Amazon has a bunch of his stuff, including greatest hits, listed.
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Be careful with Rundgren's LP reissues. There are a few places in and around LA that probably still have them and they're cheap, as well. Unfortunately, they're uniformly thin and screechy sounding. His CDs are a mixed bag sonically, but the LPs that I've heard generally suck.
Good news is that Greatest Hits Live features great songs, great performances, and very good sound (on cd). The 7 cd Utopia Live box set has some great music/performances, but sound quality is (pardon the pun) all over the board. The double LP Utopia hits record is also a mixed bag sonically.
I believe that Rundgren is GREAT, and he's among only a handful of pop musicians I'd so describe. Other than Brian Wilson, I can't think of any pop/rock songwriter who can match Rundgren's mastery of harmony. My first rule is "buy anything he's touched" from Meat Loaf to his Bossa Nova greatest hits remix record. Just don't expect a lot in the sound quality department. Unfortunately, the sonics are just wildly inconsistent.
The great thing with Todd is he is NO one hit wonder.
So,he got lots of great stuff,I'm partial to his nearly human album,C- for sonics.
And I like his, Individualist CD, B+/A- for sonics.
Which HE most certainly is.
He did some Tubes stuff too.
If you like him you might try the tubes.(not hifi)group.
YOU CAN'T JUDGE TODD BY ANY ONE ALBUM.
He's a musical shape shifter.
sorry to shout,had to make the point. I don't like his older stuff all that much,just some,like Hermit of mink hollow.
And he is an acquired taste.I didnt like the individualist much when I got it,after some years its grown on me. He can be like that.
Some albums, he plays everything on the record,I saw him in San Fransico and What a preformer! Tremendous vibe and energy,explosive...
I dont like his new album,boy did I want too.
As McGarick points out, TR likes to wander and therefore his records tend to feel inconsistent, both within each cd, and from cd to cd. However, there's such a great wealth of music there that you just have to wade through some of the more curious stuff. Over time, you may learn to enjoy that, too.
"Something/Anything", "Nearly Human", and "Mink Hollow" are all on my short list of great pop/rock albums and would be the first three TR records to seek out IMHO. For me, Utopia is best represented on the live records. The 8 million different TR and Utopia live recordings are all generally worth owning because the songs are constantly reworked and because TR is a wonderful guitar player whose long suit is wit, something sorely lacking in most soloists these days!
I like Todd's music, but I have to say a 1976 performance was perhaps the worst concert ever. About a quarter of the audience left prior to concert ending, and no demands for an encore, I think that a singular experience. My friend and I only stuck around to take in the whole sorry experience, we actually thought people were going to riot. Sorry Todd fans.
Rundgren suffered from a form of "musical attention deficit disorder"...
I just listened to "Todd", "Todd Rundgren's Utopia", and "Initiation" the other night. All have incredible songs and musical passages, but there is also a lot of ill-advised filler.
His lead riffs are insane, though. He definitely deserves mention with the best rock guitarists
Rundgren's shows are usually great, but -like the records- they go all over the place. His last tour, supporting his recent "Arena" cd was a wild excersize in retro blues rock, fused with TR's own weird sense of humor. (Think Nazz or Yardbirds), but definitely not "Hello, It's Me", "Real Man" or "Love is The Answer". But even that doesn't explain the self aware humor that seems to occasionally confuse the audience.
Near the end of the set, TR performed one solo shirtless, prompting a female friend who accompanied my wife and I to the show to proclaim that she was tempted to throw her bra, as TR needed it more than she did. I'm pretty sure the shirtless bit, though pretty funny to me, turned off a decent portion of the people who actually liked the music. Between those who wanted a different set list and those who felt that this show was "over the top", it seemed like everyone had something to bitch about. Personally, I loved it.
TR just can't help himself, but it's part of the charm. He seems dogmatically allergic to commercial acceptance, until he needs cash. The he tosses off a few perfect pop songs (or joins The New Cars) , pays his bills, and sets out to confuse anew. Either you get it, or you don't. Judging by the comments I overheard in the parking lot outside LA's House of Blues, most fans didn't.
BTW, Jesse Gress, music editor of Guitar Player Magazine (and a pretty monster guitarist in his own right) was the "other" guitar in the band. This was one loud, aggressive night of rock n roll. As TR pointed out, if you and the wife were looking for a night away from the kids to hear a blue eyed R&B show of TR's greatest hits, you were shit out of luck.
Marty- I'm a big Todd fan from way back. Your description of Todd is absolutely spot on. I've been to shows where he actually will start playing a song everyone wants to hear only to stop abruptly and say "tricked you" and proceed to start playing another bizzare song no one wants to hear. At times its like he punishes the audience for wanting to hear his hits-so he proceeds not to play any of them. Which is bizzare because if it weren't for those hits nobody would buy a ticket.