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Todd Rundgren

Crossover Prog

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Todd Rundgren A Cappella album cover
2.55 | 34 ratings | 3 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blue Orpheus (5:02)
2. Johnee Jingo (3:51)
3. Pretending to Care (3:40)
4. Hodja (3:25)
5. Lost Horizon (4:57)
6. Something to Fall Back On (4:13)
7. Miracle in the Bazaar (4:12)
8. Lockjaw (4:01)
9. Honest Work (2:40)
10. Mighty Love (3:41)

Total Time 39:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Todd Rundgren / vocals, E-mu Emulator, composer & producer

Releases information

Artwork: Gabrielle Raumberger with Lynn Goldsmith (photo)

LP Warner Bros. Records ‎- 1-25128 (1985, US)

CD Rhino Records ‎- R2 75761 (1985, US)
CD Rhino Records ‎- R2 75761 (1988, US) Remastered by Bill Inglot, Ken Perry

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TODD RUNDGREN A Cappella ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

TODD RUNDGREN A Cappella reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars Hmmm, how to rate this album ?? For Mr Rundgren's 11th studio album as a solo artist, 'A-Cappella' has taken on an (almost) all vocal approach, composed of 10 songs which utilise his voice in all manner of tones and timbres. Save for some sparsely employed instrumentation, most of the 'music' comes straight from Rundgren's (ahem) throat !! As usual, he builds up some stunning harmonies, and I'm talking with the precision of The Beach Boys, and creates some of those wonderful, typical Rundgren melodies (whatever you take that to mean - his melodies are often so tasteful...). There are a few duds amongst this lot - 'Hodja' (with its rather Gospel-like arrangement) and 'Mighty Love' (which really lacks a decent melody, and Gospel again) I do find them a tad irritating, 'Johnny Jingo' has a great melody, though Todd's mock-Irish accent was totally un-necessary. Of course there was a minor hit here with 'Something To Fall Back On', a quality pop-song if there ever was one. 'Blue Orpheus' opens the album and show-cases what Todd's new phase is all about (which is 'the voice', and how it can be manipulated and strategically arranged to create a complete sounding piece of music). The most interesting piece on the album is the Middle-Eastern sounding 'Miracle In The Bazaar', full of really strange sounds and edits, with an ambient drone as a backdrop (not unlike 10CC's I'm Not In Love). I think a vocoder has been used, too. A highly creative peak on the album. There are, as always, some 'lovely' ballads, 'Lost Horizon' is very classy, smooth and ethereal, and 'Pretending To Care' is also quite pretty. The Folky sounding 'Honest Work' is also something different from Todd. 'Lockjaw's Coming' is a bit corny, but probably the 'heaviest' song on the record. A good album it is, but nothing more. 3 stars. Incidentally, my LP is titled Runt - Acappella, on the Catsville (!) label with a totally different cover. Odd bootleg, perhaps ?? Sounds like a rough mix when compared to the original 'mask' cover......always puzzled me, that......
Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars For those who might be afraid (as I was) while reading the title of this album, don't worry: it is not an all vocal album.

Some electronic drumming and the usual suspects are being played by the man as well. But the overall feel is an extreme boredom and I wonder why such an album was released. To try and find one single decent song is quite an exercise.

I guess that so little reviews about this album sufficiently shows how shameful some fans might be when listening to such a "work". Ouch! Try and listen to the whole of "Pretending To Care". Almost four minutes of a very poor adventure. What the hell came to his mind? But it was already a question that one could have asked while the previous and desperately poor "The Even Popular Tortured Artist Effect" was issued.

This album is a very unfortunate continuation of unbearable songs. Some Negro spiritual feel ("Hodja") is not the best you can expect out of this nightmare. But the soul- oriented "Lost Horizon" is not much better either.

This is a work that is best avoided. Not a single song is of interest; and needless to say that prog is totally absent from "A Capella". Some sort of a long "press next" exercise from track one to ten.

Nothing to be remembered, except that you'd better forget this sort of album. I am not a huge fan of his work but this is really an insult to the fans. Let's forget about such a crap, really. To depict the many awful songs featured would consist of a whole track listing to be honest.

Even the pop attempt "Something To Fall Back" is totally out of purpose. Gosh! What the hell came through his mind while recording this stuff? I have no clue. But it is damned bad. That's a given. There is no need to describe each "song" from this offering: this is a useless exercise.

I don't like this album AT ALL. One star? Yes! What else?

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album is progressive in concept, not necessarily in sound. The idea is that every sound on the album was created by Todd Rundgren's own body, either voice, handclaps or other sounds. On many of the tracks, like Johnee Jingo, Hodja and Mighty Love, this is obvious. On most of the others, Todd's sounds are passed through effects and processors, to give them the effects of drum and instument noises.

The result is a decent, but not great, Todd Rundgren album. He keeps his songwriting somewhat low key, probably to simplify the recording process. But the sound is still noticably Rundgren. Particularly, Something To Fall Back On sounds like it has the same keyboard sound that Rundgren had been using on many of his pop recordings for years.

The most prog tone on the album is Miracle in the Bazaar, a spacy, Middle Eastern themed piece, where sound float around. But the best song is the heavy rock Lockjaw, a sort of sill, but fun song about the after affects of lying.

Not an essential album, but worth a listen to the audiophile.

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