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) - Edsel EDSK 7070 (Barcode 740155707033) is a 2CD reissue of their October 2011 Expanded Version of "Something/Anything?" - 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...
Todd came of age with this album, demonstrating his unique and in my opinion an unsurpassed ability as a gifted songwriter,guitarist,musician, singer and producer. This is probably Todd most accessable album probably because it features some of finest melodies you will ever find on any album. A listen to, It WouldnT Have made any Difference, Torch song, Cold Morning Light, Dust in the Wind, I Saw the Light,Hello its Me to name just a few you should be hooked. There are also a number of rockier numbers that illustrates his versatility as a musician. Along with Daryl Hall,Jay Ferguson (Spirit)I cannot think of any better male singers .Todd vocals are sublime through out as he has the ability to ring out of every song endless emotion that is very rare today.
This album is re released soon. Buy it and enhance your life.
Perhaps more famous for the albums he produced such as The New York Dolls debut and Meatloafs Bat Out Of Hell, Todd released a string of great albums throughout the 1970's of which this double album released in 1972 is the best(although the following years A Wizard, A True Star runs it a very close second).Encompassing everything from pop ballads to all out rock his mastery of singing, songwriting, production,guitar and keyboards is astonishing.Opening with the gorgeous I Saw The Light we also get gems like It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference,Wolfman Jack,Hello it's Me(originally a hit with his group Nazz) and oddball numbers like Piss Aaron and Song Of The Viking. On side two we even get a demonstration on the different types of sound courtesy of Todd.An extraordinary record from a multi talented artist.
I picked this up whilst in Tokyo without any previous knowledge of the album, no matter how hard i try all my favourite albums seem to be picked up in this random way, radio and research have nothing on random!
Anyway, this is certainly one of my favourite albums, its perfectly produced, sounding great on a tinny pair of laptop speakers or my full blown audiophile headphone set up or hifi. The music can change quite dramatically from track to track which adds to the longevity and versatility of this album. My only negative would be that you must have a tolerance to mildly cheesy moments, but the music is so very excellent it almost isn't cheesy anymore, like a great elton john for example.
One of the most criminally under-heard/rated albums of all time.
Come on readers.....you're being a bit hard on Jason Parkes' review. If you've not yet discovered this truly WONDROUS album, then try and find the time to do so. It will change your life. This comes from a time when "Our Hero" was at the top of his game, features a truck-load of his greatest songs and provides the perfect insight into Todd's (then) god-like genius. He writes, sings, plays and produces just about everything. (The exception being side 4 of the original double LP, where he's helped out by guest singers and musicians.)
So special that you will want to share it with one who has the potential to be the love of your life. (I did, but she still didn't hang around.) There's hardly a duff song in there. Trust me! However, i won't go as far as promising to refund your money if you're disappointed.
This is one of those Todd albums that always gets a glowing mention in '70s rock write-ups. Right on, man. The Night The Carousel Burned Down seems to have inspired the Doves' Melody Calls - another atmospheric classic. Never one to schlock his way through doing the expected for the expecting, Mr R has created here a veritable cornucopia of musical styles whilst maintaining a coherent 'sound'. There's gaiety, abandon, gluttony, melancholia (always a good one, that), lust, VD... haha... bet they weren't expecting that one, eh, Todd? You get the seven deadly sins all in one double album if you look carefully - great value and very, very funny.
A five-star album if ever there was one. I admit some bias here, as I consider Todd to be king of the world anyway (musically speaking) but he does appear to divide opinion. I think this is because he is so capable in so many fields that his unpredictability unsettles some listeners. He is also willing to take risks in exploring different musical styles, just like Neil Young. Not everything always comes off (eg some of the synthesised noodling on 'Todd'), but on this album everything works. Great singing (often overlooked amongst his many talents)guitar and arrangements and of course his fabulous songs with unforgettable melodies. Some of his most accessible and best known stuff, 'I saw the light' and 'Hello it's me', is here that even doubters seem to like. Just brilliant from start to finish. I can still feel the thrill I got on discovering it over 30 years ago and I've owned it on LP, cassette and CD twice since then. 'A Wizard,a true star' he may be better known for(and it's also a great album) but this where he really proved it first. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Most double LPs are not worthy of the length. Take the White Album, for instance. A few good tracks to be sure, but a hell of a lot of dross. In contrast, every song on Something/Anything is worth the ticket price. It's self-indulgent but not in a pretentious way. There were some more good LPs to come from Todd but, in my opinion, he never matched this one again. It's got the lot.