Monday, April 26, 2010

Todd On Monday : The "Prog"-idal Son

I know not everyone can swallow the prog-rock pill with ease, especially coming from a man who stole your heart and tore it into bits with some of the finest pop, rock and soul music your body could handle without prescription drugs. But what makes Todd Rundgren's occasional foray into prog rock waters okay by me is that the result is drenched with the same passion as those pop records that placed TR in your hearts in the first place. Take it or leave it, Utopia did it well.

I won't use too much of this space to express, yet again, my boredom with Todd's current toe-dipping into waters so charted, whales have been overheard complaining, "Really Moby? 'Sweet Home Chicago' again?" (This Robert Johnson tour and upcoming record is making me mental.) I will say that, listening back to this 1977 broadcast from the UK of the 4 man Utopia touring behind "Ra," an uneven, but still quite listenable record, made me long for the days when you could hear the sincerity dripping off the grooves. Just listen to Todd greeting the audience after the first number. Can any of you die-hards out there remember the last time he sounded this pleased?

There are hits--"Communion With The Sun," "Jealousy"-- and misses--"Hiroshima," "Emergency Splashdown." There is also some coolness in hearing, then newcomer Kasim Sulton take the lead vocal on "Windows," a track that appeared on the follow-up LP, "Oops Wrong Planet," sung by its writer, Utopia keyboardist Roger Powell. And if you haven't already run away screaming from the opening narration of "Singring & The Glass Guitar," you will find some solid melodies and musicianship. (It IS 24 minutes long. Gotta be something there, no?)


Communion With The Sun
Love Of The Common Man
Sunburst Finish
Emergency Splashdown
The Verb To Love
Singring & The Glass Guitar
Utopia Theme



The Phantom Creep said...

Okay, this Todd obsession is taking on Captain Ahab proportions, dude.

So when are you going to post all his pre-Nazz stuff? Aren't there some badly recorded tapes of him performing at his high school or something?

misospecial said...

excellent pun.

i do have trouble getting past the intro to singring, and there is some worthwhile music in that 24 minutes. but hard to get to if you're not a progaholic.

great show, though. thanks!

Sal Nunziato said...

There are and I don't have them.

The Monday Todd thing started after people wrote and said they liked the idea. I guess I could can it and go with my second idea of "Mr. Mister Mondays." ;)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, i'm in heaven.
Any chance that you can do a Hall & Oates day?

Barry Allen

Sal Nunziato said...


If there is something specific you are looking for, re: H&O, I'd be happy to post it...if I have it.

Noam Sane said...

Hey, Phantom Creep, Todd on Monday is a beautiful thing, even if there are occasional songs about space travel and/or unicorns. Lots of other music-based sites out there! Live it up!

Anonymous said...

Very funny Noam Sane:

I almost spit my snack onto the keyboard!


jay strange said...

I was at this gig and it was a great show overall...not as great as the hammersmith show a couple of years before but still excellent....there was one very painful moment the finally of singring and the glass guitar todd ran to the back of the stage and returned with the glass guitar of the title...except it wasn't glass but ice and only guitar shaped because it was bleein' obvious that how it had been made was by filling a guitar case with water and then freezing it...or so i would guesss by the sorry look of the lumpen guitar shaped thing he held above his head as he encouraged the audience to dare him to smash the thing...a few did yelp encouragement which was quite silly of them because he was going to do it anyways we down it was slammed at the requisite moment to unwhelming effect and embarrising groans from myself and those around me.....

Sal Nunziato said...

You know Jay, I saw the same thing at NYC's Palladium in May of that year. Did he climb the pyramid?

But really, what's a Todd show without a cringe-inducing moment or two?

Anonymous said...

I'm loving "Todd Mondays" but i think you should start a separate blog for music downloads.
Just think of the possibilities: you'd have "Todd Mondays", "Elton John Tuesdays", Queen Wednesdays", "Hall and Oates Thursdays", "New Orleans Fridays" and to cap off a blockbuster weekend- Springsteen Saturdays"! You could be thee man Sal!

Cal Castellani

Sal Nunziato said...


Anonymous said...

I'd go for this but when would you have the time to have a life Sal?
I'm sure just doing this blog must take up hours of your time. No?

Victor Magnuson

misospecial said...

sunburst finish. so great.