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Todd

4.5 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Todd
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Audio CD, July 1, 1991
$11.99 $0.63

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Editorial Reviews

An acid-tinged double-length set that successfully mixes emotive pop ballads, quirky novelty songs, and dirge-like rock anthems with an array of sound textures - almost as colorful as his hair at the time!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino / Bearsville
  • ASIN: B0000032WN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The British magazine Uncut recently ran an appreciation of "Todd" that persuaded me to find a copy and play it again for the first time in about 20 years. It was most rewarding. I like this album a lot better now than I did when I first purchased it on my 18th birthday. Back then, I tended to skip over the heavily synthesized instrumental tracks and focus on what seemed to be the good stuff--the tuneful songs like "The Last Ride," "Izzat Love," "A Dream Goes on Forever," and "Sons of 1984." The format of the original album, four sides of a double album, tended to interrupt the flow of what, on a single-disc CD, is clearly a singular artistic statement best enjoyed at one sitting.
What's Todd up to on this? He's trying very hard to articulate it in words, and doesn't quite get there, but the music says it all. This album most reminds me of "Pet Sounds," the Beach Boys' classic that not only discussed love lyrically, but conveyed love through every track. Compared with Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren is more contradictory--way out there beyond the moon sometimes, other times wise-cracking, ironic and self-deprecating. Rundgren is a like a streetwise, east coast kid who stumbled across a religious vision. He can't quite give up the smart-(aleck) side of himself, but also can't avoid talking about the cosmos that has just opened up to him and that he wants to share with everyone.
Musically, this album takes you on quite a ride. It is synthesizer-drenched, but short of Stevie Wonder, no one has ever had a warmer feel for how to make these 70s-era electronic instruments play music. Some of the cuts feature a full band, but the mix is highly eccentric.
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Format: Audio CD
Rundgren returned in 1974 with another head-trip - this time, even more difficult, challenging and a little darker than his previous monster _A Wizard, A True Star_. However, given it's lengthy and highly experimental nature, the album is not without a large dosage of variety. Some styles include: neo-proto-electronica (I made that up), show tunes, rock, proto-punk and even some pop can be found amongst all the chaos.

This album in some ways reminds me of Hendrix's _Electric Ladyland_, in that they both were sprawling double LP's opening with a short, spacy/galactic track, then seguing into a trippy ballad, followed by a large serving of variety - and not without the main material being spaced-out and mind-expanding. Both albums were also centered around love, soul-searching, and a degree of spirituality.

"How About A Little Fanfare" starts out with a German-esque voice (Todd's) saying the name of the track. It then turns into a frenzied cornucopia of spiralling synths. At just over a minute, I wish that Todd would have extended this number for at least another thirty seconds, as the build-up didn't seem to last long enough. But, there's always the repeat button, right? "I Think You Know" is a reflective, melodic and somewhat trippy ballad. "The Spark Of Life" (like the opening track) is an electronica piece. This time, the tempo is slowed down considerably, and the sonic intensity continually builds until reaching the final few seconds. "An Elpee's Worth Of Tunes" is a short, quirky and humorous number with Todd possibly sneering at critics and/or fans alike who weren't pleased with his direction following _Something/Anything?_ (with the line "No, no, no, a little more humanity please?") Actually, that line comes from the ending of "Spark," but, it's pretty much relevant.
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Format: Audio CD
The VERY PROLIFIC Todd Rundgren had too many directions he wanted to go in in the early 70's. And by 1974 he had created his group Utopia to help with this problem. His solo stuff started to become as main stream as he would let his music become while Utopia became his outlet to spread his experimental wings.

"Todd" was his last solo record that enveloped both styles. Coming on the heals of A Wizard, A True Star, "Todd" was looked at as simply an extention of the former and not taken as seriously as it should have.

I for one, feel this was not fair. In fact I find "Todd" much more satisfying than Wizard. I am a huge fan of "modern" classical music, that is Steve Reich, Harry Partch, Philip Glass, Gavan Bryers, Todd Machover, Edgar Varess and of course the late great Frank Zappa and his NON rock music. But I am equally in love with a MELODY!LOL So "Todd" is of all of Rundgren's records my favorite. It seamlessly weaves in and out of beautiful lush pop straight into outragously odd solo experiments in sound!

An earlier review of "Todd" by a fellow fan here at Amazon pointed out what I think is the most important aspect of why the original release of "Todd" wasn't as popular as it should have been. The original was a two record/four side release. This was the best Rundgren could do in 1974. He successfully shoe-horned 30 minutes onto one side of his first Utopia record, but that was a minor miracle in 1974. The records didn't flow well. A problem that couldn't be fixed due to the technology of the time. But now with the advent of cd "Todd" can be listened to as it should, without pause. Think "Dark Side of the Moon" and you get the picture! Both are better without having to take off the headphones and flip the record. And in "Todd's" case even better!
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