Thursday, 22 May 2014

"Something/Anything?" by TODD RUNDGREN (2014 Edsel 'Deluxe Edition' Book Pack CD Reissue and Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...I Saw The Light..."

Originally released in the Spring of 1972 as a double-album on Bearsville Records - "Something/Anything?" proved what many had already known – after 3 albums with Sixties songsters NAZZ and two fine solo efforts in 1970 and 1971 – singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren was ready to drop the artistic motherlode. And he did it with style. Even now – 42 years after I first held its wondrous gatefold in my grubby Dublin paws – It still gives me a buzz just to look at it. Much like this lovely packaging upgrade. Here are the faithful details…

UK released 19 May 2014 (27 May in the USA) - "Something/Anything?" by TODD RUNDGREN on Edsel EDSK 7070 (Barcode 740155707033) is a 2CD reissue of their October 2011 Expanded Version - only this time it’s in a case bound Hardback Book:

Disc 1 – Parts 1 and 2 (43:13 minutes):
1. I Saw The Light
2. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference
3. Wolfman Jack
4. Cold Morning Light
5. It Takes Two To Tango (This Is For The Girls)
6. Sweeter Memories
7. Intro [Part 2]
8. Breathless
9. The Night The Carousel Burnt Down
10. Saving Grace Marlene
11. Song Of The Viking
12. I Went To The Mirror

Disc 2 – Parts 3 and 4 (52:03 minutes):
1. Black Maria
2. One More Day (No Word)
3. Couldn’t I Just Tell You
4. Torch Song
5. Little Red Lights
6. Overture – My Roots [Part 4]
7. Dust In The Wind
8. Piss Aaron
9. Hello, It’s Me
10. Some Folks Is even Whiter Than Me
11. You Left Me Sore
12. Slut
”Something/Anything?” by TODD RUNDGREN was released as a 2LP set February 1972 in the USA on Bearsville 2BX 2066 and May 1972 in the UK on Bearsville K 65501
13. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference (Bearsville Sound Studio B)
14. Something/Anything Promos 1-6
Tracks 13 and 14 are BONUSES

The 36-page attached booklet within has liner notes by Paul Myers from his superb tome "A Wizard, A True Star – Todd Rundgren In The Studio" and is an excellent read. The gatefold sleeve to the Bearsville vinyl album is here (inside and out) – as are the insert photos and lyrics. The hard card case bound book has a details sticker on the outer shrink-wrap that easily peels off (if you want to attach it to the book cover).

There is no new remaster that I can hear – this is the Edsel October 2011 version - that in itself was a Peter Rynston UK master using the 1993 American Rhino remasters. The sound is superb throughout with some tracks like "It Takes Two To Tango" and the Side 2 instrumental "Breathless" sounding amazing. The two extras are actually worth having – a studio demo of the lovely ballad "It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference" while the Promo clips turn out to be fab Acapella snippets of tracks especially recorded for advert purposes. While the cool-looking book packaging is a rather lovely thing to behold…

The huge hit was of course "I Saw The Light" – but just as good is "Cold Morning Light" (a B-side to "Hello It's Me" in the UK in January 1974) and "Torch Song" with its pianos somehow aching like tears. There are some turkeys – the crappy metal of "Little Red Lights" and the demo mess that is "Overture…" is unlistenable to me now. But my overriding feeling is that the whole shebang is just so musical – proper songs – fast or slow – he hit the nail more often than not. Rundgren would follow this with the equally brill but different single LP "A Wizard, A True Star" in 1973.

If you’ve been on the fence about this man and his music – this is where to start the journey to your inner Runt...

PS: see also my reviews for "Runt", "A Wizard, A True Star", "Todd", "Todd Rundgren's Utopia", "Initiation" and "Hermit of Mink Hollow" 

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