2 BR 6952 Todd
Produced by Todd
Released on February 1974
US CHART POSITION #54
Find it at GEMM
2 BR 6952 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

T odd tosses two more elpees at audiences, little of which sticks. Side one actually displays Rundgren’s protean muse to stunning effect. It begins with some synthesizer noodling, slides comfortably into the slightly left-of-center “I Think You Know,” transcends the earlier electronic dabbling with the daunting “The Spark of Life,” winds up a toylike novelty in “An Elpee’s Worth of Toons,” delivers yet another lump-in-the-throat ballad with “A Dream Goes On Forever,” and closes with -- what else? -- W.S. Gilbert’s “Lord Chancellor’s Nightmare Song.” (In a serendipitous twist, I actually made a slideshow based on this poem for my high school English class, drawn as I was to the playful Ogden Nash-like language.) It’s a small miracle that side one works as well as it does. Unfortunately, no more miracles are forthcoming on Todd. Sure, there are some good rock songs (“Heavy Metal Kids”), electronic experiments (“In And Out of Chakras We Go”), pop tunes (“Izzat Love?”) and ballads (“Don’t You Ever Learn?”) to pick from, but a lot of it sounds like second-rate Something/Anything outtakes. What is interesting here is the number of times Todd sounds like David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, two artists I wouldn’t ordinarily lump together. “I Think You Know” and “No. 1 Lowest Common Denominator” in particular could have easily been slipped into Dogs’ diet. It’s unlikely that Bowie drew anything from Todd, suggesting a confluence of influence that both artists drank from prior to recording their albums (maybe Orwell was all the rage at the beginning of 1974 -- I don’t remember). Todd is far from a bad album, it’s simply uneven in spots (like side two). The payoffs aren’t as big as Something/Anything?, the electronic experimentation is more prevalent but also more sophisticated (pre-dating Healing by quite a few years), and the wunderkind label was beginning to rub off under the weight of these heavy double-album packages.

2 BR 6952 back cover 2 BR 6952 lyric poster
2 BR 6952 back cover 2 BR 6952 lyric poster

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. HOW ABOUT A LITTLE FANFARE?
  2. I THINK YOU KNOW    3:48
  3. THE SPARK OF LIFE    6:43
  4. AN ELPEE'S WORTH OF TOONS    2:08
  5. A DREAM GOES ON FOREVER    2:21
  6. LORD CHANCELLOR'S NIGHTMARE SONG    (Gilbert and Sullivan)    3:30
  7. DRUNKEN BLUE ROOSTER    3:00
  8. THE LAST RIDE    4:46
  9. EVERYBODY'S GOING TO HEAVEN/KING KONG REGGAE    6:35

    record two
  10. NUMBER 1 LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR    5:10
  11. USELESS BEGGING    3:27
  12. SIDEWALK CAFE    2:25
  13. IZZAT LOVE?    1:56
  14. HEAVY METAL KIDS    4:13
  15. IN AND OUT OF CHAKRAS WE GO (FORMERLY SHAFT GOES TO OUTER SPACE)    5:48
  16. DON'T YOU EVER LEARN?    6:01
  17. SONS OF 1984    4:37

    All songs written and arranged by Todd Rundgren unless noted

CREDITS

TODD RUNDGREN -- instruments, voices, engineer
Mike Brecker -- sax
Randy Brecker -- trumpet
Kevin Ellman -- drums
First United Church of the Cosmic Smorgasbord, N.Y. and S.F. chapters -- voices
Buffalo Bill Gelber -- bass
Wells Kelly -- drums
Moogy Klingman -- keyboards, grand piano, organ, electric piano
John Miller -- bass
Peter Ponzel -- soprano saxophone
Barry Rogers -- trombone
John Siegler -- bass
Ralph Shuckett -- organ, clavinette
Joel Shapiro -- photography
Alen MacWeeney -- cover photo
Bill Klein, Jr. -- back cover photo
Jim Luft, A.G.I. -- art direction

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US February 1974 Bearsville 2LP 2 BR 6952 lyric poster
UK February 1974 Bearsville 2LP K85501 lyric poster
GER 1974 Bearsville 2LP BEA 85501  
JPN   Bearsville 2LP P-5126/7W lyric poster
NZ 1974 Bearsville 2LP 2WBS6952 lyric poster
UK 1989 Castle 2LP/CD CLDLP/CLACD 177  
US 1993 Rhino CD 71108  
UK February 1999 Essential CD ESMCD674  

 

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