Todd Rundgren “Back to the Bars”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#172 in the Series and #2 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is Todd Rundgren, Back to the Bars.

Adventures in Utopia is the Todd album that I’ve spun the most. I would have to say that a close second would be Back to the Bars.

Back to the Bars was released shortly after Hermit of Mink Hallow in 1978. It’s a Utopia live album with a bunch of friends joining in on the fun.

Double album, four sides of various tunes from Todd as a solo artist and of his work with Utopia.

Highlights are many.  Here’s what I’d recommend.  Real Man, Love of the Common Man, Love in Action, Black Maria, Couldn’t I Just Tell You and The Last Ride.

There’s a great medley that includes Ooh Baby Baby/La la Means I Love You and ends with his I Saw the Light.

Now what I haven’t mentioned are the great Todd ballads that are here.  It Couldn’t have made any difference, Sometimes I Don’t Know How to Feel  and A Dream Goes On Forever are all unbelievable.  These are real Rundgren highlights.

The album ends with a great full blown rendition of one of Todd’s biggest hits, Hello it’s Me.  For this song, Todd brings out Hall and Oats, Rick Derringer, Stevie Nicks amongst others to join in on the celebration.

Back to the Bars was recorded at The Bottom Line in New York, The Roxy in LA and the Agora in Cleveland, OOOHHHIOOOOO, as he says on the disc

Track listing

Side one

  1. “Real Man” – 4:47
  2. “Love of the Common Man” – 4:25
  3. “The Verb ‘To Love'” – 8:00
  4. “Love in Action” – 3:44
  5. “A Dream Goes on Forever” – 2:42

Side two

  1. “Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Feel” – 4:13
  2. “The Range War” – 2:56
  3. “Black and White” – 5:34
  4. “The Last Ride” – 6:03
  5. “Cliché” – 4:12
  6. “Don’t You Ever Learn?” – 5:53

Side three

  1. “Never Never Land” – 2:50
  2. “Black Maria” – 5:41
  3. “Zen Archer” – 5:43
  4. “Medley: I’m So Proud/Ooh Baby Baby/La la Means I Love You/I Saw the Light” – 11:09

Side four

  1. “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference” – 4:27
  2. “Eastern Intrigue” – 5:43
  3. “Initiation” – 6:49
  4. “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” – 4:05
  5. “Hello It’s Me” – 4:27


Posted by Larry Carta

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