Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the hermit of mink hollow

Todd Rundgren retreated to a house on Mink Hollow Road to recover from a breakup and create this pure pop soliloquy.  After spending years defying expectations with dense difficult albums like 'A Wizard, A True Star' and the progressive jazz fusion of his group Utopia, 'The Hermit of Mink Hollow' saw his return to the sweet pop sound of his solo mangum opus 'Something/Anything?'.  
As with the bulk of that album, Rundgren played all of the instruments and did all of the vocals, arrangements, and production at Utopia Sound Studios in Lake Hill, NY.  Rundgren would explain:   “Quite honestly, I don’t know what this record is about...It’s one of my least conceptualized albums, and most of my albums have the material more or less related to a certain theme. At certain points, though, it’s just good to do whatever it is that you do and let somebody else figure out what the concept is. This time, I guess the theme is me and just some of the things I think about...At this point, my album – even before it’s released – is a write-off to them. All my albums are. They never base any kind of faith on them because it doesn’t parallel anything that’s already successful or anything I’ve done already. So all they can do is put it out and wait for people to tell them it’s good, at which point they might promote it...When I first delivered-the album to the company, the songs were in different order. But the record company is always going on about these theories on listener response which are supposed to override whatever mood you want to create...I guess I’m out of sync with everybody else. And eventually, they’ll all get into sync with me ... The reason I got through those changes is my creative drive. As soon as something becomes automatic, like the pop formula of 'Something/Anything?', don’t consider it creative anymore. You’ve heard of crossover artists — I like to think of myself as a double-crossover artist...The reasons I got in the record business are no longer valid.  I used to think records had this social importance, that people would someday be able to have a picture of the world through those records. Records have become too homogenized. If entertainment is the art of the Seventies … at least more people will be attuned to video...When I made those early records, I was very insecure and unstable. If you’re concerned with pop success, you’re always worried with keeping on the charts. You never quite get there. I would take it too hard...It was a good idea for me to do the solo thing again … to gauge people’s attitudes, to bring everything into a different perspective. As much as I enjoy doing this, it’s not what I want to do. I don’t want to go on a Todd Rundgren tour. As much as these people are my friends, the responsibility of a band of hired musicians - is really depressing...The whole economics collapsed and we put everything on ice for a while. Utopia is feasible in one way — but then we’d become Van Halen... I can lead a normal life … produce Meat Loaf if I want to. But I don’t feel the need to dissipate myself and live the good-time Charlie lifestyle. I’m lucky … if I get bored I can come out here and create a lot of noise. I’m sort of like a piece of flotsam floating in the sea of public acclaim. I just sort of go under for a while, then bob up again...Everyone hopes it’ll be huge.  And if that happens - big trouble. I have some idea of what I would do with that kind of clout, but I have no idea what the response would be. Most people think they would have to follow up with something that could maintain the excitement. To me, that’s the prime opportunity for me to reorient people to a whole new idea. You see, I guess I’m like those old-fashioned artists, da Vinci and Rembrandt. You don’t get discovered until you’re dead.”

'The Hermit of Mink Hollow' sneaked up to forty-two in the UK, thirty-six in the US, and twenty-seven in Canada, becoming one of his biggest successes.  


Side one - The Easy Side

"All the Children Sing" 

"Can We Still Be Friends" thirty-seven in Canada and twenty-nine in the US.


"Hurting for You" 

"Too Far Gone" 



Side two - The Difficult Side


"Bag Lady" 

"You Cried Wolf" 

"Lucky Guy" 

"Out of Control" 

"Fade Away" 

'The Hermit of Mink Hollow' 
full album:  

All songs written by Todd Rundgren.

Side one - The Easy Side
"All the Children Sing" - 3:08
"Can We Still Be Friends" - 3:34
"Hurting for You" - 3:20
"Too Far Gone" - 2:38
"Onomatopoeia" - 1:34
"Determination" - 3:11
Side two - The Difficult Side
"Bread" - 2:48
"Bag Lady" - 3:13
"You Cried Wolf" - 2:20
"Lucky Guy" - 2:04
"Out of Control" - 3:56
"Fade Away" - 3:04

No comments:

Post a Comment