Review by Anthony McGarrigle (Switch to

This album of out-takes, live recordings and rarities is most likely all the unreleased Todd material that is in existence. As stated in the sleeve-notes, because of budgetary constraints any unused tape from recording sessions by the Artist were invariably recycled and the contents lost so we are denied the type of recording volume which has recently seen similar releases from The Beatles, Springsteen and Lennon.

The material on this recording ranges from the Runt sessions right up to a 1985 recording of a song "Where does the time go?" The performers range from the Runt Band thru the earlier Utopia line-ups to the final Wilcox, Powell, Sulton ensemble to the aforementioned "new" song which is performed by Todd himself playing all the instruments.

The album opens impressively with a live version of 'Be Nice To Me' taken from a radio broadcast from June 1971. There are three further tracks from this broadcast which are impressively performed the last being a raucous version of Lennon and McCartney's 'Hold Me Tight' Between these are live versions of 'Open My Eyes' and 'Broke Down and Busted' both performed well although the vocals display the comparative weakness evinced in a lot of Todd's work until the release of 'The Hermit of Mink Hollow.'

Next up are the two radio tracks not covered yet, 'Believe In Me' and an exquisite cover of 'Ooh Baby Baby' which was to feature later in the Medley section of 'A Wizard, A True Star.' For me this track is the highlight of the album although others come close not least a solo performance of 'A Dream Goes On Forever' with a Wurlitzer accompaniment.

The other tracks are covers of 'Do Ya' with which devotees will be familiar, '96 Tears' , Pete Townshend's 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' and a live version of 'Just One Victory.'

There are other tracks. The album features what appears to be vocal or production exercises where Todd multi-tracks a vocal singing the word 'Something' to various melodies interspersed at various intervals throughout. The last 4 tracks are 4 sequences which again appear to be the work of the maestro experimenting in the studio and add nothing to what has gone before.

All in all a worthwhile exercise which possibly may have benefited from the deletion of the last few tracks although you can always eject the disc after Track 19.

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