Todd Rundgren - A CapellaThis album opens with a sequence designed to trick you into thinking that Rundgren’s whole a capella project – whose sounds and vocals, if not performed live orally, were performed with samples of mouth- manufactured sound – is going to be nothing more than a Bobby McFerren ripoff. Wrong. After the first few seconds of “dum-dum-dum-dum-dum,” you’ll be blown away as “Blue Orpheus” kicks in and leaves McFerren’s music in the dust. This is such a revolutionary album, it’s amazing to think it’s well over a decade old. Rundgren not only had to perform the entire album in the most unconventional way imaginable, but he also had to construct songs that would stand up to a vocal-based arrangement. The harmonies are often reminiscent of those found in really good black gospel, and the range of sounds – including “percussion” – that Rundgren generated orally is remarkable. Most impressive of all is Rundgren’s own vocal range, since he sings every part of every song. Perhaps the two best songs are put back to back for good reason – the shatteringly 5 out of 4depressing “Pretending To Care” needs to be followed by the ludicrously bouncy “Hodja”. Fortunately, this album is not at all difficult to find or, failing that, put on order – which could make it as much a part of your DNP Album List is it is of mine! I can’t heap enough praise on this album – and the words don’t stand a chance of doing it justice. You need to hear it for yourself.

Order this CD

  1. Blue Orpheus (5:02)
  2. Johnee Jingo (3:51)
  3. Pretending to Care (3:40)
  4. Hodja (3:25)
  5. Lost Horizon (4:57)
  6. Something to Fall Back On (4:13)
  7. Miracle in the Bazaar (4:12)
  8. Lockjaw (4:01)
  9. Honest Work (2:40)
  10. Mighty Love (3:41)

Released by: Rhino
Release date: 1985
Total running time: 39:42