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Todd Rundgren

Crossover Prog

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Todd Rundgren The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect album cover
2.15 | 45 ratings | 4 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hideaway (5:00)
2. Influenza (4:31)
3. Don't Hurt Yourself (3:45)
4. There Goes Your Baybay (3:55)
5. Tin Soldier (3:13)
6. Emperor of the Highway (1:41)
7. Bang the Drum All Day (3:39)
8. Drive (5:28)
9. Chant (4:26)

Total Time 35:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Todd Rundgren / vocals, all instruments, composer & producer

Releases information

Artwork: Jane Millett (title graphics)

LP Bearsville ‎- 9 23732-1 (1982, US)

CD Rhino Records ‎- RNCD 70876 (1988, US)
CD Essential - ESD CD 706 (1999, UK) Remastered by Andy Pearce

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TODD RUNDGREN The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (42%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

TODD RUNDGREN The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tom Ozric
2 stars It's easy to see how Todd's Tortured Artist Effect is one of the last albums of his to be reviewed here. This is a pure synth-pop album, which should sound warning bells for 99% of the Prog crowd. The year is 1982, and Todd's band Utopia had broken off with Bearsville records and signed to a short-lived independent label by the name of 'Network', and Tortured Artist Effect became Todd's last record for Bearsville too, and it kind of reflects his disappointment with the label's lack of support and inability to promote his (and Utopia's) music. Yet another entire D.I.Y. affair, this album offers 9 tracks, clocking in at just over 35 minutes (making it his 2nd shortest release, Mink Hollow is even shorter !! - ta Bob) which are heavily synth driven, no guitar solo's at all (only rhythm playing), and the Bass and Drums are quite loud. It isn't all negative, though - many of the songs are actually quite infectious and enjoyable. 'Hideaway' is quite a great song with a strong beat - very positive and uplifting - would've made a decent Utopia song. 'Influenza' is my favourite tune here, with a haunting melody and tastefully played synths. 'Don't Hurt Yourself' is a ballad, nicely done as usual, although the falsetto vocals can be irksome. The only interesting thing I can speak of regarding 'There Goes Your Baybay' (that's right, Baby, Baybay....) is the Sax playing. The second side opens with a cover of the Small Faces tune 'Tin Soldier' and features the most up-front guitaring on the album. It feels a bit out of place here but is well done and recalls the album 'Faithful'. 'Emperor Of The Highway' is a short, pompous romp on the piano which is inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan works, and again, Todd has done this much better with 'Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song' from the 'Todd' album of 1974. Next up is a song which fellow reviewer Chicapah has referred to as a 'guilty pleasure' - 'Bang The Drum All Day'. This is pure candy-floss and the bounciest thing since 'Flubber' !! The Bass solo section is a blast, he's got some strange reverb thing happening here. Amusing lyrics that fit the tune spot-on. The only thing is (and don't tell no-one), it isn't Prog at all. 'Drive' is a lagging, hard-rocker that lacks 'oomph', and the closing track 'Chant' is a somewhat strange synth dominated composition with weird melodies, but captivates in its own bizarre way. On one hand it's a nice enough Pop album, but there's no innovation or complexities that most of us wish to indulge in. Perhaps the most 'hurried' album Todd has been involved with. 2 stars.
Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars This is not a good album to listen to. From a prog perspective for sure, and from a pure rock perspective as well.

Todd couldn't really fill my prog heart so far, and if you would except some three albums between 73 and 75, he just produced average rock music. According to my concepts. And this album is definitely no other.

A bundle of average American music. Ballads, poor rock and average melodies. I have a real problem to identify any great song out of this offering. Each song is a weak combination of all he elements I have mentioned. A potential "press next" all the way through. The soul affair "There Goes Your Baybay" is probably one of the poorest song featured here.

This album doesn't feature any prog moment (even related) and you should better pass your way when facing this work. It doesn't offer any good moment of prog (nor rock) and only deserves the minimal rating. One star. Yes, that's the bill. The only good rocking and catchy tune is the good "Tin Soldier". But three minutes out of thirty six is not a big deal. Is it?

The driving force is some awful to below average songs. Don't look for any prog music in here: you won't find any. The man concentrated maybe more into his "Utopia" works. This one is really behind the scenes and as I have said, it deserves only one star. The dreadful closing "Chant" should be enough to convinced you.

This is a poor album.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Whether you like Todd Rundgren for his musicianship, his songwriting of his production skills, you will probably find this album lacking.

As on many of his albums, Todd plays all of the instruments. But the arrangements are so sparse, and the music so minimalistic (a reverse to Todd usual sound), that there is very little of interest in the playing of the songs. For someone so skilled at soaring guitar solos, it's amazing to have absolutely none on this album.

The production, as noted above is extremely sparse. In song after song, there is very little going on behing the vocals. It's almost as if this album was Todd's resume for his unsuccessful revival of the simplistic 80's band, The Cars.

And the songwriting? These songs are among the most unmemorable of Todd's illustrious career. The only ones that stand out are Emperor Of The Highway, a very short but funny Gilbert & Sullivan inspired piece (a road he traveled, to better effect, on "Todd), and Band The Drum All Day, a dreadfully insipid song, that someow still gets frequent radio exposure, as well as getting played in every sports arena in America (even more so since Gary Glitter's exploits have made politically incorrect).

Latest members reviews

2 stars Bang on a Drum while you listen to this. Made solely to complete a record contract he had with Bearsville (which later went bankrupt), this album sees Todd toss off the throwaway pop tunes as quickly as he could. It is mostly uninspired. Perhaps it was when he was feeling the pressure himself tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698218) | Posted by Walkscore | Friday, March 3, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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