BR6963 Faithful
Produced by Todd Rundgren
Released on April 1976
US CHART POSITION #54
Find it at GEMM
BR6963 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

F aithful (in some cases, uncanny) reproductions on the first side. An album’s worth of original aces on the second. Like Utopia’s Deface the Music, it’s hard to know what to make of the first half. Is it an homage to the sonic pioneers that came before him or simply a knobby need to show off his production savvy? I’m impressed, of course, but I was already. And I don’t buy Todd Rundgren albums to hear The Beach Boys or Bob Dylan. So onto the real payoff for the one-side suffering faithful: the ballads, the rockers, the breezy numbers. Todd gives us two of each, starting with bleak and heavy “Black and White.” This and the vegetarian “Boogies (Hamburger Hell)” feature the compressed and distorted sound most often associated with Utopia. (In fact, there’s not a lot that separates the second side of Faithful from Oops! Wrong Planet.) Then comes the cooling “Love of the Common Man” and, later, “When I Pray.” I like Todd’s midtempo masterpieces the best, and these rank right up there with “Love In Action” and “Marlene.” The ballads are usually a mixed bag. “Cliché” doesn’t click with me because it’s too fragile, but “The Verb ‘To Love’” is flawless, providing the album’s lump-in-the-throat moment. You’d think I’d be happy with half a great album, and I am, but I keep eyeing the first side and wondering if it isn’t taking up too-valuable real estate. Fans who indulged Deface will do the same for Faithful, but there’s only limited happiness to be had in hearing Todd and the rest of Utopia try so hard to sound like somebody else.

TRACK LISTING

  1. HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS AGO    (Keith Relf/Jimmy Page/Jeff Beck/Jim McCarthy)    3:12
  2. GOOD VIBRATIONS    (Brian Wilson/Mike Love)    3:44
  3. RAIN    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    3:16
  4. MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY AND I'LL GO MINE    (Bob Dylan)    3:24
  5. IF SIX WAS NINE    (Jimi Hendrix)    4:55
  6. STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    3:53
  7. BLACK AND WHITE    (Todd Rundgren)    4:42
  8. LOVE OF THE COMMON MAN    (Todd Rundgren)    3:35
  9. WHEN I PRAY    (Todd Rundgren)    2:58
  10. CLICHE    (Todd Rundgren)    4:00
  11. THE VERB "TO LOVE"    (Todd Rundgren)    7:25
  12. BOOGIES (HAMBURGER HELL)    (Todd Rundgren)    5:00

CREDITS

TODD RUNDGREN --
ROGER POWELL --
JOHN SIEGLER --
JOHN WILCOX --

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN April 1976 Bearsville LP/8T BR/BEAM8-6963 inner sleeve
UK April 1976 Bearsville LP K 55510  
JPN 1976 Warner LP P-10185W  
NET 1976 Bearsville LP 200757  
US May/June 1993 Rhino LP/CD RNLP/R2-70868  
UK/GER/NET 1999 Essential CD ESMCD-702 digital remaster

 

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