The Best of Todd Rundgren "Go ahead. Ignore me."

Review by Roger Linder (Switch to

I received a complimentary copy of The Best of Todd Rundgren "Go Ahead. Ignore Me." on the UK Castle Music label, and despite the fact that it was free, I would easily pay for this collection. Not only are there 41 tunes packed tightly on 2 CDs, but the extras are also very nice. Here's the track list:
Disc 1 - 78:49Disc 2 - 75:32
1. Believe In Me
2. We Gotta Get You A Woman
3. Wailing Wall
4. A Long Time, A Long Way To Go
5. Be Nice To Me
6. Hope I'm Around
7. I Saw The Light
8. It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference
9. Cold Morning Light
10. It Takes Two To Tango (This Is For The Girls)
11. Sweeter Memories
12. Marlene
13. Couldn't I Just Tell You
14. Torch Song
15. Hello It's Me
16. Zen Archer
17. Sometimes I Don't Know What To Feel
18. Does Anybody Love You?
19. I Don't Want To Tie You Down
20. Just One Victory
21. An Elpee's Worth Of Toons
22. A Dream Goes On Forever
23. The Last Ride
1. Useless Begging
2. Izzat Love?
3. Freedom Fighters
4. Real Man
5. Fair Warning
6. Love Of The Common Man
7. Cliché
8. The Verb "To Love"
9. Love Is The Answer
10. All The Children Sing
11. Can We Still Be Friends?
12. Bag Lady
13. Fade Away
14. Compassion
15. Tiny Demons
16. Influenza
17. Chant
18. Bang The Drum All Day
As you can see, there is a lot of overlap with previous "Best Of" collections (how could there not be?) and despite my opinion that the only true "Best Of" would include the man's entire output, I think it's a pretty good sampling. The compilation and sleeve notes are by Uncut Magazine's Associate Editor Paul Lester.

According to credits, the tracks are remastered ("Mastered by Andy at Masterpiece"). I think they've done a pretty good job, especially with nice fade outs on the "tricky" ones from AWATS and Todd which have no gaps on the original recordings. "Hello It's Me" even has included the false intro and the "There goes Todd....Yipes" ending. There is no mention of "20 bit sbm".

The packaging, however, has got to be the big selling point here. The jewel case is a single width, with swing out holder for the 2 discs, and comes in a separate slipcase. The cover of the slipcase and CD booklet are the same, a picture of Todd holding a bundle of dynamite, with a lit match and a grin on his face. "Go ahead. Ignore me." he taunts. A miniature version (1 1/2 inches high) of the same S/A? promo poster is printed in the CD booklet.

The back of the slipcase uses the S/A? cover artwork, over which the 41 titles are printed. The back of the booklet has the Todd multi-coloured (I use the British spelling, since this is a UK recording :) ) hair cover photo. The CD case back cover is a smiling Todd, eyes closed, looking to the side, donning the "KNUT" Viking helmet now owned by Kurt Scheinpflug. Images reminiscent of the comic strip "Hagar The Horrible" form a semi-circle above Todd and the titles are also printed over all. The photo is most likely one from Michael Crombleholme who originally presented Todd with the helmet (Mike receives photo credit, along with Lisa Osta, in the booklet. Curiously, a Michael Crumbleholme, also gets thanks. Gee, a typo perhaps? :) ) Finally, the inner CD back cover is a close up shot of the body of the "Fool" guitar. Since the CD holder swings out, the picture is not obscured. A portion of the guitar's end is cut off, however, though most of the detail artwork is present.

Turning to the CD booklet itself, it's 12 pages (including front and back covers) and includes a newly-written TR bio (by Paul Lester) adorned with epithets such as "Godlike Genius," "...ultimate recording artist. Not the biggest, just the best," and "Apple Mac da Vinci."

Miniature photos enhance each page including images from "Runt," a small reproduction of the AWATS postcard, another small image of the RA build-it- yourself cardboard pyramid, images from the TEPTAE video, and a tiny RA promo poster. Plus, the covers of all the TR and Utopia Bearsville releases,with the UK "Another Live" cover featured instead of the much-maligned US "cartoon" cover.

And, to top it all off, a separate 1/4 size "Todd" poster, with all the names. You'll need a magnifying glass to read 'em, and some of the lighter names are illegible, but if you've never had the original, it's the next best thing. On its back are larger reproductions of all the Bearsville TR/Utopia covers on an S/A? cover background.

Sure, you've got 'em all already, but the completist will want this collection as well. Toby's Silver Moon Music is offering them for $25.95 plus S&H, so check him out first!

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