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Todd Rundgren

Crossover Prog

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Todd Rundgren 2nd Wind album cover
2.54 | 23 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Change Myself (5:21)
2. Love Science (5:23)
3. Who's Sorry Now (6:15)
4. The Smell of Money (4:06)
5. If I Have to Be Alone (3:51)
6. Love In Disguise (4:02)
7. Kindness (5:31)
8. Public Servant (5:38)
9. Gaya's Eyes (6:13)
10. Second Wind (7:32)

Total time 54:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Todd Rundgren / arranger, mixing, keyboards, producer, vocals
- Scott Mathews / guitar, percussion, vocals, sampling, keyboards
- Jenni Muldaur / vocals
- Prairie Prince / drums
- Shandi Sinnamon / vocals
- Bobby Strickland / reeds, vocals, woodwind, wind
- Ross Valory / bass
- Vince Welnick / keyboards, vocals
- Lyle Workman / guitar, vocals
- Michele Gray / vocals
- Roger Powell / keyboards, vocals
- Max Haskett / vocals, brass

Releases information

Warner bros. 7599-26478-2

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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TODD RUNDGREN 2nd Wind ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (43%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TODD RUNDGREN 2nd Wind reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars With an ending to leave you breathless

Todd continued to release albums, both in a solo capacity and as a member of Utopia throughout the 1980's. Towards the end of the 80's, Utopia most definitely ran out of steam, while in contrast the solo albums continued to at least show a willingness to experiment and work outside the box. As the 80's became the 90's, Todd decided that a solo career was to be his only way forward in terms of his music creation at least.

The songs here were recorded "live" before a totally silent audience, without subsequent overdubbing or enhancement. Thus, for obvious reasons, this is not one of those albums where Todd does everything himself. Indeed the line up extends to no less than 11 supporting musicians. Quite a contrast to many previous solo releases.

Three of the songs on the album ("The Smell of Money", "If I Have to Be Alone" and "Love in Disguise") were written by Todd for the musical "Up against it", an adaptation of a film script originally written by Joe Orton for the Beatles. The compositions Todd wrote for the musical, which enjoyed a run on Broadway, have never been released in full commercially, other than in demo format in Japan.

The album has all the feel of a studio recording, essentially the audience were simply witnesses to the studio performance. The songs are mostly from Todd's power pop and ballads catalogue. The opening "Change myself" makes for a fine initial statement. Todd gives a fine vocal performance backed by a well arranged chorale. He pleads "How can I change the world, when I can't myself?" in an appealing chorus with a strong hook.

"Love science" is a funky pop rock song with new wave overtones. The song is very much of its time, with little lasting appeal. As "Who's sorry now" begins, it becomes apparent that the album is by and large configured as a rather predictable mix of alternating ballads and upbeat songs. "Who's sorry now" is a pleasant slow song, and in isolation it is a highly polished and creditable work. Those familiar with Todd's output though may feel that they have heard it all before.

The three tracks from "Up against it" are placed consecutively in the track listing. There is a distinct stage show feel to them, "The smell of money" being particularly un-Todd like. "If I have to be alone" reverts to the more conventional power ballad style, the demands on Todd's vocal prowess being among the most demanding he has ever encountered. The third and final song from "Up against it", "Love in disguise", features a female lead vocal (possibly Todd's future wife Michele Gray) in addition to Todd's, immediately setting it apart. Once again, the composition is very much in the modern stage show mould.

The album reverts to standard album material with "Kindness", a further soft ballad with an interesting arrangement and a captivating melody. In contrast, "Public servant" is a frantic, muddled rock song with high pitched backing vocals and a wall of sound. Reverting again to ballad mode, "Gaya's eyes" has an oriental atmosphere through the instrumentation. The song is a little reminiscent of "Fair warning" from "Initiation", complete with some fine sax.

The album closes with the title track which at 7 minutes is also the it's longest. The song is a curious mix of stage show like passages, 10CC style pop and classic Rundgren rock. It is almost as if Todd has thrown everything he has left for the album into a melting pot to see what would come out. This is certainly the most prog number on the album, the track weaving its way through a myriad of themes and sounds.

"Second wind" is a difficult album to summarise and indeed to categorise. While I believe few will list it as their favourite Todd album, most Todd fans will find much to enjoy along the way. Many of the tracks may have an air of familiarity to them, but curve balls such as the songs from the musical and the ambitious closer reassure us that Todd has indeed found his second (but more likely one hundred and second!) wind.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This is one out of many average Todd album.

Most of the songs are very much pop or ballad oriented, and the prog aspect is close to none. Actually, I wonder why this artist is referenced in the X-over section of this site. Prog related would fit him better. But not even an inch of prog relation is available while listening to the funky "Love Science".

To the question: "Who's Sorry Now", I can only answer: I am. Over six minutes of Motown mystification, soul oriented syrupy ballad. Ouch, it hurts. A lot.

And I am not very much impressed by the trilogy of songs which ended up in a musical. But since these were intended to be viewed, maybe that to only listen to them is not the best way to appreciate. Still, "The Smell Of The Money" is a quite painful experience and is best avoided.

The most melodic of the whole and also my fave is "If I Have To Be Alone": Todd's vocals are quite performing. Finally a good song! I can't say that the final "Love In Disguise" could really move me. Maybe fine while experienced on stage (but even so), but particularly weak to listen to.

Todd is artist who is difficult to catalogue. He has good composition skills, great producing ones. But if you except his three best efforts (Wizard, Todd, Initiation) there are hardly anything great to be far. Prog is mostly alien all the way through his very long solo career.

An average rock song as "Public Servant" is almost the best you could expect from this album, unless you're keen on such ballad as "Gaya's eyes" (but it's not my case).

The closing number and title track "Second Wind" borrows a lot to "Steppin' Out" from Joe Jackson IMO but is definitely the most achieved track of this work and it saves (only partially) the bill.

Two stars.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars While this is not a prog album, there is a bit of progressiveness in the production. Always experimenting with recording processes, Todd Rundgren had an array of isolation booths built on a stage, and recorded this album in front of an audience, who were told to stay quiet for the performance. Because of this, Todd needed a full band for this album, as the process did not allow for his usual overdubs.

The result is a very well produced album, with a lively and exciting sound from the band, which included his Utopia keyboardist, Roger Powell, and two veterans from The Tubes, Prairie Prince and Vince Welnick.

The music is just average. You get ballads, upbeat dance songs, and even three songs that Rundgren wrote for a Broadway musical, "Up Against It". What you don't get are any songs that stick with you after the album is over. For that, despite the ambition, I can only give it twob stars.

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