Good compilation - a good overview of Rundgen's talent
Perry M. Koons | Crownsville, MD United States | 09/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation gathers a good mix of bands that Rundgren produced over the years, providing one track each from some great albums. Some were hugely popular artists (Meat Loaf, Grand Funk Railroad) and some were little more than cult favorites. One comment often made about Rundgren's production is that he is a real taskmaster in the studio, and it usually seems to work since the bands he works with often let their personailties shine through and make great records with him manning the boards. This compilation has nothing from Badfinger's Straight Up or Cheap Trick's Next Position Please, but what is here is pretty good.Best Tracks:
"Personality Crisis" - New York Dolls' ripping, Stonesy rocker from the first album that can be considered proto-punk for more than just attitude - Johnny Rotten loved it for one...
"It's All Too Much" - Ex-Gong guitaist Steve Hillage does a pretty competent cover of the George Harrison classic
"If I Had You Back" - The Rubinoos always delight, although this slightly dated tune from the Party Of Two album isn't quite as essential as their 70's work.
"I Don't Mind At All" - A missing treasure from Bourgeois Tagg, this guitar-led ballad should have been a huge hit.
"I'm An Adult Now" - One of the best tracks on this compilation by one of the least known bands, Canada's Pursuit of Happiness spits out a hilarious rocker with some of the best sarcastic lyrics around. (Bonus points for the line "cheese eating high school boy")"
Strong Compilation of the Wizard's Varied Production Efforts
Todd and In Charge | Miami, FL | 02/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Todd worked the knobs over the years for a great many talented artists -- some hit big (Grand Funk with "American Band") some simply were better for it (XTC with "Dear God"). This overview collects Todd's production from 1973 to 1992, and surprisingly works as a coherent roadmap to Todd's interests and affectations over the years. Some gripes from a fan: where's Todd's great production of The Band's Stagefright, or the monumental work he did for Hall & Oates on War Babies (although I am pleased they left off Todd's production of Shaun Cassidy's 80's "comeback" Wasp).
Highlights for me were the cuts by Fanny (a 70's all-girl rock band), Patti Smith, The Tubes, Bourgeois Tagg, and Jill Sobule. Less effective were standard rock workouts by Rick Derringer, an unknown Australian band Hunter, and the lamentably cheesy production work Todd provided for Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell.
All in all, though, one can feel Todd's production and steady hand throughout, his innate sense of hitmaking and creativity within the format of a three-minute song intact, spurring many of these acts to their greatest artistic successes. Let's hope this one gets reissued soon."