Friday, June 8, 2018

Astral Drive, Kasim Sulton, Todd Rundgren, Healing




Phil Thornalley, whose name you might recognize from producing bands like The Cure and the Thompson Twins, as well as playing bass for Bryan Adams, has a new record dropping on July 6th under the moniker Astral Drive.

In Thornalley's own words:

"My goal was to emulate that musical √©lan that I’d experienced listening to that old analog sound from those old Beatles and Todd records I’d enjoyed as a teenager."

Well, needless to say, I am looking forward to this one and if the single is any indication, it will be right in my wheelhouse.

Phil Thornalley also worked on Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton's excellent last solo release, "Three." The track below, "Clocks All Stopped" is a co-write with Sulton, and features Rundgren on backing vocals. I should also point out, Kasim Sulton will be helping out on backing vocals on Astral Drive.





I had the best seat in the house for Rundgren and Utopia's recent reunion show at NYC's Town Hall, but I let a few speed bumps get in my way and I did not attend. I'm still not over it and so I have been binge-listening to Rundgren and anything sounding like Rundgren these last few days, even more than usual. I realize Todd is not every one's cup of tea, and trust me, he's not always mine. But, I find that his good stuff transcends most artists' great stuff, if only for wearing his heart on his sleeve, which I am accused of on a daily basis.

I am particularly locked in to the side long suite of "Healing," Rundgren's 1981 solo release about spirituality and the human condition.  While I liked this record when it was released, it was never a favorite, until I saw the record performed in its entirety with a vocal choir in 2010. It was one of the most intense evenings of music I have ever witnessed. (The 1974 "Todd" record was also performed in its entirety that night.) I can't imagine too many of you diving right into a 20 minute suite by an artist most of you don't care about, but this is what I am feeling at the moment and I am comfortable enough to share it.

Have a good weekend.





10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Phil Thomalley - but not surprising since I've never been a fan of The Cure, The Thompson Twins or Bryan Adams. But wow, that is one great track - I'll definitely be checking the album out when it arrives. Thanks, Sal!

I graduated high school in 1976. Good times.

Randy

Anonymous said...

Just did a quick search to find a copy of K. Sulton's 3 and came up empty. Discogs, Ebay, Amazon all a no-go. Only digital is available. Any ideas where a CD copy can be found?

Randy

Sal Nunziato said...

Randy,
It was a Pledge Music campaign, so they might have only pressed what was ordered.

A walk in the woods said...

Sorry you didn't make that Todd show... I missed the Atlanta stop on this tour because we chose to go to Smokey Robinson that night instead.

As for that Astral Drive track, holy crap, that is awesome! So is the Kasim Sulton. I will make a note to pick up that Astral Drive in July.

Tom Frost said...

Good call on the Phil Thornalley track Sal. He's also done good work in the past with Ash, Waterboys, Prefab Sprout, and Psychedelic Furs. The Astral Drive track also (to my ears)has a strong sense of Gregg Alexander/New Radicals to it. Looking forward to hearing the album...

JD Seid said...

Love the Phil Thornalley track. Looking forward to that one. Certainly hear the Todd in that one.

dogbreath said...

I'll say it again: I get to find out more about different strands of music on this blog than anywhere else. Today, Phil Thomalley & Astral Drive. Plus I don't know much of Todd Rundgren by any means (Wear your badge of shame at the back of the class - Ed) but I was well taken by the "Healing" track, all 2 hours of it (Steady on, it's 20 minutes - Ed). The driving, hypnotic rhythm and the accompanying, er, driving visuals really made a fine start to my day. Cheers for that!

hpunch said...

Here's an excellent Phil Thornalley track I found some years back on a charity CD. I can't wait for Astral Drive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfT_SqD7rmE

cmealha said...

I haven't been as excited about a release as I am for the Astral Drive record. "Summer of '76" is pure pop perfection. I hope there's a lot more where that came from.

cmealha said...

Great Kasim tune