ago) link

Actually here's Dave Gregory's interview from that same blog, and he must keep a diary because his email responses to each question were amazingly detailed:

https://pulmyears.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/wizard-wednesdays-exclusive-skylarking-bonus-notes-with-xtcs-dave-gregory/

birdistheword, Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:09 (ten months ago) link

yeah even Andy admits Rundgren was instrumental to the album's success. I saw some interview about the album and remember coming away thinking that Todd was the element that really put it over the top. what's weird is that it doesn't sound like anything else Todd was doing at the time - in fact he was going all in on that shit digital sound that nearly ruined Big Express

frogbs, Saturday, 20 February 2021 03:13 (ten months ago) link

Mike's brother--would definitely read that.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 February 2021 14:22 (ten months ago) link

seven months pass...

new single with The Roots. guess the next album is all collabs again (which is good!) and it's gonna be named Space Force, lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfjM5P2WnK4

his voice is still pretty good isn't it?

frogbs, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 13:44 (three months ago) link

Has a funny minute in the Fanny documentary.

clemenza, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 17:16 (three months ago) link

xpost Yeah he sounds good! Even more excited to be seeing him live in a few weeks now.

I just watched a deleted scene on the Sparks documentary dvd where Russell talks about how in the early 2000s he had to start going to the gym every day just to keep his voice strong and especially to bring his falsetto back. Wouldn't be surprised if Todd has a similar routine.

(There's also a deleted scene of Ron and Russell reuniting with Todd after 40+, which is kind of awkward but also pretty sweet.)

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 17:29 (three months ago) link

four weeks pass...

apropos of nothing I'd like to share this Nazz song about a pig born into a man's body who decides to become a police officer to beat people up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IdK-pE2r_A

frogbs, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:34 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

learned a fun fact about Initiation - apparently when the album was recorded it was even longer, presumably because it was supposed to be a double, but there was a plastic shortage which forced him to try to get it all on one LP. to accomplish this he just sped up most of the tunes - the first 4 tracks and the entire second half. Apparently "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire" was originally 42 minutes and wound up getting sped up an entire semitone. I suppose that is why the album sounds so unnatural. I've heard the "Real Man" 7 inch has these tracks at the "correct" speed (the B-side is a short excerpt of "Treatise") but I don't have it so I can't say. Either way strange he never tried to "fix" it when the CDs came out. Maybe he just liked it better that way!

frogbs, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 22:08 (two weeks ago) link

That is bizarre

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:41 (two weeks ago) link

Isn't each side of that one about 30 minutes? I figured the smaller/tighter groove caused the thin sound.

nickn, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:46 (two weeks ago) link

inventor of nightcore!

ufo, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 23:58 (two weeks ago) link

yeah that's true of several of his 70s albums - Wizard & the s/t Utopia one especially. I always suspected "Utopia Theme" and "The Ikon" were sped up on certain non-singing sections. Hard to prove because there isn't really any information out there, but I am guessing that even Todd knew better than to put out a 67-minute single LP.

frogbs, Thursday, 6 January 2022 19:46 (one week ago) link

He knew better, but that's the duration of Initiation as released!

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 6 January 2022 20:06 (one week ago) link

right - what I'm speculating is that it was originally a 72-minute double LP, but someone at the label told him he had to cut it to a single due to the plastic shortage, so instead of cutting anything he just sped parts of it up until it fit

frogbs, Thursday, 6 January 2022 20:09 (one week ago) link

Where did you hear that? I just quickly AB’d a bunch of versions of Real Man (including live versions) the j Spotify and they’re all in the same key, maybe one or two of them are a bit sharp.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 7 January 2022 00:55 (one week ago) link

Interesting
Makes you wonder how often masters were slowed / sped up unbeknownst to the listener. Is there a thread ?
Zoe’s levee (slowed) and Remains (sped up) are the two I can think of quickly

calstars, Friday, 7 January 2022 01:28 (one week ago) link

From Wikipedia

At over sixty-seven minutes, Initiation is one of the longest commercially-released LPs due to a plastic shortage. In order to keep the album on one vinyl LP Rundgren had to limit and EQ the master so the bass response was rolled off to keep the grooves small enough to cut onto a single disc, he also had to speed up the first half of Side One (Real Man-Eastern Intrigue)and speed up the entirety of Side Two to eliminate 2-3 minutes from each side(5). The album's original inner sleeve included a note which stated: "Technical note: Due to the amount of music on this disc (over one hour), two points must be emphasized. Firstly, if your needle is worn or damaged, it will ruin the disc immediately. Secondly, if the sound does seem not loud enough on your system, try re-recording the music onto tape. By the way, thanks for buying the album."

What percentage would you need to speed something up to change the key?

frogbs, Friday, 7 January 2022 01:30 (one week ago) link

Since double speed is up one octave, about 8% per semitone?

masters were slowed / sped up

The whole Layla album was originally sped up, according to the liner notes on the remixed version.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 7 January 2022 01:33 (one week ago) link

I dunno, I still kind of doubt it was sped up that much given that all the live versions are in the as-released key and his voice sounds the same (it’s not an easy song to sing). But at the same time I wouldn’t put it past Todd to teach his entire band to play something in, say, D# just because they could.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 7 January 2022 05:54 (one week ago) link

Makes you wonder how often masters were slowed / sped up unbeknownst to the listener. Is there a thread ?

Not that uncommon back in the day. Singles especially.

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Friday, 7 January 2022 08:00 (one week ago) link

"Glory" on Television's "Adventure" is definitely sped up.

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Friday, 7 January 2022 08:01 (one week ago) link

One of the most famous is Caroline No by The Beach Boys, which was sped up at Murry Wilson’s urging apparently to make Brian sound more youthful.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 11 January 2022 13:18 (one week ago) link


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