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Todd Rundgren - Back to the Bars CD (album) cover


Todd Rundgren


Crossover Prog

3.64 | 28 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars If ever an artist had a definitive set of tunes contained on an album, this is it. This wonderful dbl LP of songs by Todd R was culled from several live performances, (Bottom Line in N.Y., The Roxy in L.A. and the Agora in Cleveland) during '77-'78, and serves its purpose as a worthy anthology, and also brings Todd straight into your living-room ; he sure has a great personality and a fantastic voice, he creates a good rapport with his audience, and is a killer guitarist to boot. The set features him both as a solo artist with lots of famous guests at the time (Hall and Oates, Rick Derringer, Spencer Davis, Stevie Nicks, to name a few...) and alongside his band UTOPIA (but don't go expecting anything like 'The Ikon'...). The track list is a vast sprawl of songs from most Todd albums up to this point, and offers a good cross-section of Pop-oriented material along with some of the more challenging, Progressive inflected things he'd occasionally compose. His most popular pieces are often made up of beautiful melodies, catchy hooks and rather soulful vocals - It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference (a real tear-jerker), The Last Ride (with some searing guitar soloing), A Dream Goes On Forever (just a man and a piano), Zen Archer (almost spiritual), Hello It's Me (great song)....... even the soul medley of 50's style doo-wop tunes tugs at this listener's heart-strings. The songs featuring Utopia seem to be the more complex ones. Eastern Intrigue and Initiation come to mind. If there ever was a Progressive flavoured ballad, then, The Verb To Love is it. The vocal harmonies of Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton and Willie Wilcox are just so warm, not to mention the beautiful music behind it all. 'Back To The Bars' is actually a great starting point if one wants to be introduced to this great man's music. A strong 4 stars from me.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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