Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Todd Rundgren - The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect - 1983

As the early '80s continued to unfold, Todd Rundgren grew increasingly disenchanted with Bearsville, especially since the label wasn't supporting Utopia. He wrangled the band free in 1982, but he still had to deliver solo records to Bearsville. Not entirely pleased with the situation, Rundgren hammered out a collection of pop songs on his own, cynically titling the effort The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect. In later years, Rundgren disavowed the album, but it stands as one of his better collections of pop songs, even if it lacks a theme or a unifying sound. There are a fair share of throwaways, not only coming in the expected form of covers (a fine but pointless remake of the Small Faces' "Tin Soldier") and Gilbert & Sullivan parodies ("Emperor of the Highway"), but also in the monumentally silly "Bang the Drum All Day," which not only became a hit, but a hit that refused to die, lasting as a radio staple into the late '90s. These three songs are anomalies on Tortured Artist, which for the most part is pure pop and pop-soul, delivered with little fuss or pretention. There's also little deep meaning to the songs themselves, which is quite unusual for Rundgren, yet the best tunes -- "Hideaway," "Influenza," "There Goes Your Baybay," "Drive," "Chant" -- are indelible, irresistible pop confections that prove Rundgren can be quite involving, even when he's not trying his hardest. -AMG

Todd Rundgren - The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect - 1983/rs
Todd Rundgren - The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect - 1983/sb
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the album. I was looking for it because i wanted to hear the original version of Influenza. Argentienan music Charly Garcia made a version (a cover) of this song called "influencia". It was a hit circa 2001/2002 in my country. He is well known in spanish speaking america.


Anonymous said...

Todd Rundgren is a genius.

Anonymous said...

Todd IS God!!!

Anonymous said...

Yipes!!!!! ---------> There Goes Todd ;-)

Irene said...

Thanks for the album!
Does anyone have the film of the same name?


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