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 élan 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.