2BRX 6986 Back To The Bars
Produced by Todd Rundgren
Released on December 1978
US CHART POSITION #75
Find it at GEMM
2BRX 6986 cover
[outer gatefold photo]
 

R undgren comes alive in Cleveland (and LA and New York), with what in the days of vinyl would have constituted a generous helping of hits. (Since the two records run just past the boundaries of a single disc, it’s something of a gyp as a double-disc set.) Todd hadn’t really released a live album to date (Another Live was a hybrid), so Back to the Bars can’t be called blatant product, but no one’s calling it a great live album either. In the studio, Rundgren’s songs hinge on his vocals and harmonies; on stage, his impassionable voice comes across like a rusty version of Daryl Hall. So versions of “Real Man,” “A Dream Goes On Forever” and “The Last Ride” are rougher going than you might remember. Todd’s occasional banter with the audience could also have been edited out without losing anything (especially the stock “shouting drunk guy” sideshow). The backing band, which includes Utopia members past and present as well as some special guests (Spencer Davis, Hall and Oates, Stevie Nicks, Rick Derringer), doesn’t get a lot of cameos; if the unplugged “Cliché” is any indication, Todd should leave them at the airport next time. Back to the Bars does function as a useful compass through Todd’s catalog (if you like the live version, you’ll probably like the studio version even more), but it’s not the long, loving walk through his career that it could have been. If you’re one of those purists who believes the live versions never equal the studio originals, best to put this back in the bin.

2BRX 6986 inner gatefold 2BRX 6986 picture sleeve
2BRX 6986 inner gatefold 2BRX 6986 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. REAL MAN    4:34
  2. LOVE OF THE COMMON MAN    3:33
  3. THE VERB "TO LOVE"    7:42
  4. LOVE IN ACTION    3:31
  5. A DREAM GOES ON FOREVER    2:22
  6. SOMETIMES I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO FEEL    4:13
  7. THE RANGE WAR    2:39
  8. BLACK AND WHITE    4:41
  9. THE LAST RIDE    4:50
  10. CLICHE    3:48
  11. DON'T YOU EVER LEARN?    5:45

    record two
  12. NEVER NEVER LAND    (Comden, Green & Styne)    2:42
  13. BLACK MARIA    5:31
  14. ZEN ARCHER    5:16
  15. MEDLEY    10:46
    I'M SO PROUD    (Curtis Mayfield)
    OOH BABY BABY    (Robinson/Cleveland/Benson)
    LA LA MEANS I LOVE YOU    (Hart & Bell)
    I SAW THE LIGHT
  16. IT WOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE    4:42
  17. EASTERN INTRIGUE    5:28
  18. INITIATION    7:05
  19. COULDN'T I JUST TELL YOU    4:05
  20. HELLO IT'S ME    4:26

    All songs written by Todd Rundgren unless noted

CREDITS

TODD RUNDGREN -- vocals, piano, guitar, mixing
GREG GEDDES --
MOOGY KLINGMAN -- keyboards
BOBBY SEDITA --
JOHN SIEGLER -- bass
NORMAN SMART --
LARRY TASSE --
JOHN WILCOX -- drums
Spencer Davis --
Rick Derringer -- guitar
Daryl Hall --
Stevie Nicks --
John Oates --
Roger Powell -- synthesizers
Ralph Schuckett -- organ (2:4)
Kasim Sulton -- bass
Hipgnosis -- sleeve design and photos
Richard Creamer, Chuck Pulin, Kevin and Michael Ricker -- live photos

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN December 1978 Bearsville 2LP/2-8T 2BRX/BEAJ8A 6986 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
UK December 1978 Bearsville 2LP K65511 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
GER 1978 Bearsville 2LP BEA65511 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
JPN 1978 Bearsville 2LP P-5561/2W lyric insert
US   Rhino 2LP/2CD/CS RNDA-71109  
UK/NET 1999 Essential 2CD ESDCD-704  
JPN   Bearsville 2CD VICP-60265  

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2005 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.