Bent Fabric wrote:and - arguably - where his "Does he or doesn't he?" Todd Rundgren influence really flowers fullest.
I think this is what's called "burying the lead," as Goatboy is a huge Rundgren fan.
It makes sense now.
The other weekend the lass and I had a friend round for drinks. I was sufficiently lubricated, the lass was fair chatting away and in such moments I’ll often try and play something I know she isn’t keen on but which I love as an act of cheeky rebellion. If I’ve had whisky it’ll no doubt be a ten second blast of Black Cow before the lass demands that I “turn that Steely Dan shit off”
. Other times I play less offensive material knowing I have a greater chance of getting away with it and the other weekend it was Something/Anything?. There were a few sideways glances, to be expected, but by the time Breathless came on she pulled one of those “what the fuck is this shit”
faces and I knew it would be over before The Night The Carousel Burnt Down appeared. I’m sure anybody with a partner who is into music knows exactly what their particular “what is this shit” face looks like.
Why doesn’t Breathless bother me but, in comparison, those synths on Living For The City do (a bit)? Maybe it’s just because Todd did it so wholeheartedly. He really opened the door to a new sound world and stepped right on through. He really hung around for a while. It’s not gimmicky. There is complete commitment verging on abandonment, be it on Breathless or Flamingo or In and Out The Chakras or (hell yeah) The Spark of Life. And even when he uses it just to add a bit of colour it’s more intuitive to me (like that beautiful synth that appears in the background on I Don’t Want To Tie You Down). With Stevie it’s a bit like, “here’s my new piece of kit, fellas!”
. I don’t think he needed to use ‘em. I’m not sure it adds anything that couldn’t have been achieved with strings or something else a lot of the time. I appreciate for a soul artist it took balls and it was an unusual step but to me it sometimes recalls similarly lurid attempts at integrating the new technology
by some of the proggers. Of course I’m sure some would similarly baulk at those Todd songs I mentioned earlier.