FOR LACK OF HONEST WORK-Todd Rundgren (Microwerks)

Review by Lino Terlati (Switch to

An important chapter in the history of rock music lies with the wizard Todd Rundgren. Along with David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Brian Eno, David Byrne, he was a representative of a very particular style that drew many musicians. Without Todd would not have had drives and important bands like New York Dolls, Meat Loaf, Steve Hillage, 12 Rods, What Is This, Psychedelic Furs, The Tubes, James Cotton, Patti Smith, Rick Derringer, XTC, etc etc Zerri 1.

There were also several tributes to Todd for the more hardcore fans, both in Japan and in USA, UK ..

Rock, blues, ballads, electronic music, folk, experimental, ambient, Mersey beat, space-rock, AOR, Philly Sound, and more is what we find in the cauldron Todd Rundgren across this magnificent triple live CD that presents nearly 40 years of career. Remains clearly a passionate love for the Beatles but merges with solutions almost psychedelic, and even easy listening. (Be Nice to me). And they follow different configurations and different bands that have accompanied it, from Utopia, the Hello People, the Voice Orchestra Eleven, with various drummers such as John Wilcox, Kevin Ellmann, Michael Urbano, Prairie Prince.

It seems even now to breathe fresh air when you listen to Utopia Theme, almost gliding towards unknown horizons. A bit revolutionary for its time and still with the beautiful voice of Todd in the foreground.

The voices, backing vocals, a trademark in which Todd has always given new harmonies, grooves, building a solid and fascinating pantheon.

The evanescence of sound, strong rhythm section, the succession of the orchestra in a race without end, the guitar capable of monstrous scale and speed, the inclusion of wah wah, mocking the taste of upsetting the traditional rules of Rock in simple pieces like Black Mariah, are the characteristics of an artist difficult to classify, to this day see the latest Todd Rundgren's Johnson.

The first CD starts with It Would not Have Made Any Difference and ends with Hello it's me but through albums such as Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Nazz, Faithful, Initiation, A wizard a true star, Another live.

Open my eyes is a wonderful version where the guitar engages in crystalline keyboards and Todd then goes on a whirlwind solo. It is clear from this piece only the desire to overflow the boundaries of song form, going beyond. It confirms more Freedom Fighters, a song that beat here is arranged in an almost rhytm'n'blues.

The pieces are all part of Todd in a medley of Marvin Gaye (What's going on) and Never Never Land.

The Electronic Real Man, is here distorted and adapted to a song a cappella. The seven rays on the second cd shows the good fellowship of the band in a piece where each component has its share of solos.

Like its predecessor, this second album ranges from songs to real rock anthem-like experiments in cybernetic Last laughs as Mr. Triscuits keyboardist Roger Powell, where he held a variety of extraterrestrial sounds. All the songs including the Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song have the freshness and originality of a rock'n'roll circus.

Healer from Healing is part of a solo album by Todd in 1981 where the lyrics are important, all written after a period of deep crisis, Healer is here recorded live in the studio of Levon Helm's band.

And then the joyful, the big hit Todd Love is the answer, with a body almost mysterious, anticipation of what would later be his big Hermit of Mink Hollow. It could not miss the historic hit for Todd and excellence that I saw the light, one of the pieces that Todd has imposed in the all hit parade in the world in 1972 and made in just 15 minutes.

Bag Lady, Too Far Gone to Hermit are easy songs that do not determine an end point because then Back to the Bars and Adventures in Utopia, everything changes. Remains the beautiful words once again. Born to Synthesize already a cappella in Initiation, it is also done here with the Orchestra Eleven Voice, tones, echoes, echoes, whispers, explosions, chirping of entries for a man born to synthesize.A really charismatic tune..

And the voice becomes an instrument for subsequent Johnee Jingo, Hodja, Honest Work all taken from A cappella., A new dimension, a new horizon for the tireless Todd vocal register that will change.

The third CD opens with the other great success of Todd Can we still be friends. What's Going On and Mercy Mercy me demonstrates the great ambition of Todd to pay homage to a soul of Marvin Gaye sir.

This third CD is perhaps the most bizarre where we can find even Bang The Drum All Day Todd also performed with the All Starr Band Ringo. Reflects very well in the 80 pieces as Lysistrata and Hammer in My Heart acoustic version of almost country-rock, roots-rock again with "Song to the viking, and then the great musicals Todd Up against it, with Free Male and 21, and then dark ballads like Tiny Demons, until rhytm'n'blues The Want of a Nail.

Or hard-rock as I hate my frickin ISP.

Worldwide Epiphany Fascist Christ and belong to one of the greatest albums of Todd, No worl order, perhaps too little understood at the time, but one of Rundgren's best album, one that enhances creative zenith an alchemist of sounds that touch the mind and heart from all angles. An alien visitor among us humans. Lack of honest work is a box of extraordinary beauty, a carousel that entertains you and makes you think with his bizarre experiments ever itchy but that no musician or band today has.

A casket is not released by a major label but that becomes even more important because Todd approved this gift in person.. So applaud the MicroWerks the willingness to publish this history of Todd Rundgren, with a small poster inside and wonderfully well, and three CDs packed full of photographs. And the saga continues.

Lino Terlati


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