Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this music junkie as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. Compact Discs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no files.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Todd Rundgren - The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect (1982)

Note: this release was received as a gift as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

In 1982, Rundgren was unhappy with his record label, but was contractually obligated to deliver a solo record. This explains the record's cynical title and the fact that it only runs about 35 minutes. Rundgren threw together some songs that he quickly wrote, produced, and on which he performed all instruments. He reportedly disavows this album, but I think it's great and I'm glad I picked up a CD copy before it went out-of-print.

Press of the time:
  • Rolling Stone (★★★½): "Here's hoping there's more where this came from."
  • Stereo Review: "when he's right there's no one else like him."
  • Trouser Press: "It's so thoroughly, melodiously pop that it's almost too easy."
  • Billboard: "For the faithful only."

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #66
Peak on the Billboard Rock Album chart: #30
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #60

Tracks: You know the ubiquitous hit, Bang The Drum All Day. There's also a bad cover of the Small Faces' Tin Soldier and a Gilbert & Sullivan parody entitled Emperor of the Highway. Those three are the worse songs on the CD. The other 6 tracks are fantastic, forgotten pop tracks. I'd have to say that my favorite is probably Drive because I find myself singing that song to myself more than any others.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: My LP copy of this release was given to me by my friend Jim. Jim bought a lot of albums in the early '80s and turned me on to a lot of music I would not have heard otherwise. He bought this LP and, it not being what he expected, gave it to me. Knowing Jim, he would probably would rather stick an icepick through his eardrum than listen to this music now, but I'm grateful that he exposed me to a wide variety of music.

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