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A Cappella

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Blue Orpheus
  2. Johnee Jingo
  3. Pretending To Care
  4. Hodja
  5. Lost Horizon
  6. Something To Fall Back On
  7. Miracle In The Bazaar
  8. Lockjaw
  9. Honest Work
  10. Mighty Love


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000348M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,224 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
... Rundgren album. This album was the first I ever bought, and it contains some of the most engaging pop music ever to grace an aluminum polycarbonate sandwich. It's all composed of sounds made by Todd's voice (and other self-made sounds, such as handclaps). Some sounds have been heavily processed and you'll find it virtually impossible to believe that they started out as vocal sounds (although Rundgren's soulful voice, one of the best in rock, also makes plenty of appearances under its own recognizance, most notably on "Honest Work"). Never has one man's mastery of the studio as an instrument been so evident. I only give it 4 stars because Rundgren displays a regrettable tendency to repeat his choruses a bit too long before finally fading out. Still one of the best.
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Format: Audio CD
Just when you think you've got Todd pinned down to either melodic ballads or hard-driving rock, he throws you something else that defies classification. Already a pioneer in rock video and a sought-after producer, Todd produces another album chock full of his wit and talent. "A Cappella" lives up to its name in that Todd sings vocals only on this album, but uses then-ground-breaking technology to mold these vocals into smooth, melodic songs that paint some very vivid pictures. "Lost Horizon", a song inspired by the death of a friend, remains a concert favorite, while "Pretending to Care" will give you food for thought about hidden agendas in your relationship. This CD is a lot more than just some silly songs sung and put through the electronic wringer -- there's a lot of depth and emotion few artists are able to express this well.
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By A Customer on July 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very different, but wonderful album. It won't sound like anything you've heard before (it's all done with voice and synthed voice), but you will be hooked. Beautiful music, meaningful lyrics. Pretending to Care and Lost Horizon are among my top Todd tunes ever. Something to Fall Back On should have been a hit. There's even a bit of silliness here and there (the song Hodja, and the children's bedtime tale Lockjaw, about an ogre who doesn't like liars...) Open your mind and heart and simply enjoy.
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By A Customer on January 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of Todd's most intriguing albums. I actually first heard it when a fellow in a local record store got me a bootleg of the master from Todd's mom a couple months before it was released. I wish I had that tape cause some of the tracks had radically different mixes. Oh, the title is a bit of a Triple Entendre: We all know A'Capella means without accompaniment (no instruments) which is largely true in the case of this album. An Emulator (early sampler) was used to process some of the audio. It is also without accompaniment in the sense that no other performers appear on this album. Finally, it is A'Capella in the spiritual sense as well. Literally, A'Capella means "for the chapel" for "for the church" while this is by no means a Christian Music album it is infinitely spiritual. This album has a message. Marvel over the fact the every sound on this album originated from a human body! All the percussion: cheek pops, tounge clicks, chest thumps, hand claps etc. It may sound like a drum machine, but it's actually Todd's voice or body. Electronically processed of course!
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Format: Audio CD
Like the title suggests, Todd Rundgren created "A Cappella" entirely with his voice. It sounds gimmicky, and it is..but, it really works. Due to computerized manipulation, he's even able to add percussion like sounds via his voice. So it doesn't sound as bare as you might think.

Songs like "Pretending To Care" and "Lost Horizon" are suprisingly lush and gorgeous considering this is all coming from one man's voice (albeit processed and meticulously layered). Both are extraordinarily good songs.

There's plenty of quirkier, lighthearted moments too - "Hodja" ('covered' by John Stamos et al on an early episode of "Full House"), a cover of The Spinners' "Mighty Love", and "Something To Fall Back On". The latter, as many other reviewers have said, is the ultimate 'hit that never was'. Although many Todd songs fall under that category, "Something.." is just *insanely* catchy and fun sounding.

Other highlights include "Johnee Jingo" (which sounds like an old protest song), the mysterious, majestic opener "Blue Orpheus", the frightening "Lockjaw" (Which manages to be 10x weirder than anything from "A Wizard a True Star" and "Todd"), and "Honest Work", which is a cappella in the truest sense (no processing at all - just Todd's regular voice).

It's ambitious, fascinating, strange, catchy, and many other adjectives. Don't be scared off by the gimmick, because it's really one of Todd's more accessible releases.

And what a trailblazer! 20 years later, Bjork does the same thing with "Medulla" (which I also highly recommend).
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Format: Audio CD
This one is yet another work from Todd that could have been much greater than what it turned out to be. Although the music is interesting in spots, and the true heart of Todd (all Todd fans know the "sound" I am referring to) appears here and there, it yet is another experimental work from this sometimes genius. Full of ego and sonic wonder, it can pull at the heart strings and soak you up with sweet pop sounds one minute: "Lost Horizon," and "Blue Orpheus," and bombastic yet somewhat irritating noodlings of the next: "Miracle in the Bazaar" and "Lockjaw." Not his best work of the 1980's, (this kudo goes to the brilliant pop gem "Nearly Human" from 1989), but definitely a must have for any hardcore Todd fan's collection.
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