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Saturday, March 23, 2019





SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Todd RundgrenTodd Rundgren’s Utopia: Live at Hammersmith Odeon ’75 (Shout Factory!) :: It seems that this album has been floating around the bootleg community in one iteration or another a mere scant seconds after it had been recorded. At least, that’s what I gather from the front cover sticker which boldly boasts: “First Official Release!” followed by the ever-mandatory “Newly Remastered From High-Quality Source!” both of which most likely mean that the original multitrack master tapes are so lost in time that they hadda do a Pro Tools restoration job offa some old audio cassette.


So the first thing you’ll wanna know is: HOW DOES IT SOUND? And the answer is: PRETTY GOSH-DARNED GOOD! It’s a solid enough stereo job with nary a tetch of tape hiss to mess up the signal.


So the second thing you’ll wanna know is: HOW’S THE PERFORMANCE? And the answer is: ARE YOU KIDDING? THIS IS TODD RUNDGREN AT HIS PRIMO PEak. Sorry about the shouting, but I’ve been juking the Runt’s toons ever since Ron Mael of Sparks was snapping his liner photographs, so you can just imagine how elated I am that this long-lost performance piece has finally been placed on a platter—and boy howdy, does it ever sizzle.


Always the brightest bulb in the box, Todd went over the sonic deep end when he formed the galaxies-spanning combo Utopia—but who could blame him? Your fragile little mind would snap too if you put out an album of one man band pop classics (Something/Anything?); followed by a surrealistic serving that reconstructed the universe out of Popsickle sticks (A Wizard, A True Star); followed by a torrid twofer which masterfully mixed heavy metal mania with Gilbert & Sullivan show tunes (Todd); followed by a perverse party platter of cover versions which were so note perfect that you couldn’t tell them from the originals (Faithful); followed by a single disc hour long instrumental exploration into the Zen chakras (Initiation); followed by a severe song cycle about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Ra). Impressive, I know.


But Todd’s never been one to let his big brain get in the way of an entertaining show and this album is no exception. He begins with the overlooked and underrated “Freedom Fighters” off Todd Rundgren’s Utopia; gets his avantness outta his system on a ten minute “Mister Triscuits” space out; and then settles down to a heaping meat and potatoes helping of songs you all know and love ranging from the power pop “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” and the rave up “Heavy Metal Kids” to the anthemic “Sons Of 1984” and the ballad “The Last Ride” to the toe-tapping trilogy of “When The Shit Hits The Fan” / “Sunset Boulevard” / “Le Feel Internacionale.” Oh, and did I mention that Todd also does the Nazz classic “Open My Eyes” with Luther Vandross? At least that’s what he says...


But best of all are Todd’s abrasive solos, all of which start out as a savagely warped exercise in sonic brutality before they transmute into an even filthier destorto mode that makes Mark Farner at his splatter gnarliest sound like Segovia—and that’s definitely slaying something.


Too bad he now irrationally suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome but, hey, nobody’s perfect.


Grand FunkLive Album (Capitol) :: EXACtly!


Be seeing you!

Sat, March 23, 2019 | link 

Thursday, March 21, 2019



While you’re visiting, don’t forget to view the dozens of essential selections from my vast archive of
hundreds of extremely rare and previously unseen rock ’n’ roll photographs from the 1970s and 1980s—all of which were taken by myself from my front row center seat at various venerable venues; vintage historical portraits which include the following rock stars caught in their youthful prime:

David Bowie
(1976 Station To Station tour) :: Lou Reed (1974 Sally Can’t Dance tour) :: Iggy Pop (1977 The Idiot tour) :: Bob Dylan (1978 Street Legal tour) :: George Harrison (1974 Dark Horse tour) :: Paul McCartney (1976 Wings Over America tour) :: Pete Townshend (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Johnny Winter (1976 Captured Live! tour) :: Jeff Beck (1975 Blow By Blow tour) :: KISS (1977 Love Gun tour) :: Alice Cooper (1975 Welcome To My Nightmare tour) :: Freddie Mercury (1977 News Of The World tour) :: Amanda Lear (1975 Sweet Revenge tour) :: Rod Stewart (1977 Foot Loose & Fancy Free tour) :: Mick Jagger (1975 It’s Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: New York Dolls (1975 Tokyo Dolls Live tour) :: Keith Richards (1975 It’s Only Rock ’n Roll tour) :: Ian Hunter (1989 YUI Orta tour) :: Elton John (1974 Caribou tour) :: Mick Ronson (1989 YUI Orta tour) :: Steven Tyler (1977 Draw The Line tour) :: Sparks (1975 Indiscreet tour) :: James Brown (1986 Gravity tour) :: Miles Davis (1985 You’re Under Arrest tour) :: Roger Daltrey (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Bruce Springsteen & Clarence Clemons (1975 Born To Run tour) :: John Entwistle (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: Keith Moon (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: The Who (1976 The Who By Numbers tour) :: and more!

Ask any dealer and he’ll tell you that the best way to get someone hooked on your product is to give them a free sample, so here’s just a small taste of what’s coming your way when you click on the eleven gallery links to your left:

Thu, March 21, 2019 | link 

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