Todd Rundgren “(Re)Production”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#498 in the Series) is Todd Rundgren, (Re)Production

Todd’s (Re)Production is going to get a ton of bad reviews. Why you say? Well, this album just doesn’t come across that well on first listen. Unfortunately, that’s all most reviewers will give to a new disc. Not here, no no no.  I try to give a new release at least three spins before I take out my crayon and loose leaf paper, ok my laptop actually.

One thing that we’ve discussed before is how albums that take a little longer to get into are usually the ones that stay with you longer. I feel that way.  That’s the case here.

(Re)Production is all covers, covers of songs that Todd produced for other acts even going back as far as the early 70s.  This is in fact his second consecutive album of covers following the previous album of Robert Johnson blues tunes. Record companies are really pushing these on artists. Gigatone Records has a number of them currently on the streets.

Some songs work better than others here. Todd mostly went with a synth-dance feel to most of the songs.  I like the redux’ of The Tubes “Prime Time, Grand Funk’s “Walk Like a Man” quite a bit. He does a real nice job on The New York Dolls “Personality Crisis” and I love new take on XTC’s “Dear God.” That one really took some getting used to but it really is a keeper. Meatloaf’s “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” sounds better now. That’s not saying much in my book. I think he absolutely nailed the new version of Cheap Trick’s “I Can’t Take It.”  Another one that they nailed is The Psychedelic Furs “Love My Way.” Once again, it took a little getting used to.  Badfinger’s “Take It All” is good. It sounds like Utopia in a Way.

I recommend this album, just make sure you give it enough listens for it to catch on. Remember, it’s Todd. Expect the unexpected.

— Larry Carta 

Track Listing

  1. Prime Time 3:29 (The Tubes)
  2. Dancing Barefoot 3:56 (Patti Smith Group)
  3. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad 3:21 (Meatloaf)
  4. Chasing Your Ghost 3:29 (What Is This?)
  5. Love My Way 4:31 (Psychedelic Furs)
  6. Personality Crisis 3:53 (New York Dolls)
  7. Is It a Star? 3:38 (Hall and Oates)
  8. Tell Me Your Dreams 3:50 (Jill Sobule)
  9. Take It All 4:08 (Badfinger)
  10. I Can’t Take It 3:11 (Cheap Trick)
  11. Dear God 3:59 (XTC)
  12. Out of My Mind 3:27 (Bourgeois Tagg)
  13. Everything 4:25 (Rick Derringer)
  14. Walk Like a Man 3:26 (Grand Funk)
  15. Nothing to Lose 3:05 (Dragon)

 Personnel

  • Todd Rundgren – Engineer, Liner Notes, Mixing, Producer
  • Donna Andreassen -Vocals (Background)
  • Don Ballance -Vocals (Background)
  • Laura Boton – Vocals (Background)
  • Lori Brown – Vocals (Background)
  • Joan Carlson – Vocals (Background)
  • John Enghauser – Vocals (Background)
  • Tami Gilliam – Vocals (Background)
  • Dave Holscher – Vocals (Background)
  • Daniel Iasbeck – Guitar, Vocals (Background)
  • Sam LaMonica –  Drums
  • Chris Landes – Vocals (Background)
  • Susan Leonard – Vocals (Background)
  • Tim Longfellow – Organ (Hammond), Vocals (Background)
  • Mary Ellen Manning – Guitar, Vocals (Background)
  • James May -Vocals (Background)
  • Joe Menga – Vocals (Background)
  • Grady Moates – Vocals (Background)
  • David Mobley- Vocals (Background)
  • David J. Moore – Vocals (Background)
  • Dee Ann Schaer – Vocals (Background)
  • Chuck Silber – Vocals (Background)
  • Shereen Skalsky – Vocals (Background)
  • Don Slovin – Penny Whistle, Vocals (Background)
  • John Smith – Vocals (Background)
  • Kevin Stoker – Vocals (Background)
  • Roy Swanson – Vocals (Background)
  • James Van Wert – Vocals (Background)
  • Robert Warwas – Vocals (Background)
  • Bruce Whetstone – Bass, Vocals (Background)
  • David Zimelis – Vocals (Background)

Links

Back to the Cool Album Home Page

Listen to most of the album below

Posted by Larry Carta

3 Comments

  1. Bruce W. (20 Sep 2011, 1:27)
    Reply

    Thanks for the great review, Larry. Agree that there will be some Todd fans the love and others that hate it. I like it lot, and for the same reason you discussed… it grows on you. It takes a few listens. But then you’ll be walking around the next day, and the tunes will pop into your head. The mark of an album (or song) that has staying power. Cheers.

  2. DavidF (20 Sep 2011, 6:17)
    Reply

    It’s mostly a terrible album, I think. I say that after listening all the way through at least a half dozen times. The most glaring problem is Todd’s inexplicable use of Auto-Tune. Every other two-bit pop “artist” uses Auto-Tune these days. I hate it. I would have thought Todd was smarter than that. The only tracks I find halfway decent are “Take It All” and “Nothing To Lose.”

  3. unfolk :: alessandro monti (21 Apr 2012, 6:59)
    Reply

    Yes, definitely The Coolest Album here! It’s a stunning piece of work: not just for TR fans (like me) but also for newcomers: it could easily be a superb introduction to a glorious past of pop-rock productions; all tracks are performed using an incredible range of contemporary styles & moods with a deliberate “Unfaithful” touch! Only TR could release such a brilliant selections of covers. We could go on forever and write about this record for ages, but the truth is Todd’s still the Wizard, the True Star we all knew… great post.



Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 3 + 2?