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Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live Import

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Audio CD, Import, December 3, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Esoteric Antenna are pleased to announce the release of the eagerly awaited live CD and DVD set by the legendary TODD RUNDGREN. ""Johnson Live"" captures highlights of Todd's US tour that followed the release of his album of songs written by the legendary Blues musician Robert Johnson, ""Johnson"",in 2010. With a band comprising Todd Rundgren (guitar, vocals), Jesse Gress (guitar), Kasim Sulton (bass) and Prairie Prince (drums). In addition to classic Robert Johnson songs, Todd and his band also performed classic material from his back catalogue including 'Black Maria', 'Soul Brother', 'Open My Eyes', 'I Went to the Mirror', 'I Saw the Light' and 'Boogies (Hamburger Hell)', making for a memorable live experience captured wonderfully in this set. The DVD in the set is region free and in NTSC format and can be played in any country. ""Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live"" is packaged in a deluxe digi pack format with a lavishly illustrated booklet.


1. Dust My Broom
2. Stop Breaking Down
3. Kiddie Boy
4. Kindhearted Woman Blues
5. Bleeding
6. Last Fair Deal Gone Down
7. Love in Vain
8. Sweet Home Chicago
9. Unloved Children
10. I Went to the Mirror
11. Come on in My Kitchen
12. Hellhound on My Trail
13. Travelling Riverside Blues
14. Crossroads Blues
15. I Saw the Light
16. Boogies (Hamburger Hell)
17. Dust My Broom
18. Stop Breaking Down
19. Kiddie Boy
20. Soul Brother
See all 36 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 3, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: CHERRY RED
  • ASIN: B00FE1UNK2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,368 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Grateful Jerry VINE VOICE on January 11, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Todd's latest archive release is a fairly recent one recorded recorded during the time he was working on Johnson. On this tour, Todd is backed by Kasim Sulton, Jesse Gress and Prairie Prince. The performance mixes classic Robert Johnson blues songs in with some classic Todd songs including a couple dating back to Nazz (Open My Eyes and Kiddie Boy) as well as Bleeding from Todd's second solo album as well as newer stuff. There's a cool arrangement of Soul Brother and a great version of Weakness from his last couple of albums. The playing is mostly fantastic although I Saw the Light sounds ragged to me. Todd does seem to be a bit "tipsy" at times during the concert.

Some of the between song tunings feel shortened with the dvd running about 90 minutes. I'm not entirely sure that this is the whole performance either as other shows on the tour included Mystified/Broke Down & Busted, No. 1 Lowest Common Denominator, Born To Synthesize and Tiny Demons. The accompanying cd is, unfortunately, just over an hour and omits a few classic songs that are on the dvd. While everything on the dvd couldn't have fit on the cd, a few more could've been added.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Scarillo VINE VOICE on December 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD
For long-time Todd fans, and people who want to hear a fresh approach to some tried and true blues repertoire, the CD/DVD set of Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live is well worth checking out. I have everything Todd has done (from the artistic triumphs to the misses), so I picked this up as an import when I heard about it (the DVD in the set I got is an All-Region NTSC format, so if you're in the US, just confirm that's what you're getting). I'd seen Todd do TR's Johnson (with Jesse, Prairie and Kas) as their own opening act when he did "A Wizard, A True Star" complete, here in LA in 2009 at the Orpheum. They did maybe 45 minutes or so of this material that night, as I recall, so it was great to see that the DVD here runs around 90 minutes; I surmise this was a `proper' TR-J show. The CD doesn't have all the cuts (though there are no additional cuts not on the Dvd), likely due to the more limited CD capacity, so I'll restrict my comments to the DVD mostly. This is well-shot/nice camera work/edited, well-recorded, and a very good performance. Lots of hilites here: along with the blues covers, Todd & band also cover some of his repertoire that lends itself well to the 4-man (2 guitars, bass, drum) format: the Nazz' "Kiddie Boy", "Black Maria" (which for my money is the key cut - this has been a screaming-guitar rave-up they totally knock out of the park every time I've seen it); the rarely heard (at least, to me) "Bleeding" and "I Went to the Mirror", and numerous others. As a hard-core Todd fan, I think this is easily one of his better releases of the last 10 or so years, as it presents him and his core guys in a stripped down, purer format, and it's interesting to hear these guys tackle this material and run with it. Pick it up, definitely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Owen on January 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Full disclosure -- I love Todd Rundgren and have followed his career through it's many twists and turns. I am not a big fan of the blues, in general, and the actual studio album of these songs was not one that got a lot of replays. This live set is quite good; the video is 16x9 anamorphic and the sound was mixed by Todd's longtime guitarist, Jesse Gress, and is superb. The setlist includes rarities such as "I Went to the Mirror" and "Bleeding", so there's stuff for those who aren't crazy about the Robert Johnson covers, which are played with vigor here (live drums are a big help). You're getting a DVD and a CD and the packaging is terrific. Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thin White Duke on August 6, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Todd's hardcore fans are so sycophantic that he could record 45 minutes of his bathroom sounds and they would hawk it as though it were the greatest thing he's ever done. I love Todd and I appreciate that he is always trying new things and travelling down different avenues...I even sorta liked his bizarre foray into rap music in the mid 90's...but this whole blues thing, I just don't get. I'm not going to be one of those blues purists who's going to tell you that true blues music has got to come from your soul, but it's obvious that Todd's heart isn't in this. The songs have no emotion whatsoever, he doesn't sing them well...even his guitar tone is all wrong. I read somewhere that in order for his record company to release "Arena" he had to provide them an album of Robert Johnson covers. A contractual obligation. That would make sense. I DO appreciate that he throws in some early nuggets that he's rarely or never played...but really, if you want to hear Robert Johnson covers, grab Eric Clapton's album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WayneB on December 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of Todd's early bands, Woody's Truckstop, dug the blues, with the Yardbirds being their role models. So after a solo career (and time with Utopia) that saw the lad from Philadelphia touch on virtually every style of pop music, he finally stepped into the blues spotlight with a studio album and this, a live set that sees him rather pedestrianly pursue what was once his one of his primary passions - guitar wanking to the blues.
Does it work? Hmmmmm... If you're new to this sort of thing, then it is probably fine. If you grew up on old blues records or even those disciples of the genre, The Allman Brothers (original version), then this is lacking. Why? It's rather lame. The guitar sound is lacking. And the rhythm section is painfully short on interplay. The Allmans exemplified what could be done with classic blues tunes (Cream were another band that re-energised them), but Todd's take is surprisingly short on new ideas. In fact, it's short on any ideas. At least that is my impression, because I hear this as being a 'Hey, let's jam for a couple days and go play some old blues tunes'. It may have worked (well, kinda) for Hendrix and John Mayall, but for Todd... Well, geez, he can do much better. And we - fans like you and me - deserve much better. Sometimes you just want to kick him up the arse and tell him to stop taking us for granted.
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